Barbie has been one of the most anticipated movies of this summer ever since the first image dropped last year. The film, directed by Greta Gerwig and written with her partner Noah Baumbach, promises a smart, aggressively pink take on the longtime doll. But what if it spawned copycats that didn’t stop at being merely post-modern but went full-on grimly realistic? That’s the subject of the SNL parody American Girls.
The American Girl line was first launched in 1986, featuring dolls of various ethnicities. The SNL parody trailer featured Heidi Gardner, Molly Kearney, Chloe Fineman, Sarah Sherman, and host Ana De Armas as a diverse group of living dolls, each with their own “harrowing” backstory.
For instance, one hails from Victorian times, which isn’t a fun time to be alive. One was a prisoner of war. Another is a runaway slave. One simply has glasses.
“Not all dolls live in a dream, some are bigger, younger, sadder, some dolls are American Girls,” says the voice-over. “Did all their family members die of old timey diseases? Absolutely.”
More than one of them suddenly dies of cholera.
There actually have been movie adaptations of American Girl, mostly direct-to-video, with one exception: 2008’s Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, starring Abigail Breslin, which was released theatrically.
You can watch the sketch in the video above.