87 minutes | Rated PG
The new movie Ugly Dolls is a computer animated musical for children featuring the vocal talents of such musicians as Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Janelle Monae, Nick Jonas, Pitbull, Bebe Rexha, and Charli XCX. Comedians Wanda Sykes and Gabriel Iglesias, and actress Emma Roberts also voice characters in the film. The movie is produced by Robert Rodriguez a writer, producer, director, and musician known for such varied material as the “Spy Kids” movies, “The Adventures of Shark-boy and Lava-girl”, “From Dusk ‘til Dawn”, “Planet Terror”, “Machete”, “El Mariachi”, “Desperado”, and “Once Upon a Time in Mexico.” Some of these are kid-friendly, others are most definitely not.
Ugly Dolls tells the story of Moxy, voiced by Kelly Clarkson. Moxy is a very optimistic doll who wakes up every morning believing that today will be the day that she is selected to be the doll of a young child and will be taken to live in the “Big World” where she will be adored by this child. Blake Shelton provides the voice of Ox, the mayor of Uglyville who knows the truth that Uglyville is where all of the dolls that are rejected from the doll factory end up. He tries to dissuade Moxy from getting her hopes up. All new arrivals to Uglyville fall into town through an opening. Moxy gets the idea that maybe this opening leads to the “Big World” and convinces her friends to help her investigate. They travel through this tunnel and emerge into a place within the doll factory known as “Perfection.” The leader in “Perfection” is Louis. Louis puts all of the dolls through a gauntlet of tests to determine if they are good enough to be shipped to the “Big World” where they will be selected by a lucky child. After a make-over, he allows Moxy and her friends to try to pass these tests.
There is nothing too ground-breaking here. There are several positive messages, working together to achieve goals, treating those who look differently as equals, and the like. Many of the songs are catchy if not particularly memorable. Everything is well-done. The colorful animation will appeal to children, there are some amusing gags. However, nothing really stands out. There is nothing bad about the movie. It’s just not particularly memorable.
Ugly Dolls is rated PG for some mildly frightening images and mild action. It is suitable for most children and up. I rate it three out of five rejected dolls.