UglyDolls was an ugly movie – and not because of its brightly colored animation.
Moxy, a pinkish-red UglyDoll, dreams of going to the Big World to find her forever kid, but, when she begins to believe the Big World may not be real, she decides to go on an adventure to prove its existence. During this adventure, Moxy learns some unfortunate truths about society, but eventually realizes you shouldn’t care about what others think of you.
While the movie’s overall message is a good one – embrace your uniqueness and don’t worry about what other people think – I think the film approached it incorrectly: UglyDolls seems to believe that an individual’s value is a black-and-white matter based solely on appearance. While it was occasionally suggested that beautiful people can be ugly inside and unconventional individuals can be beautiful inside, I think the movie did a terrible job it making that understandable for its most impressionable viewers: children.
In addition, listening to the soundtrack from the self-proclaimed “movie musical event of the year”, with no visual context, children will not understand that some of the songs are from BEFORE the time when Moxy realizes that an individual has value, no matter what they look like. Songs that include lyrics such as
“You’re much too short, you’re way too thin. Is that a blemish on your double chin? Don’t ever walk a runway or man a kissing booth. You’re U-G-L-Y and that’s the ugly truth”
are sending children a very negative message in a world that is already focused on achieving perfection. In addition to other harsh lyrics, some of the characters referred to each other using words such as “reject” and “imbecile”.
One of the film's few redeeming qualities didn't even occur until the credits rolled: Images of animated children with unique features playing with toys that LOOKED like them. In a world where image is everything, I believe two of the most important things we can do for our children is to teach them that appearance doesn't matter (so that they accept others) and to give them toys that they can relate to (so that they also accept themselves). While I appreciate that this was acknowledged in the film, I wish it had a much more prominent placement.
All in all, the film left a very bad taste in my mouth, but perhaps I missed the forest for looking at the trees. (I hope I did.)
Overall Rating: F« Back to Blog