Teen sensation Raven (That's So Raven
) stars as Galleria Garibaldi in the Disney Channel's brightly hued adaptation of the popular book series. Produced by Whitney Houston, Josie and the Pussycats
meets Destiny's Child in the form of the Cheetah Girls. Granted, they're a quartet--including Chanel (Adrienne Bailon), Aqua (Kiely Williams), and Dorinda (Sabrina Bryan)--but, like Josie's trio, they hope to make it big and, like Beyoncé, they favour exclamations like "Cheetah-licious". After the foursome gets off to a slow start, everything starts to change when they meet producer Jackal Johnson. That's the good news. The bad is that the attention goes straight to Galleria's head (and she was never exactly lacking in self-esteem). By the end, she learns there's more to life than fame and fortune. Aimed at the tween audience, girls are likely to fall for these tuneful teens, while their parents may find all the giggling and squealing a bit much. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Comedy based on the popular series of children's books by Deborah Gregory. The film centres around four teenage girlfriends, from different ethnic and economic backgrounds, all attending a Manhattan high school specialising in fashion design. The foursome includes the unofficial leader Galleria Garibaldi (Raven-Symone) and her pals Dorinda (Sabrina Bryan) and Chanel (Adrienne Bailon), as well as comparative newcomer Aqua (Kiely Williams). Aspiring to pop-music stardom, the quartet forms a girl group, whereupon they attract the interest of music teacher (and former disco queen) Drinka Champagne (Sandra Caldwell) who refers the girls to Jackal Johnson (Vincent Corazza), a charming but duplicitous producer for Def Duck Records. Sensing that the Cheetah Girls' first taste of showbiz success will degenerate into exploitation and backstabbing, Galleria's mom, ex-model Dorothea (Lynn Whitfield), tries to save her daughter and friends from the cruelties of life in the fast lane.