Created in 1986, Mattel has sold over thirty-two million American Girl dolls to young girls around the world. With themed dolls from historical periods and “look-alike” dolls that can be your twin, American Girl is one of the highest-selling dolls other than Barbie. Now, just like Barbie, we might be seeing an American Girl live-action movie in the future.
You may remember that Mattel already tried to make a live action American Girl doll movie in 2019 with production company MGM. After a little time trying to put together the movie, the plans fizzled out and nothing was done for years afterwards.
The main thing that changed for Mattel was their recent success with the 2023 Barbie movie, starring Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie. Becoming an instant success, Mattel was revitalized to start plans anew for the American Girl doll movie, officially announced in mid-December 2023.
Who Will Be Behind the American Girl Live-Action Movie?
Titled “American Girl,” the movie will be produced by Mattel Films, Paramount Pictures, and Temple Hill Entertainment. The scriptwriter and producer slotted to create the film is Lindsey Anderson Beer, who you might recognize as the writer of both the Pet Cemetery: Bloodlines (2023) and Sierra Burgess is a Loser (2018) movies.
When asked about her feelings about creating an American Girl live-action movie, Beer said “[she] is so excited to tell a story that tackles the issues of girlhood in a real compelling way” with “historically accurate toys and accessories that feature elaborate and immersive backgrounds.”
Iterations of American Girl Live Action
Some of you may be wondering why this particular American Girl film is getting so much attention, especially since there have been live-action movies created for singular dolls, such as Grace, Samantha, Lea, and many others. Each of these films only focuses on one character in their respective period, whereas the new live-action movie may focus on bringing them all together, just like the Barbie movie did.
There also was an SNL script created for a few of the American Girl dolls, with the actors portraying different dolls and the hardships during their time. Though quite funny, there is some truth to the skit about the applicability to a live-action American Girl doll movie, and portraying these diverse characters in a new light.
If you’re interested in watching some of the original films to include American Girl doll characters, make sure to check some of these out, though there are several others not mentioned here:
- Samantha: An American Girl Holiday (2004)
- Felicity: An American Girl Adventure (2005)
- Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front (2006)
- Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (2008)
- An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong (2009)
- An American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars (2012)
- An American Girl: Saige Paints the Sky (2013)
- An American Girl: Isabelle Dances Into the Spotlight (2014)
Other Mattel Live Action Projects
Along with creating an American Girl doll live-action movie, Mattel is aiming to create a pipeline of some fourteen different live-action movies featuring their products. A few of these ideas include Hot Wheels, Magic 8 Ball, Polly Pocket, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em, and UNO.
I’m not completely sure how they would bring some of these ideas to light, but if they did they could create a monopoly of live-action movies based on toys, and possibly usher in another genre of movies — all based on toys. These movies could apply to older and younger generations, as each of these toys has been around for decades.
Though I haven’t seen the Barbie movie yet, there is real genius behind creating a movie that is based on a beloved children’s toy. This allows the industry to gain an audience from all those who played with the toy as a kid, which now includes adults and children. Similar to the Mario Brothers Movie that also came out in 2023, it reaches into the nostalgia of childhood to bring us back for a couple of hours.
I loved playing with American Girl dolls as a kid, and I am interested to see which direction they take the American Girl live-action film, who knows, maybe I’ll even go out and watch it too.