Movie Review | “Ugly Dolls”

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I’ve known the Ugly Dolls brand has existed for quite a few years now, and can’t say I would have ever expected a movie out of them, but the story is undeniably cute, if predictable.

Directed by animation veteran Kelly Asbury, writers Alison Peck, Erica Rivinoja and Vivian Wang surprisingly share a “story by” credit with producer Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Spy Kids).

The songs by Glenn Slater and Christopher Lennertz are super fun and catchy, and should be sung as affirmations, as most Kelly Clarkson songs are. It’s a righteous anthem for the digitized age.

Uglyville is the contented home of dolls that have been rejected by the factory for being asymmetrical, misshapen or otherwise irregular. The happy community of plushies is blissfully unaware they are considered outcasts.

sfnsMany residents of Uglyville have heard of what they believe to be a mythical “Big World,” an alternate land of visual perfection, where each gets the honor of becoming the coveted plaything of a human child.

The most optimistic of the Uglies is Moxy (Kelly Clarkson), who leads an expedition beyond Uglyville to find out where they came from and how they can transform.

She and her cohorts (Gabriel Iglesias, Leehom Wang, Wanda Sykes and Pitbull) first make their way through a long pipe, to find the Institute of Perfection.

It’s a cookie-cutter world of sameness, where flawless dolls are taught by their villainous leader, Lou (Nick Jonas), how to be the best. Symmetrical dolls are put through a rigorous training program and subjected to harsh scrutiny.

It sounds like a typical day on Instagram, if you ask me. Moxy gets broken down by Lou, only to find confidence through the help of an unexpected ally.

She learns to fully embrace herself, imperfections and all, fearlessly certain the things that make you unique, make you special.

Love yourself as you are; there is no one else like you! It’s a terrific message in this time of hyper-edited social media images that no one in real life can attain, or, if grasped, maintain.

The distilled message about embracing flaws, quirks and abnormalities, both in yourself and others, is a welcome one for today.

‘Ugly Dolls’ is rated PG and runs 87 minutes.


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