Music-B. Story-C. Animation-D. Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Janelle Monae, and Blake Shelton capably sing some nice tunes, though none seem destined for the Top 40. The tale of celebrating our differences is all too familiar. But worst of all, is the weak, Saturday-morning-cartoon animation. Little kids will likely not notice. For those of us used to Disney, Pixar, and Dreamworks animation, this picture is beyond disappointing. It approaches embarrassing. I give UglyDolls 3 Gavels and it receives a 31% Rotten Tomatoes rating with an 80% Audience score.
Imperfect dolls go to Uglyville. Moxie dreams of being chosen by a child. Escaping with her friends, she finds The Institute of Perfection. Lou tells them that only the perfect can make it through The Gauntlet. And, Lou intends to do everything he can to make sure they do not make it through. Failure may mean, not a return to Uglyville, rather a trip to the recycling machine.
Kelly Clarkson voices Moxy, the most optimistic of the misfits. Janelle Monae is Mandy, a perfect doll in all respects but one. Lou is voiced by Nick Jonas, the underhanded preppy who is not your friend. Blake Shelton is Ox, the Mayor of Uglyville. Wanda Sykes, with her wonderful expressive voice, is the best of the lot as Wage, the reluctant one.
Made at a cost of $45 million, UglyDolls projects to make $10-12 million this weekend. Very few were in attendance at our Friday afternoon showing. Given the color and the music, young kids will enjoy this flick. Adults will be looking at their watches, or phones, or both. Perhaps the unkindest cut of all is that only 35 critics have seen fit to review this movie. Well, this may be more unkind. The critic for the Hollywood Reporter calls UglyDolls “an imbecilic eyesore that could lay claim to being one of the worst movies ever made if it was worth such hyperbole.” Ouch! Don’t expect too much and you won’t be disappointed.