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Acclaimed Flop: Critics loved Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, many of them walking into the theatre expecting to hate it and ending up gushing about it. Despite that, theatres didn't feel the same way about scheduling it, nor did audiences about seeing it if they even knew it was out. It made less money than the Bratz movie ($17,655,201 versus $26,013,153)!
Cast the Expert: In Isabelle Dances Into the Spotlight, professional ballerina Jackie Sanchez is played by Tanya Howard — a soloist with the National Ballet of Canada.
Franchise Killer: Kit's movie, AG's first and only theatrical release, absolutely bombed in theatres and killed any further historical movies, including a rumoured Julie movie. All further movies were direct-to-video and focused instead on the modern Girls of the Year.
No Export for You: Since the line was restructured to an extent and select Chapters-Indigo locations in Canada started carrying a small selection of AG products beyond the books, some dolls, furniture, clothing, and accessories are now unable to be shipped to Canada from AG's site even though they could ship everything before. Currently, this applies to some Dress Like Your Doll items, Kaya's dog and gear set, Julie's birthday treats, Caroline's parlour, Rebecca's Sabbath set, Addy's bed, Sunday Best outfit, table and chairs, and ice cream set, Kit's desk and chair, school supplies, and birthday treats, and Josefina's entire collection.
Shouldn't it beCaroline whose whole collection is behind an embargo? She was on the opposite side of the War of 1812...
Same case with Sidney Fullmer, who was discovered at an American Girl store and eventually landed the main role in the Saige movie.
Retroactive Recognition: The first two films introduced two young actresses who would go on to achieve, if not superstardom, then certainly a lot of success in their acting careers, nearly a decade before they became famous; Samantha Parkington was played by a nine-year-old AnnaSophia Robb, and Felicity Merriman was played by a fourteen-year-old Shailene Woodley.
Saved from Development Hell: Rumors of a new American Girl doll, Rebecca, began to surface in the adult collector community as far back as 1998, when Mattel trademarked the name of the character. Eventually details leaked that she'd be the first Jewish historical, and after that, she seemed abandoned, with dolls such as Native American Kaya and '70s girl Julie (and the entire Best Friends line) appearing instead. Rumors of prototypes of Rebecca being seen by company insiders floated the entire time, with various descriptions given of her appearance, but most of the collecting world had given her up as an idea dumped on the drawing room floor. Following the retirement of Samantha in 2008, American Girl finally confirmed they were producing Rebecca, who was released in May of '09.
According to this article, Rebecca was planned to be released in 2004, but then was pushed aside as the company focused on the American Girl movies.
Screwed by the Network: Kit's movie was screwed over by theatres, many of which barely advertised it or waited up to a month after it came out and what hype there was had died down to show it (and even then, sometimes for less than a week!). Public opinion is that the theatres had been burned the previous year by a doll movie and didn't want to take a chance on another one.
This video shows preliminary design sketches for some of the older historicals' book covers and outfits, revealing that (X)'s Surprise books were originally going to be called A Surprise for (X) and that a lot of characters' wardrobes had plenty of discarded concept art. Kaya's concept art is especially varied and seems like the company considered many different tribes for her to be from before settling on one.
Working Title: Kit's movie was originally Kit: An American Girl Mystery, matching the other three movies.