An American Girl – The Movie?

Because I have 3 daughters, I am no stranger to the American Girl doll franchise.  Given their extremely high price tags, I was once a big opponent, however like any parent, once I saw how much my kids enjoy something, I’ve changed my mind.  Grammie bought our oldest daughter an American Girl doll a few Christmases ago, and then her little sister got one for her birthday, so at least the fighting over who gets to play with the one doll has ended.  Their other grandma has made clothes for their dolls, thus saving us money on the really expensive clothes.  Overall, the dolls really haven’t been that expensive for us, probably because we don’t buy them any clothes or accessories; thankfully there isn’t a place in our rural area that carries any American Girl doll stuff, so that helps also.

A few weekends ago, I took my girls and a friend to see the new American Girl doll movie, Kitt Kittredge.  I wasn’t expecting much, but I just love Abigail Breslin, and I also really like to learn about the Great Depression era.  The movie did a great job of portraying life during this period in history, at least to the best of my knowledge.  It seemed historically accurate; complete with hobo secrets and terminology.  I really enjoyed it – it was a cute little movie, and it even had some twists and turns that I didn’t see coming and which supplemented the plot nicely.  Abigail Breslin was delightful as always, Joan Cusack was a riot, and Stanley Tucci was wonderful as a mysterious magician.  Their roles were all well-played along with most others as the movie was very well-cast.

The only problem I had with it was that if you didn’t know any better, it didn’t seem to have much to do with American Girl, and especially not dolls.  But if you know anything about the franchise, it makes sense.  Each doll in the series has a “backstory” – she comes from a different backround and time period and there are books that explain the backstories.  However, on our way to the movie, I asked my girls if they knew what the movie was about, and they suggested that maybe a girl’s doll comes to life or something.  But like I said, the movie actually had nothing to do with dolls at all – it was the backstory of the doll named Kitt Kittredge.  The girls didn’t seem disappointed, and only the 8-year-olds got a little rambunctious.  I also had an 11-year-old with me who really liked it, and a 4-year-old who seemed to enjoy it also – especially the use of animals in the movie.  My 4-year-old daughter LOVED the monkey and his antics.

Overall, it was an entertaining afternoon; well-worth the matinee price for the girls to see it, and I was entertained as well.  My husband didn’t want any part of it, so he stayed home with our 21-month-old who can’t sit through movies anyway.  But it’s a good family movie; although it might add some wishes to my girls’ list when they visit the American Girl doll store in Chicago with their grandma next week – not an accident on the part of the American Girl doll franchise, I’m sure.