I love L.A! You know why? Because I get to experience events that most likely only happen in the city of angels. I was invited to one of those events to check out an advanced screening of An American Girl Story-Melody 1963: Love Has to Win at the Grove in West L.A. Being that Ji is only three years old, we had yet to experience the American Girl brand or store and last week was our first taste of it. I honestly thought we were going to watch an animated film and was surprised to arrive to a red carpet event filled with stars like Anthony Anderson and Common. It was a beautiful surprise because both the film and the celebration event were very inspirational.
This post has been sponsored by KidzVuz on behalf of Amazon Studios.
About The Film
Based in 1963 Detroit during the civil rights movement, An American Girl Story—Melody 1963: Love Has to Win centers around 10-year old Melody whose eyes are opened to the racial inequality surrounding her, including the 1963 Birmingham Church Bombing. As a result, her belief in the “indivisible” promise of our country’s Pledge of Allegiance comes into question as she challenges her teacher on the validity of this given the horrific tragedy. After an emotional journey of self-reflection, her mother gives her the courage she needs by instilling in her that love brings out the best in everyone; reminding Melody that it’s important to “stand up for what’s right ,even when it’s hard or scary.”
Within five minutes of the screening, it got straight to the point. Melody’s mom was faced with decision to keep protecting her child from the unfair issues happening in the United States or let her daughter think that everything was nice and peachy. My daughter is only three years old, so I honestly didn’t know if I should keep letting her watch, since the issues were a little too deep for her age. I too faced the same decision as Melody’s mom. We stayed and Ji loved it. I know that deep down she didn’t understand what the storyline really was, but Melody and her mom had such a loving, playful, unconditional love type of relationship that she was able to relate. I saw our relationship in theirs and I believe Ji was able to recognize that too. The film ended with a song and for that split second of silence, all you heard was Ji’s little voice, “again” she said.
An American Girl Story—Melody 1963: Love Has to Win After Party at the American Girl Store
We were treated to an after party following the screening. I especially enjoyed the event because it was one of those rare times that my husband was able to join us. He got a little taste of my work and what’s like doing it with a toddler! Upon arriving, Ji was treated to a Melody doll! I was so busy capturing the moment for Snapchat and Instagram stories that I didn’t capture it on my camera. They also had fun and educational stations for the kids to play at and a fun photo booth with props from the movie. I didn’t know the store was filled with so many dolls of different sizes, genres and backgrounds. It was amazing to see that they have a doll for almost every little girl to relate to.
About the cast…
The first of four original American Girl specials for Prime Video stars Marsai Martin (Black-ish) as the title character Melody, Frances Fisher (Titanic) as Miss Abbot, Frankie Faison (TheWire) as Melody’s grandfather Frank Ellison, and Idara Victor (TURN: Washington’s Spies) as Melody’s mother Frances Ellison.
An American Girl Story Melody 1963: Love Has to Win is scheduled to premiere on Friday, October 21 on Prime Video in the US and UK and I definitely encourage you to tune in with your kids!