STUDIO: 20th Century Fox
MSRP: $14.99
RUNNING TIME: 69 minutes
  • Café Cabaret Sing-Along
  • Printable Coloring Pages

Do you know how wrong it feels to put these pictures next to one another?

The Pitch

Damned if I know.

The Humans

No humans were involved with the creation of this production, I’m almost sure. You want some creepy berrykins, though? I’ve got ‘em in spades for you here.

The Nutshell

Ubiquitous children’s toy Strawberry Shortcake wants to come in and play with your children.

The Lowdown

When sitting down to review a movie like The Strawberry Shortcake Movie: Sky’s the Limit, one must ask one’s self what is one’s purpose? I originally intended to perhaps write a humorous review filled with witty repartee and a few bon mots for good measure, but the actual viewing of the movie proved that nothing I could write would make much of a difference. If you’re buying this DVD, you’re buying it for a reason (kids!), and my review won’t make a lick of difference. I am certainly not the intended audience for this movie, nor am I a potential customer for this product, as I have no spawn of my own. I may as well attempt to address the potential buyers of this film: parents.

Parents are forced to enjoy the same entertainments as their children, because children are by nature selfish and narcissistic and children don’t care that mommy is tired of driving and listening to The Wiggles Make Giggles playing on the backseat DVD player. This DVD is specifically designed for car consumption, and even begins to play automatically from the menu after 10 seconds. To me this means that if you want to escape you must do it quickly because you’ve only got 10 seconds before 69 minutes of brightly colored annoyance comes your way.

As Paul Giammatti’s fan base continued to grow younger and more affectionate, he started to stop regretting Big Fat Liar.

To be honest, the film is rather innocuous. Besides two horrid songs at the beginning and closing of the movie, it isn’t overtly terrible, and won’t affront a parent’s senses by hearing alone. (Except for the aforementioned songs and the awful theme song) There is a moral to the story and it is broad and overstated (“Like snowflakes we’re all different but deep down we’re all the same!”) but there are singing berries, and I find that terrifying. The main characters also go on a journey led by a Karl Rove-esque caterpillar searching for an imperative object that doesn’t actually exist, which I found amusing until they all forgave him for lying and being a major creeper. Screw you, Rove. Other than the creepy migrant worker singing berries and the creepy pedophile caterpillar there’s not much here to blatantly bother parents if they choose it as background noise.

That said, watching this film made me wonder why one would even want to give this to one’s children to watch at all. Sure, it’s colorful and kinetic and distracting, and yes, it has a “lesson,” but there’s so much more one could show them. Speaking strictly of kid’s fare last year had both Where the Wild Things Are and The Fantastic Mr. Fox. But then why show only kid’s films? Roger Ebert recently posted on his twitter the following: “Kids naturally like good movies, until the bad movies drive them out. They like 2001 until they see Transformers. By casually taking their kids to the family blockbuster of the week, parents actively dumb them down. No, really.” He also linked to a very interesting article in the Chicago Reader about a cinephile father raising his 6 year-old daughter on 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dr. Strangelove and O Brother Where Art Thou? Why subject your children and yourself to such maddeningly mediocre entertainment like this? The author, Cliff Doerksen makes a good case for turning off even the “educational programming” and sitting your child down in front of Hellboy instead. But if Hellboy is too heavy for your toddler, at least give them The Fantastic Mr. Fox instead of this pointless diversion.

“If I tell them I’m from Tampa nobody cares, but if I drive down to the port and tell them we’re Dominican, all of the scouts go crazy over my boy!”

The Package

Sadly the Café Cabaret has nothing to do with Liza Minelli or Joel Grey. It’s instead a horridly written song about individuality, teamwork and friendship whose music sounds like it came off of the Reality Bites soundtrack. I never bothered actually printing out the coloring pages because I don’t live my life seeking to do things ironically. (“Hey, college student, what are you up to tonight?” “Coloring.” “Ha! You’re so hip and ironic!” No.) The actual packaging is a glorious pink plastic infused with glitter so that I can be sure no one will ever again respect my DVD collection.

Watch Where the Wild Things Are instead out of 10