UglyDolls movie review: There’s nothing ugly about these Dolls

UglyDolls movie photo Courtesy of STXfilms
UglyDolls movie photo Courtesy of STXfilms /

UglyDolls feels like a big warm hug to kids of all ages, leaving you wanting to love and positivity.

Before we dive into Uglyville and discuss the film, here’s some background information and fun facts about UglyDolls you may not know, but should:

As soon as I saw the UglyDolls movie announced, I thought it was a cute and unique idea. The message the movie tries to teach children is clear without doing any research — perfection isn’t real, no one is ugly and we are all worthy of love. However, I didn’t know UglyDolls is actually a brand of real dolls. It’s true, you can get your kiddo their own “ugly doll” and they have been around since 2001!

UglyDolls can be found anywhere from Wal-Mart to Barnes & Noble. I knew these dolls looked familiar. The collection includes Babo, OX, Tray, Wedgehead, and other characters we meet in the movie. And, if after the movie your kid can’t get enough UglyDolls, an animated series is on the way!

A while before the movie’s theatrical release, Hulu and STX Entertainment signed a deal for a 26-episode series order of Uglydolls. 

With an animated series to follow the movie and a well-establish brand of dolls, does the movie live up to the hype? Light spoilers ahead! 

Bebe Rexha stars as Tuesday, Charli XCX stars as Kitty and Lizzo stars as Lydia in UglyDollsCourtesy of STXfilms /

The doll factory is designed to create beautiful, perfect dolls. But just like its creations, even the factory has its flaws. Buttons are missed, the head of some dolls may be inflated a tad too much, you name it. Any dolls the factory detects an error on are sent to Uglyville, to live with other imperfect designs. All dolls there are perfectly happy there, though, unaware of their flaws. There’s one doll, however, with different plans than the rest.

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Moxy, a pink and jolly doll (voiced by Kelly Clarkson) has bigger dreams than living out the rest of her days (which are infinite) in Uglyville. She dreams and fantasizes about going to the Big World (the real world) to a young child who’ll love her. All Moxy wants in life is to be a child’s doll.

Frustrated with never being selected, Moxy and her closest friends venture out of Uglyville to go up to the portal themselves. To get there, they need to get through Lou (voiced by Nick Jonas), first. Lou is the self-proclaimed leader of Perfection, a village of perfect dolls. Lou trains dolls to be perfect and approves them to cross once they are ready.

Clarkson provides a sweet and happy tone for Moxy, making the doll instantly lovable. It’s Nick Jonas, however, who I believe steals the show. Jonas is the perfect match for Lou, a vain and cruel doll with the best tune in the film. You want to hate him, and at some point towards the end of the film, you do — he is a bully after all. But kids light up the most when Lou is on the screen, we don’t want him to win (and again, he’s a big bully), but you can’t deny he’s very intriguing.

It’s a good change of pace, and a great lesson to kids, to see a villain who is attractive in a children’s film and not some monster or creature. Lou may be a doll, but he looks like a handsome kid. This should teach children that bullies are all bad, no matter how they appear.

Nick Jonas stars as Lou in UglyDollsCourtesy of STXfilms /

Lou’s lessons and teachings to be perfect are quickly questioned by the Uglyville residents. What even is ‘perfect’ and what makes someone ugly? Before arriving to the town of Perfection, Moxy never even knew she was ugly. It’s heartbreaking for Moxy and her friends to learn this and my fiver-year-old who I brought to the screening with me gave a look of concern, also never realizing the dolls weren’t perfect.

Pitbull stars as Ugly Dog and Emma Roberts stars as Wedgehead in UglyDollsCourtesy of STXfilms /

Another fun addition to the movie is Pitbull as Ugly Dog. Needless to say, Ugly Dog provides some very fun moments and a lot of jokes (mostly for the parents).

My favorite message the movie delivers is to be yourself and not what other people want you to be. Unfortunately, other than the colorful and endearing characters and powerful messages, the songs in the movie are forgettable. As mentioned previously, Lou and Ugly Dog’s songs are the most fun, but even those are long forgotten about as soon as you leave the theater.

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Still, it’s not a deal-breaker. By far, life lessons and characters you can’t get enough of outweighs the lack of catchy tunes. UglyDolls is sure to entertain the entire family and leave you wanting a big hug and to spread love.

UglyDolls is in theaters Friday, May 3.