Sadly, some fashionistas do look a bit like this...
"The ONLY girls with a passion for fashion."
A line of anime-styled fashion dolls created by ex-Mattel employee Carter Bryant and produced by MGA Entertainment. Released in 2001, the line did the unthinkable and dethroned Barbie from her spot as the #1 doll line among girls. The Bratz line features an ethnic rainbow of different characters to choose from and their chosen jobs tend to focus on more "glamorous" occupations such as singing, acting, and, of course, modeling and fashion design.The line eventually became popular enough to warrant a bunch of spin-off lines, several animated Direct-To-DVD movies, a short-lived cartoon series, and a live-action movie. The cartoon and most of the animated movies take place in the fictional town of Stilesville and focus on the 4 main girls in the line (Cloe, Sasha, Yasmin, and Jade) and their trials and tribulations of running their own fashion 'zine (appropriately titled Bratz), playing in their own band, getting through the school year at Stiles High, and thwarting the schemes of their rival magazine, Your Thing, run by the middle-aged self-proclaimed "Queen of Fashion", Burdine Maxwell, and her two interns Kirstee and Kaycee (AKA "The Tweevils"). The live-action movie chronicles the girls' adventures in Carry Nation High as they try to destroy the oppressive clique system that the principal's daughter, Meredith, uses to control the students... and win the annual school talent show.To elaborate, the Bratz Direct-To-DVD line consists of:
And of course, the infamous Bratz : The Movie. note And yes, this means that the Bratz line somehow released more DVDs than Barbie even though her Direct-To-DVD ventures started earlier.
The line also had a licenced video game line that was surprisingly intriguing (Using travel and magazine gameplay as it's main focus) and some crappier rushed to coincide with a movie release games. Not to forget the two Bratz Ponyz games (the conception of which is complicated, since it was a spin-off of the spin-off Bratz Babyz line, and no, we have no idea what Babyz are doing with said ponies.)Due to the somewhat sexual nature of the dolls' designs and clothing, the materialistic nature of the franchise, and the overall poor quality of the cartoon and movies, it is almost universally hated by everyone outside of its target demographic. According to MGA CEO Isaac Larian, only perverts would see anything sexual about the dolls. And welcome to the Internet!In December 2008, Mattel won a copyright lawsuit against MGA that ruled that, since Bryant was still working at Mattel when he created the original dolls, they were Mattel's intellectual property. As a result, MGA was banned from selling all 40 dolls in the line. MGA successfully appealed the ruling in July 2010 and regained ownership. The case will be retried at the beginning of next year, but for now, the company is allowed to continue selling and producing Bratz. In August, they released updated dolls with wider figures, less make-up, and more modest clothing to celebrate the franchise's 10th anniversary (and so that they can claim they are not the same designs that Mattel claimed ownership of, but that is neither here nor there.)In late 2012, the line expanded with Bratzillaz, who are not only the cousins of the main cast, but also witches. The line takes obvious cues from Harry Potter, but has mostly been compared to Mattel's Monster High, and with good reason- MGA seems to be doing their best to openly compete with Mattel's juggernaut, with a similar catchphrase("Glam Gets Wicked", as opposed to "Freaky Just Got Fabulous") and even a Youtube channel that has short "webisodes" and even a live-action music video which has been compared to the Monster High "Fright Song" video.
Alternate Universe: After watching the webisodes, one even wonders if Bratzillaz takes place in the same world as the primary Bratz canon... partly because it seems zombies are an accepted part of society here.
Ambiguously Brown: Sashabella Paws... assuming she's even human anymore, with those feline eyes.
Ambiguously Gay: The only boy in the new official canon (And on the website) at this point is Eitan, and while Cameron, Dylan and various others have been released as dolls under the Bratz Boyz moniker, Eitan is part of the main ensemble-image on the website with the girls.
Katia and her father, introduced in Bratz: Genie Magic, is obviously Russian, according to Cloe's latest blog post, she's now Moroccan (This might be a case of research failure since the fashions in Genie Magic had a slight Moroccan influence).
Beauty Mark: Yasmin, among many of the dolls, has one beneath her left eye.
Blithe Spirit: No one other than the Bratz in The Movie had even thought about talking to people outside of their cliques, let alone sitting at a different cliques' lunch table, until they came along.
The Toola Twins- they made it clear in the first five seconds of screen time the pair was evil.
Bowdlerize: The recent comeback has the girls dressing in layers and pastels for no apparent reason. This wouldn't be so bad if they were actually well done though. All of the make-up is the same now too.
Broken Aesop: The main characters constantly tell the one-shot characters that they should be themselves and follow their own style... right after they give them a makeover or get done gawking at the villains' untrendy Limited Wardrobe.
In addition, the villains are supposed to reinforce the message that the viewer should be unique and look like nobody else... and yet the main characters and their boyfriends are all recolors of one another. (Yes, that includes their outfits.)
Then Jade and the rest of the Bratz fake being employees of Your Thing and then Byron Powell gets the Your Thing crew kicked out of a concert because they're not dressed punk.
Inverted in Bratzillaz- the Toola Twins steal a crystal ball capable of telling the immediate future, to become school newspaper reporters. They get caught, but despite having the police there, the pair are instead punished with janitorial duty rather than being arrested.
Bratzillaz is trying its best to cash in on Monster High, trying so hard they're copying even the marketing. Judging by the low view counts of the webisodes though, it's not exactly edging in on MH quite yet...
Informed Flaw: In The Movie, Cloe is supposed to be clumsy. But that doesn't stop her from being the best soccer player on the school's team, capable of pulling off moves that only professional players can do. Her clumsiness even gets the girls into the situation where they make up and become friends again and lets her spend time with her crush.
In one of the animated movies, Jade is publicly humiliated at school when word got out about her fashion disaster... which was... a pretty cute and unique outfit. despite the fact that there didn't seem to be any thing wrong with it, all of her friends say that it looks terrible. Instead she happily chooses to wear a generic yellow dress identical to the other ones everyone else wore to the dance, and happily declares that she finally got her individual fashion sense back.
Insult Backfire: In both Rock Angelz and the live-action movie, the girls get the idea for their group's name from a mean girl calling them "brats." It's much more subtle in Rock Angelz than in Bratz: The Movie.
The Noseless: Whether or not the characters have a nose changes from scene to scene in their cartoons
Only One Female Mold: Not only for the dolls, but also in the cartoon. To the point that when one of the male characters disguises himself as a girl, he has exactly the same body shape as the female characters.
To their credit though, Bratzillaz got entirely new molds with more articulation and totally different faces(to the regular Bratz- to the point they barely resemble their "cousins") with inset eyes. Even though all 5 use the same body, the inset eyes are unique.
Only Six Faces: The animators were really lazy with the direct-to-dvd movies and cartoon leading us to see the same person dancing in seven different locations in the same club. Also, Cameron and Dylan show up in the strangest locations in Forever Diamondz.
Stripperiffic- The dolls have been accused of being this, with some degree of truth. Due to what might or might not be unfortunate tailoring(scale doll clothes have to suffer the same rules of material and tailoring as full size clothes- the scale is 1:6 but not the materials), there have even been Bratz dolls with pronounced camel toe.
MGA seems to be trying to change this with the new dolls, who are much more covered.
Bratzillaz averts this, for the most part- the dolls have theme clothing centered around witches and goth style and tend to get longer skirts and less bare skin. They have high heels, albeit boots this time. Meygana Broomstix has an exposed midriff, but her look borders so much on "steampunk mechanic" that one has to wonder if she isn't a subtle Shout Out to Winry Rockbell from Full Metal Alchemist.
"Midnight Beach" is a skimpy swimwear line... but the dolls themselves are cast in glow in the dark plastic. Logically, dressing them in limited clothing makes sense otherwise the gimmick wouldn't work as well. Though come to think of it, the ages of the Bratzillaz cast has never been said, so they may very well be adult age.
Take That: Burdine, the Tweevils, and Meredith all have blonde hair, blue eyes, and are always shown wearing the color pink. Burdine also reminds Kaycee of "that fashion doll" Kirstee used to hit her with when they were 3. Hmm...
Subverted with Cloe, she have blonde hair and blue eyes, but she doesn't wear pink.
Interesting note about the cartoons: While they do change clothes, they all have a set of different outfits that they rotate in and out of. And they're all essentially recolors of one another. All four girls will usually wear the same style of outfit, ironically...
This might have been hilarious in hindsight when you realise most of the new dolls are wearing the same type of outfits.
You Can Panic Now: Every few years or so, someone starts a panic saying that the toyline is teaching girls to dress like hookers or that beauty is everything in life. Whether kids really are that easily influenced is debatable, but the franchise doesn't exactly present its supposed Aesops (individuality and self-confidence) in the best light.