UglyDolls – Film Review
Director: Kelly Asbury
Writers: Alison Peck (screenplay by), Robert Rodriguez (story by)
Stars: Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Janelle Monáe
What happens to dolls that are not quite right? The ones on the production line that are not perfect? They’re cast aside obviously, and end up in a place called Uglyville! We meet one such doll called Moxy (Kelly Clarkson) who dreams of a better life. Every day she wakes from her slumber and hopes today will be the day where she is chosen by a human and brought to a better place; the real world! After another day ends without her dream coming through, she starts to become disheartened. That’s when she decides to take matters into her own hands and find the real world herself!
So far, so utterly predictable. This is a new tale directed by Kelly Asbury, who previously directed Shrek 2, which was really quite good, along with Smurfs: The Lost Village and Gnomeo and Juliet, which weren’t! Despite Kelly having a patchy career to date, the cast of voices assembled for this piece is quite exciting. The focus is on the world of music, with Janelle Monáe (Mandy), Nick Jonas (Lou), Lizzo (Lydia), Pitbull (Uglydog) and Ice-T (Peggy) among others. With all this talent what could possibly go wrong? Well, sadly it’s the script which lets it down, which is pedestrian at best! You keep expecting some twist or turn that could give it a bit more life, but this is very much animated storyline 101, with rare alterations to your expectations.
Despite the failings of the script, the rest of the movie is relatively impressive, with the animation and vocal talent doing well. It is a positive tale, one about believing in yourself and finding your inner beauty, or something like that. Maybe this reviewer is just too old and bitter for such tales. It should appeal to a very young audience, which is probably where it is aimed! It’s an easy and forgettable tale that will pass a few hours on a wet August day.