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Film / The Cheetah Girls

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The cast of the movie adaptation.

The Cheetah Girls is a 16-book novel series created and written by Deborah Gregory. The series, which began in 1999, is about a female vocal group seeking success and fortune. In the book series, there are five Cheetah Girls, Galleria, Chanel, Dorinda, Anginette, and Aquanette. The book series was made into a Disney Channel original movie in 2003, starring Raven-Symoné as Galleria, Adrienne Bailon as Chanel, Sabrina Bryan as Dorinda, and Kiely Williams as Aquanette (the character of Anginette was removed from the movie). Two sequels were made, The Cheetah Girls 2 (2006) and The Cheetah Girls: One World (2008). The band was also de-fictionalized with Adrienne Bailon, Sabrina Bryan and Kiely Williams.

The books and movies contain examples of:

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Galleria acts like this in the first season when she thinks she's about to get a record deal. She does get called out on it later in the film.
  • Adapted Out: Anginette in the films.
  • Aesop Amnesia: In two books, Chanel learns that crash diets can be unhealthy.
  • Almighty Mom: Galleria's "Mama Cheetah," Dorothea, is a firm but loving mother who will stop at nothing to ensure that the girls' best interests are protected. Galleria finds this embarrassing at first, but comes to understand that Dorothea is right to be concerned.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Chanel's younger brother, Pucci, in the first movie.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: In the first movie, Galleria argues with Chanel, Aqua, and Dorinda about going along with Jackals’s way of handling the group. Galleria was right about how Jackal was trying to turn the group into something they are not, while the other girls were right about how arrogant and bossy Galleria became.
  • Catchphrase: The girls love to add the word "cheetah" to their slang.
    Aqua: I think now would be the proper time to point out that he is extra-specially cheetah-licious.
  • Childhood Friends: Galleria and Chanel have been besties since they were the "Divas in Diapers."
  • Cool Shades: In the first movie, Galleria develops a habit of wearing sunglasses indoors after the girls meet Jackal Johnson.
  • Coordinated Clothes: In the final scene of the first movie, all the girls just happen to be wearing the same sweatsuit-and-headband combo in different colors.
  • Credit Card Plot: Chanel runs up a bill on her mom's card. When her mom takes the card back, she continues her spending, over the phone, using the card number she copied against the eventuality.
    • In the first movie, Chanel runs up the bill, but does not continue her spending over the phone.
  • Epic Fail: The opening scene shows the girls performing at Chanel's brother's birthday party, which goes horribly wrong because Aqua got her foot stuck causing her, Chanel, and Dorinda to end up tripping each other towards the end of the song. Heck, Aqua had the first line of the film when her foot gets caught.
    Aqua: [as her foot gets caught, first lines of the film] AGH! Somebody help!
    [The girls, sans Galleria, try to help out Aqua but end up tripping each other as everyone laughs at them.]
    Galleria: [moments later, as the opening number ends] Together we can!
    Dorinda, Chanel, Aqua: AGHH!
    [At the same time, Dorinda, Chanel, and Aqua slam into Galleria, causing all three to fall over. Everyone laughs at the Cheetah Girls as they try to leave.]
  • Female Empowerment Song: "Cinderella" and "Girl Power" in the first movie.
  • Five-Token Band: Played straight with the movie/actual band, which had black, Latina and mixed members. Averted in the books, since all of them but Chanel were black.
  • Friendship Song: "Together We Can" and "Cheetah Sisters" in the first movie, "Amigas Cheetahs" in the second.
  • Funny Background Event: Towards the end of "Together We Can", Aqua gets her foot stuck and while Galleria continues to sing, Dorinda and Chanel stop singing to help Aqua only for them all to trip each other causing their performance to end miserably.
  • Girl Group: It’s right there in the title.
  • Glory Days: In the first movie, the girls' performing arts teacher, Drinka Champane, often reflects on her brief career as a Disco queen.
  • Good Parents: Galleria’s parents are loving towards her and support her goals.
    • Dorinda feels this way about her foster mother Mrs. Bosco, who with her husband raise her and ten other foster kids. We only see Mrs. Bosco and one of Dorinda's foster sisters, but they all happily get along with each other.
  • Greens Precede Sweets: Lampshaded as a metaphor when Galleria tells her mother Dorothea that she's just holding the band back from their dreams.
    Galleria: I set my mind to something, and I almost get there, and you just stand in my way. What's the good of eating your vegetables if you can't have dessert?
    Dorothea: Strong bones and teeth.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: At the end of the first movie, Jackal Johnson tries to re-establish contact with the girls, presumably to offer them a record deal on their own terms now that they've become local heroes. They're not having it.
  • Impoverished Patrician: In the second movie, Dorinda gets a love interest who is one of these.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Galleria comes off as this during her whole Acquired Situational Narcissism. She unknowingly offends people with her attitude.
    • In particular, she is innocently insensitive toward Dorinda when trying to "help" her dress better. She is unaware that Dorinda is a foster child who cannot afford to dress as stylishly as the other girls (although she does just that in a few scenes).
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: In One World, the girls arrive in India during Diwali.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Galleria in the first movie. She comes off as selfish, egotistical, and self-centered, but in reality, she wants what's best for her and her friends and she ends up developing in the climax of the end.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: Galleria improvises one after the girls' big fight in the first movie.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Dorinda finds out she has a long lost sibling, Tiffany Twitty. She also finds out she is half white.
  • Music Is Politics: In the first movie, the girls finds out the meaning of this trope when Record Producer Jackal Johnson and his label try to transform them into the wildlife-themed, mask-wearing "Global Getdown."
  • Mysterious Past: Dorothea is motivated by a desire to stop Galleria from making career mistakes similar to her own. We never find out what those mistakes are.
    • Also true for Drinka Champane; we know her music career died before it ever really took off, but we don't know why or how.
  • Never My Fault: In the first movie, Galleria has this attitude. She does end up admitting it in the end.
  • Oh, Crap!: In One World, the girls don't find out until the last second that all three of them were auditioning for a single part. It quickly spirals into lunacy.
  • Parental Neglect: In the first movie, Chanel feels that her mother is neglecting her in favor of her wealthy French boyfriend.
  • Phobia: In the movie, Aquanette refuses to ride the New York subway. She changes her mind for the sake of Toto, who is trapped in a hole in the street.
  • Precious Puppy: Toto, Galleria's bichon frise.
  • Properly Paranoid: The way Galleria's mother acts towards Jackal and his record company. She turns out to be right.
  • Pursue the Dream Job: Much against her mother's wishes, Galleria is willing to forgo college completely if her opportunity to get a record deal in high school works out. It doesn't.
  • Put on a Bus / Sequel Non-Entity: Galleria "goes to college" in the third movie. In reality, Raven-Symoné didn't want to play her anymore.
  • Race Lift: In the novels, Dorinda is a small Black 12-year-old who is smart for her age. In the movie, she is played by Sabrina Bryan, who is white.
  • Rambunctious Italian: In the movies, Galleria's father, Franco Garibaldi, peppers his speech with Gratuitous Italian and is very physically expressive.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: In the second movie they go to Spain and the third movie is in India.
  • Show Within a Show: The Bollywood musical Namaste Bombay in One World.
  • Slapstick: Derek and his friend Mackerel suffer a big pratfall after they are introduced.
  • Spontaneous Choreography:
    • When Galleria and Chanel hear the new single by the artist Scheherazade on the street.
    • In the final scene of the first movie, when the girls perform "Cheetah Sisters."
  • The Smart Girl: Aquanette, in the movies. She takes college-level math courses and can be counted on to tutor the other girls if they find themselves struggling academically.
  • Take a Third Option: Really a fourth; in the climax of One World, the girls are still stressed over who gets to play the role that their friendship is thrown in a spat, so they convince the producers to give the lead to Gita.
  • Timmy in a Well: Species-flipped: Galleria's dog, Toto, is the one who falls into a hole in the street.
  • Too Hungry to Be Polite: Aqua has a habit of talking with her mouth full and carrying a bottle of her favorite hot sauce in her purse.
  • Villainous Crush: In the first movie, there is an obvious attraction between Galleria and Derek, who is determined to defeat the Cheetah Girls in the school talent show.
  • Visit by Divorced Dad: Inverted. The twins Anginette and Aquanette live with their dad in New York, but in one book go to Texas to visit their mom. In the movies, Aqua lives with her dad in New York and never mentions her mom.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Galleria gets called out for her arrogance and rude attitude by Dorinda and later the other girls in the first season.