An American Girl Movie is a live-action film based on characters created by American Girl.
The movies are generally rated from G to PG and all have been live action. Initially, movies (with the noted exception of Kit Kittredge: An American Girl) were broadcast on TV; with the exception of Chrissa Stands Strong, these were almost always on standard cable or wide broadcast channels.
The first movies focused on a Historical Character each, and adapted major plots of the book series into about an hour and half long movie. While the general gist of the plots were kept, many things were changed or left out, including other characters and stories. Significantly, the first three movies were all modified in plot to have the end of the movies occur at or near Christmas, so as to push a holiday focus both in the movie and in items released.
With Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, the majority of the plot was original to the movie with only a few references to the book series for characterization and details. It has been the first and so far only movie to be released in theaters instead of directly to DVD, Blu-ray, or streaming.
Each film for a Historical Character was originally marked by the release of a Best Friend and a revamp of clothing, furniture, and accessories for the character that tie the movie into their collection. This was most prominent with Felicity Merriman, whose collection had been severely reduced before her movie. Several items and outfits from the movie tend to be released, along with at least one significantly large item. With the discontinuation of Best Friends, movies tend to not add significant amounts of items to a collection, if anything at all. For Girls of the Year, their movies generally reflect details, outfits, and items from the collections--most likely because they are developed simultaneously--and so no additional items are generally released beyond the scope of the original collection.
In 2016, Mattel signed a multi-year pact with Amazon to produce four live action specials based on the BeForever and the Girls of the Year lines. This has also included sales through Amazon of official American Girl products.
American Girl Short Films
In Fall 2015, American Girl released American Girl Short Films on their YouTube Channel. These are roughly 15 minute long live action films focusing on BeForever characters. Unlike the feature length movies, the short films are based on original stories and not adapted from the Central Series or Short Stories.
History and Timeline
The first American Girl movie was released in 2004: Samantha: An American Girl Holiday. The movie aired on the WB channel on November 23rd, 2004, and released on VHS and DVD on November 30th, 2004.
Felicity: An American Girl Adventure was aired on the WB Channel on November 29th, 2005, and released on DVD on December 6, 2005.
Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front was aired on November 26, 2006, on the Disney Channel. The DVD was released on November 28, 2006.
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl was released into theaters on July 2nd, 2008 (June 20th at limited release). The DVD and Blu-ray disc was released October 28, 2008.
In 2011, deluxe DVD versions of the Historical Characters' films were released to celebrate American Girl's 25th anniversary.
Grace Stirs Up Success was released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 23rd, 2015, focusing on the story of Grace Thomas. The movie was not aired on TV in the United States, but later aired on Family Channel in Canada.
In Fall 2015, American Girl's YouTube Channel released two original short films: And the Tiara Goes To... focusing on Julie Albright and Maryellen and the Brightest Star based on Maryellen Larkin. These can be compared to prior Short Stories that were released for other characters.
Lea to the Rescue was released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 14th, 2016, focusing on the story of Lea Clark. The movie aired on Disney Channel on November 23rd, 2016.
Melody 1963: Love Has to Win was released through Amazon Prime on October 25th, 2016.
Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas was released through Amazon Prime on November 25th, 2016.
Ivy and Julie 1976: A Happy Balance was released through Amazon Prime on March 24th, 2017.
List of Movies
- Samantha: An American Girl Holiday
- Felicity: An American Girl Adventure
- Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front
- Kit Kittredge: An American Girl
- Melody 1963: Love Has to Win
- Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas
- Ivy and Julie 1976: A Happy Balance
- An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong
- McKenna Shoots for the Stars
- Saige Paints the Sky
- Isabelle Dances into the Spotlight
- Grace Stirs Up Success
- Lea To the Rescue
BeForever Character Shorts
- And the Tiara Goes To...; A Julie Albright Movie
- Maryellen and the Brightest Star; A Maryellen Larkin Movie
- Addy: An American Girl Story: live action play.