review by Bobby Blakey
It’s always interesting to see what kinds of animated films click with audiences. The latest, Ugly Dolls based on the plush global phenomenon based on characters created by David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim features a great voice cast including Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Janelle Monáe, Blake Shelton, Pitbull, Wanda Sykes and Gabriel Iglesias. Could this be one of those stand out films that bring the fun or should it be thrown in with the rest of the rejects?
Ugly Dolls follows Uglyville where weird is celebrated, strange is special and beauty is embraced as more than simply meets the eye. When Moxy (Clarkson) and the UglyDolls discover Perfection, a town where dolls are seen through a strict model of attractiveness, they confront what it means to be different, struggle with their desire to be loved, and ultimately discover that you don’t have to be perfect to be amazing. I admit that I didn’t have a lot of interest in this film, but seeing the trailers all the time made me slightly intrigued.
The film is visual fun to look at with some fun character designs and vibrant colors. There is some great animation here that has brought this silly world to life, but once it gets into the world of the not so ugly it feels pretty generic which was likely by design. The story is pretty simple and predictable with its message being good, but not anything that we haven’t seen on some level before. Let’s be honest though, this is not a film made for an adult this is a kid’s film through and through. Where a lot can entertain all ages I think this one felt more for the younger audience and likely the only ones that will really get into it.
There is some fun here and as mention before the use of colors and crazy designs in Uglyville are great, but for me that was about it. In the end it felt pretty generic and something that would have been TV program more than a feature film. This will no doubt be one that works for the younger audience and in the end is all that really matters since it is no doubt for them anyways.