For the uninitiated, UglyDolls began life as a range of plush toys that are supposedly unique and special as well as rather odd-looking. This animated movie rebrands the creatures as toys that were made wrong and have ended up in a place called Uglyville, where they live very happy lives all together.
Well, not all of them are completely happy. Moxy (Clarkson) dreams of being a toy that is loved by a human child, and she sets about discovering just where she and the other toys came from, and how she can achieve her wish. Her quest leads her and her friends on a journey to the Big World, and on the way they discover the ominous-sounding Institute Of Perfection, where toys are individually assessed and then paired with a child. Perfect boy toy Lou (Jonas) is in charge and wants nothing to do with the new, imperfect arrivals, and plots to find a way to get rid of them.
Aimed at the littlest of viewers, this is colourful, and packed with catchy pre-school-style songs sung by the talented cast that also includes Janelle Monáe, Blake Shelton and Gabriel Iglesias. Unfortunately, anyone over the age of six will be less impressed as it is very formulaic stuff, borrowing heavily from movies like Toy Story and Trolls, while lacking the wit or warmth of either.
Parents may also be uncomfortable with the movie’s tone – while Moxy and her pals should prove that it’s the inner you that is important, the fact that they are described as ‘ugly’ endless times in the movie makes for some uncomfortable viewing – and in the end, the message that everyone is beautiful and that being different is a good thing is drowned out by all the brightness and noise.
Note – if you have UglyDolls fans in the house, click here for some movie activity sheets to print out: UglyDolls Activity Sheets
Is UglyDolls suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
A scene towards the end of the movie, in which Moxy and her friends have to compete in a competition called the Gauntlet, may scare little viewers. The group run up against a large robotic dog and even more sinister robotic giant baby that may upset young children.
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