For the first 7-1/2 years of her life, my daughter steadfastly ignored all the dolls she was given – or asked for, for that matter, except for the one that cried when it got sick or hungry, because you couldn’t ignore THAT doll. (Or you can’t until you pull the batteries out. Bad Mommy.)
However, ever since my daughter got her first Bitty Baby (courtesy of a very lovely American Girl blogger event last summer), she has become American Girl obsessed. She counted the days until the first of 2014 when American Girl announced its new “Girl of the Year”, as she was had a gift card from Grandma (a generous Christmas gift), hot in her little hands as she kept her fingers crossed for a ballerina. Her patience was rewarded with the arrival of Isabelle, who is indeed a dancer.
But for the past several months, all I have heard is “When is the Isabelle movie coming out? WHEN WHEN WHEN?” (Patience is not her thing, either.) I can’t complain, honestly, as she has read all of the Isabelle books, and I have to admit that I appreciate the positive story lines that the American Girl books always depict.
A surprise that would make me vie for “mom of the year” arrived last Friday: a viewing party package from American Girl landed on our doorstep. It included a DVD/BlueRay copy of “American Girl: Isabelle Dances Into The Spotlight” along with enough other goodies to send my daughter into an AG sugar rush. We were excited to see the Blu-ray/DVD of the movie along with a CD of the movie soundtrack, a t-shirt for her Isabelle doll, some popcorn (for the people) and one for Isabelle as well.
Working quickly, we put together an impromptu “private viewing party” for a few of her friends on Tuesday, so they were all able to view it the day of its nationwide release!
We hung the Isabelle poster, popped the popcorn, set out pretty cupcakes and juice pouches. Miss M created her own “movie marquee” to welcome her guests.
When the girls arrived, they arranged their dolls snugly together on a bean-bag chair set with the best view of the screen. I love that one of the girls opted to dress her doll in one of Isabelle’s new dance outfits (complete with crown) and holding a her own miniature Isabelle doll!
Even Miss M’s Isabelle doll had her own popcorn – they think of everything at American Girl! (She shared with her friends.)
Food and drinks in hand, the girls settled in and we started up the DVD. A hush fell over the room as the previews started, with a giggle here and a shout of “I can’t wait to see that” there, bouncing in their seats as they waited for the movie to begin.
The girls LOVED the movie. Like all the American Girl movies, this one had a really positive message: caught up in her sister’s shadow at the performing arts school they attend, her self-esteem further battered by a rival classmate who makes her feel like she doesn’t deserve to be there, Isabelle Dances Into the Spotlight illustrates the importance of focusing on your own strengths (instead of comparing yourself to others). A great message, indeed.
The music and dancing seemed to be pretty entertaining as well. During some of Isabelle’s dance scenes, a few of the girls got off the sofa and danced around the room….until they caught sight of me, at which point they froze and then sat down, giggling and self-conscious.
When the movie ended, we played movie soundtrack CD as the girls danced away. The CD includes instrumental versions of two of the tracks so that Miss M can eventually sing her own vocals to the catchy songs. The girls particularly liked “UR Your Own Star” – another positive message for our girls today.
And of course, what is a party without cookies! Pink cookies, per Miss M’s request…just like you might get at the American Girl Cafe, of course.
It made for a wonderful playdate for all the girls! The girls left jabbering to their moms about the movie.
It looks like the American Girl website is offering free shipping on the movie until December 31. Our BlueRay combo pack also came with a digital key so that we could download the movie onto our mobile devices, for which Miss M’s big brother hugged me (so she can watch it on our upcoming 17 hour car ride, alone.)
Likewise, the movie will be aired on Saturday, August 9th at 7/6 Central on the Disney Channel.
The movie got two thumbs up from all the eight-year-olds in attendance today, and Mom enjoyed it as well. That’s a win-win in my book.
Disclosure: American Girl provided me with a copy of the movie and music cd in exchange for the consideration of a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own – we would have been buying the film anyway, because, impatient eight-year-old.