I know I’m gonna get a lot of backlash for saying this, but I…liked UglyDolls!
Alright, hear me out!
UglyDolls is a 2019 animated film directed by Kelly Asbury based on the plush toys of the same name. In the film, dolls are created and then selected to become the property of a child. However, the ones that are made with defects are deemed “ugly” and are sent to live in Uglyville. One of the Uglyville inhabitants is Moxie, voiced by Kelly Clarkson. Her only dream is to be chosen by a child one day, but everyone else in Uglyville doesn’t believe that exists including the mayor, Ox, voiced by Blake Shelton.
Soon enough, Moxie convinces some of her fellow UglyDolls to leave Uglyville and they soon discover the Institute of Perfection. Herein reside the most perfect, beautiful, and handsome dolls all being ruled by the charming and shallow Lou, voiced by Nick Jonas. It’s not long before Moxie and the gang discover secrets about Lou, Uglyville, and their history.
So why did I like this film? First of all, I think the film teaches the concepts of embracing your flaws, beauty being in the eyes of the beholder, and inner beauty mattering more way better than many other recent children’s films that have tried teaching the same lessons. The fact that the premise of the film revolves around actual beings called “UglyDolls” works to its credit.
I also enjoy many of the songs in this film. As you can probably tell, the voice cast is jammed pack with singers as the voice actors including Pitbull, Janelle Monáe, Bebe Rexha, Charli XCX, Lizzo, and Ice-T. Most modern animated films have soundtracks that seem to be too much like “pop” or “hip hop”. But the reason I loved these songs was that the lyrics seemed very well-written and Broadway-like! I later discovered that one of the lyricists was Glenn Slater (Home on the Range, The Little Mermaid, Love Never Dies, Tangled, School of Rock, Galavant)! I mean, just look at these lyrics:
“Yes, it’s a square peg life in a round hole town
But it all couldn’t be any sweeter (sweeter)
You may be upside-backwards and wrong side down
But it just couldn’t feel more completer”
So it came as a big shock to me when I heard many reviewers deeming this not just one of the worst animated films of 2019, but one of the worst films of 2019! I have no issues with the message, songs, characters, animation, etc. Yeah, the film is nothing spectacular, but I think a lot of effort and hard work was put into the film and it shows! I feel it’s my responsibility to show this film some love and give it one of the few positive reviews on the blogosphere! You’re welcome to disagree with me.