The ‘American Girl’ phenomenon has grown over the last few years from books, to video, retail stores, toy dolls, and their accessories. Each ‘American Girl’ film has a theme that represents a specific time period that ranges from the 1700’s to early 1900’s. It is very neat to view the sets that are used and clothing closely depicting that time period. The ‘American Girl’ films try to teach a lesson or two for the young fans and also used as a vehicle to sell, sell, and sell as we have an American Girl Place here in Chicago. These dolls go for a starting price of $100 to start with and get even more expensive when you also consider adding accessories. While American Girl Place is bringing in the money, ‘Kit Kittredge: An American Girl’ the latest film in the franchise had a total US gross of $17 million dollars at the box office.

The story of Kit Kittredge: An American Girl’ is set during the depression of the 1930’s. Considering that this film is set during a time when the Great Depression swept through the United States and here in 2008 we are experiencing a similar economy. Kit Kittredge (Abigail Breslin), our main star of the film is enjoying life to the fullest at the beginning of the film with her friends Ruthie (Madison Davenport), Frances (Brieanne Jansen), and Florence (Erin Hilgartner). Kit’s father (Chris O’Donnell) is successful with the car dealership and her mom (Julia Ormond) is living a humble life.

There are also a set of hoboes that are living near the river of Cincinnati and they have a small community of their own. In this community they take care of each other by trading goods such as clothing, find food for everyone to have a meal, etc. The hoboes are looked as the outcasts and horrible people that have brought down the economy.

As Kit’s friends fathers are starting to lose their jobs, the worst happens when she sees her father in the same position. Fear kicks in that Kitt with her parents is going to be selling eggs to survive. Even selling eggs to survive wasn’t secure since most of the families would end up going into foreclosure regardless. Kit’s father decides that he is going to take a trip to Chicago so he can find work. He promises Kit that he would write to her on a weekly basis. Things don’t go as planned with what he promises causing some heartache for his daughter.

While her father is in Chicago, Kitt’s mother decides to start renting out the rooms in their house to help pay for the mortgage. Kit isn’t keen on the idea at first, but realizes that they must do what is needed to survive. Kids at school start picking on Kitt that her father lost his job making her feel even worse. The depression is not going to stop Kit as she has an aspiration to become a newspaper writer. Kit visits the Cincinnati Register where she continues to pester many in the office to post her article. Kit is denied several times, but she never gives up.

Kit makes friends with the hoboes in the process as she starts to understand why they are in the place that they hare in. Things go wrong for Kit and her mother as their house is about to go in foreclosure due to someone stealing the money that her mom has been saving from the rooms that she has rented out. The film turns into a mystery towards the ends as Kitt tries to solve the crime.

I didn’t think that I was going to enjoy the film, but I thought it was a pleasant surprise. It hits home even more that we can relate to the Great Depression as we are going through a similar economic crisis. This is a good family film that everyone will enjoy and it also teaches a few lessons.

Picture/Audio Quality
The print is presented in 1080p/VC-1 with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The film from a set piece stand point looks good as it replicates the 1930’s feel and era. I found the print to be rather inconsistent as there were scenes which looked clean, subtle in some places and others that were heavy in grain. Colors look good but are soft which is done to preserve the era that the film is portraying. Details are not bad, but could have been better for this release on Blu-ray.

The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. This is fine for DVD, but on Blu-ray this makes no sense at all that Warner continues to release high definition films without high resolution audio. Sound effects are on the lighter side as this is more front heavy, yet the rears do get a little bit of use through the soundtrack. Dialogue is excellent and very clear taking center stage with this mix.

Special Features
This is one of those films on Blu-ray that you would expect as having a bit more features since it is part of the ‘American Girl’ franchise. Even more disappointing is that the DVD release gets a few more features that never made it to the Blu-ray.

  • American Girl Movie Trailer Gallery
  • Digital Copy

‘Kit Kittredge: An American Girl’ is a rather enjoyable film and I highly recommend it as the whole family will have a great time. There wasn’t a time that I found myself bored with this film as I didn’t expect much from this release, but I was surprised. As a Blu-ray release, it is disappointing that New Line Cinema would release this film on Blu-ray missing features that the DVD encompasses and then the lack of a high resolution audio doesn’t help either.

List Price: $35.95, Sale Price: $26.95 – Order today from Amazon Kit Kittredge: An American Girl [Blu-ray]