Today's movie is another animated movie about an outsider who tries to be a part of a more popular group but then questions the group in the first place, and…I'll bet a million dollars that you already know this story and how it may end. "The Outsider" story is nothing new, and yet a lot of moviemakers think that this is a completely original idea. Why is this such an over done plot? Probably because it's important to teach children that they don't always have to follow the popular opinion and that they need to embrace what makes them different.
This is a noble cause, but lets face it; there are a lot of other morals and lessons that we can teach children. This is that time to make a proper impression in how seriously we treat them. People who make family films and programing have their heart in the right place, but also need to understand that kids know when their being talked down to; a lot when someone speaks them more like an overbearing parent then a friend. So what do we do? What we don't do is make something as tired and forgettable as UglyDolls.
We're introduced to a town called Uglyville where anthropomorphic dolls that are deemed too ugly are sent there. But rather then sulk about rejection from the factory, they seemed to have made a functioning society. One of the Uglydolls Moxy (played by Kelly Clarkson) is excited every day that she'll get selected to finally leave for the big world where a child can love her, but nothing happens. Other Uglydolls like Mayor Ox (played by Blake Shelton), Wage (played by Wanda Sykes) and Babo (Played by Gabriel Iglesias) try to dissuade her from dreaming too much, but Moxy can't help that there's something more to her life.
After getting a misunderstanding tea leaf reading, Moxy decides to venture into the tube she came out of to see the world. She gets Wage, Babo, Lucky Bat (Played by Wang Leehom) and Ugly Dog (played by Pitbull) to come along as they descend further into a dark tunnel. They are eventually lead to a second place called "The Institute of Perfection" where every child-like doll looks identical. The leader of them, Lou (played Nick Jonas) wants to keep everything perfect, but lets the Uglydolls go through a test to see if they're good enough to get selected to be a toy.
Oh and did I mention that this is a musical? No? It doesn't need to as this kind of story is what you'd expect it to be in UglyDolls. Does this make it pointless? I don't know if I cant go that far, but its something most kids have already seen in Trolls, Wreck-It-Ralph, Shrek, and a lot of other "outsider" stories. I wouldn't have a problem with this if it had something new to do with the idea, but it doesn't. It feels like the script writer took the toy concept of the doll and used a "cut and paste" method to get this movie going.
Even with that in check, there isn't much personality within the characters to get excited about. In fact, Kelly Clarkson's Moxy is a retread of Joy from Inside Out. Lou is a retread of Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. Ugly Dog is a retread of Donkey from Shrek. Ox is a retread of Woody from Toy Story. You know these characters and the arcs their going to go through. I still wouldn't have much of a problem if it was at least funny, and it also wasn't. I laughed maybe four times, but the theater was mainly silent except for the littlest of kids.
So who is this movie made for? Given how bouncy the animation was, this is mainly for really little kids like under five. I have a hard time seeing older kids getting much out of this that, again, hasn't already been done before. The music is energetic and it still does allow for a couple of quiet moments. At best, it'll be entertaining for them. It's also inoffensive and short. Aside from a couple of butt jokes, I have no idea why this is a PG.
I'll give this two Uglydolls out of five. Even if you have any nostalgia for the toy, I don't think there's much for you here. It's a kids movie, and not a family movie. This is a rental at best if you just want something to kill time. Though if you want something more fulfilling, I'd just show them Inside Out again.