The beloved toy brand — which was originally owned by Pleasant Company before Mattel bought the rights to the property in 1998 — was known for its range of history-inspired dolls that were set in various decades in the United States.
Victorian preteen Samantha Parkington was the first character to get the movie treatment with The Carrie Diaries’ AnnaSophia Robb portraying the titular role in the 2004 holiday flick. Woodley, for her part, was the next starlet to lead an American Girl film the following year, playing Pioneer-era Felicity Merriman in Felicity: An American Girl Adventure.
The American Girl movies — all direct-to-DVD productions or web series — each highlight a different doll’s story. Rodrigo, for her part, landed her first major acting role as “Girl of the Year” Grace Thomas in An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success.
“Before I shot the movie, I was not aware of some of the things that my grandparents had to go through just because of the color of their skin,” Martin, then 12, told CelebSecrets.com in October 2016, referring to the racial inequality of the era. “Hopefully this movie will give kids, parents and grandparents an opportunity to talk about the past, so we don’t repeat those mistakes in the future.”
Scroll below to check in with the American Girl child stars — and see where they are now: