Dig out your old American Girl dolls ASAP, because you're in store for a trip to the movies with the toys in tow. Following plans to make movies focusing on Barbie and Hot Wheels, toy company Mattel is bringing this famous group of girls from different eras to the big screen. An American Girl Doll movie is officially in the works, so excuse me while I binge-read my boxed book sets and track down my favorite doll's wardrobe.
On Feb. 15, Mattel confirmed its partnership with MGM on a live-action movie based on the American Girl doll and book line. In a press release, Ynon Kreiz, Mattel's chairman and CEO, said:
American Girl is a beloved, story-driven franchise lending itself perfectly to a feature film. In MGM... we have world-class partners and we look forward to working with them to give our passionate American Girl fans of all ages another way to connect with this iconic brand.
In case your childhood was sorely lacking the presence of American Girl, the company began in 1986 with a coinciding series of books and dolls encapsulating young girls' experiences in different historical periods. While the dolls were perfect guests at your childhood tea parties, the books shared lessons of independence, bravery, and creativity. Now with the characters hitting the big screen, it looks like longtime lovers of American Girl can introduce the little girls in their lives to these important messages, too.
Although the brand introduced characters from new eras and "Girl of the Year" dolls over time fans now in their 20s are probably most familiar with characters like Addy, a Civil War-era girl whose family escape slavery, and Felicity, who grows up in Williamsburg, Virginia, in the 1770s. Thanks to the books following the historical characters' adventures, even kids who couldn't afford the pricey toy sets could learn about girls like Josefina, who lives in New Mexico in 1824, and Kirsten, a Swedish immigrant whose family follow in the footsteps of American pioneers.
Mattel hasn't clarified whether the movie will focus on one or several dolls, but it's the not first time their stories have been adapted for films. In recent years, newer American Girl characters (Julie and Ivy, Maryellen, and Melody) starred in live-action movies exclusively available on Amazon Prime. The company has also worked on films based on contemporary characters.
Anyone who had their nose in an American Girl book in the late '90s or early 2000s will also remember the TV movies following the historical stories of Felicity (played by a young Shailene Woodley), Molly, and Samantha. The brand then hit theatrical status in 2008 with the 1930s-set Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, starring Abigail Breslin in the title role and featuring A-list actors like Stanley Tucci, Joan Cusack, and Jane Krakowski. Who knew American Girl could attract so much star power?
When it comes to movies, American Girl has definitely covered most of its classic characters, so it'll be interesting to see what this new film entails to please both nostalgic adults and young fans. I'll keep my hopes high for a time-traveling romp that includes all of the dolls.