My daughters have been wanting to see UglyDolls since the first trailer came out – and we finally were able to go see it. They loved it. Me? Not so much. There were several things that felt off about the film, although the story itself is cute, with good lessons to be learned. It seemed like a not-as-fun combination of Trolls and Toy Story. Will I see it again? Nope. Will I buy it for the girls to watch over and over? Probably.
Warning: There are minor spoilers ahead for Ugly Dolls.
The Animation Was Off
Something about the animation was driving me crazy the entire movie, and I could not quite put my finger on it. The eyes looked… weird. And at one point I swear that Moxy’s (the pink adorable Ugly Doll) eyes were peeling off.
After talking to a friend, we decided the ugly dolls just looked… flat. That is the best way to describe them. This particularly annoyed me during the “All Dolled Up” song, as something was really off about their fuzziness.
The Songs Were Great
UglyDolls starts with a fun and catchy song. My kids and I were bopping our heads and dancing along in our chairs. Honestly, the music reminded me a lot of Trolls, which is not a bad thing.
There is one song that the bully boy sings, which just constantly brings everyone down. He is telling them they are ugly – and that is the ugly truth. I am not sure this is one I want my kids singing along to with their friends.
Uglydog Was Annoying
I thought for sure going in to this movie that Uglydog was going to be my favorite character. He looked adorable and I was ready to buy all the Uglydog toys for my office. But right from the moment he opened his mouth, I was annoyed.
Pitbull did not do a great job voicing him. At all. There I said it. He was too much for me.
The other characters were well cast. I loved Kelly Clarkson as Moxy, Wanda Sykes as Wage, and Janelle Monae as Mandy. All three were complete standouts for me, and I felt like most of the other characters were fine as background characters.
The Story Was Cute
Don’t get me wrong here, the story was cute, with some good lessons for kids to learn. Always be yourself. Don’t try to be something you aren’t. Believe in yourself. No one is perfect – or needs to be perfect. Self image is really important in children, and I do love that they are teaching kids to love themselves.
One thing that really got on my nerves throughout the whole movie was the three girl dolls that followed everything the boy doll, Lou, said. Just because they thought he was cute and smart. They acted like bimbos. I felt like this was a little much, and could have easily showed kids that if you are pretty, act dumb to impress a boy.
Of course things changed around when Lou revealed himself to be evil by kicking a baby. He could make fun of them to their faces, but once he kicked a baby, they wanted nothing to do with him anymore. Still not sure how I feel about that.
Is The Humor OK?
I think my friend Tania over at Lola Lambchops is rubbing off on me with all her is it kid friendly movie reviews, because I picked up on some comments I was not thrilled to hear in a kids movie.
Don’t get me wrong, there were no cuss words, but there were a lot of comments about the boy doll being attractive and at one point a girl doll yells out “I’ll run your guantlet.” or something to that effect and I was like WOAH. It just caught me off guard for a kids movie.
The Girls Loved It
If you are looking for a movie that your young kids will enjoy, this is likely a good one for you. My girls were dancing, and trying to sing along to most of the songs. They followed the plot and understood who the evil doll was right away – and they did not like him.
There is one point, that reminded me SO MUCH of Toy Story 3, where my little one was scared. Also, both of my girls each cried once – at different parts. But that was just them being sensitive souls like their mama.
In the adorably different town of Uglyville, weirdness is celebrated, strangeness is special and beauty is embraced as more than meets the eye. After traveling to the other side of a mountain, Moxy and her UglyDoll friends discover Perfection — a town where more conventional dolls receive training before entering the real world to find the love of a child. Soon, the UglyDolls learn what it means to be different — ultimately realizing that they don’t have to be perfect to be amazing.