All recent and upcoming property-based movies seem to be aimed at the boys. Transformers, G.I. Joe, the upcoming Stretch Armstrong, and even gender-neutral Battleship seems to be aimed at the boys. Even movies such as Smurfs and Alvin and the Chipmunks that aren’t aimed at boys per se are gender-neutral. It’s enough to make a girl stand up and yell, “Hey, we had childhoods with successful franchises, too!” Don’t worry, we aren’t forgotten.
Diablo Cody of Juno and United States of Tara fame is working on Sweet Valley High. The movie is based on the popular book series, and even takes place in the 1980s. I would argue that it would be better if the movie took place in the 1990s on the grounds that most of the books, the sequel series Sweet Valley University, and the TV show Sweet Valley High all took place in the 1990s, but I can’t deny that the book series did debut in 1983. At a book a month, that’s still a lot of storylines that happened in the six years before the 90s ever happened – like Elizabeth getting into a motorcycle accident and falling into a coma. And, um…. Enid got paralyzed in a plane accident? Or was that the 90s? I know Margo was the 90s… Either way, I voted and would pretty much love to see a combination of these three story lines, from out of order: Elizabeth’s motorcycle accident, Regina dying from a drug overdose, and Robin’s eating disorder.
Universal, who’s been ruining my childhood one movie at a time – except for Alvin and the Chipmunks, which I did like for reasons that may or may not be explained another time – has also greenlit a live-action Barbie movie. While I haven’t heard news on the movie since it was announced, I really wonder what a Barbie movie would be about. It’d probably be aimed at little kids, but come on. Barbie is the one property almost all females grew up with. I think it would be totally awesome if Barbie was also set in the 1980s and it was all about Barbie and the Rockers. Of course, being a child in the 80s, I’ve been petitioning for movies based on Jem and Teddy Ruxpin.
DreamWorks is currently working on a movie based on the good luck Troll dolls. Oh, it could be epic. In my mind it’s epic. Kids hunting Trolls to make their wishes and the Trolls, tired of the assault on their people, revolt against the human race. There’s lots of laughs, lots of love, lots of learning, and teeny bit of bloodshed. Hey, I don’t judge you for the way you played with your toys! I don’t know what DreamWorks has in mind because the film hasn’t been written yet. While this one does teeter back into gender-neutral territory, I always knew more girls with Troll dolls than boys. Boys I knew always had one troll; we girls had an army.
Truth is, I don’t understand why girls get the shaft when it comes to movies. Okay, sure, we had a good run that started with Clueless and ended with Josie and the Pussycats, but we’re still here! We didn’t disappear! It’s not our fault Josie and the Pussycats apparently killed childhoods. The fact that we like movies has not changed in the least, and while we’re in this adapting toys craze, we had a lot of good toys! We even had good board games! Rainbow Brite, She-Ra, Strawberry Shortcake, Girl Talk, Mall Madness, and Pretty Pretty Princess aren’t good enough to be adapted into movies, but Battleship is? No disrespect to Battleship, as the game is pretty fun, but girl games had storylines that were a little more involved than, “B4” “You sunk my cruiser!” Maybe there’s a flip side to this. Maybe we’re lucky because so long as they don’t make the movies for us, we can’t complain that our childhoods have been ruined.
I still want to see a Jem movie. It would be truly truly truly outrageous.
Kate Ward, “Diablo Cody + ‘Sweet Valley High’ = Amazing” EW
Borys Kit, “Barbie Headed to the Big Screen” The Hollywood Reporter
Gregg Kilday, “Dreamworks plans Good Luck Trolls Movie” The Hollywood Reporter