Movie Review: Ugly Dolls

Ugly Dolls Trailer

Ugly Dolls Summary

In a hidden universe within a toy factory, deformed dolls, or “Uglies”, are dropped into a tunnel leading to the secluded town of Uglyville. Among these dolls is Moxy, who dreams of the ‘Big World’ and being chosen for a child, despite Uglyville’s Mayor Ox assuring her this is a myth. One day, Moxy enters the tunnel to find her way to the Big World, followed by her friends Wage, Ugly Dog, Lucky Bat, and Babo. 

The Uglies discover the Institute of Perfection, where Perfect Dolls or “Pretties” are rigorously trained. The vain and superficial leader of the institute, Lou, tells the Uglies that they cannot hope to pass the training, or run the Gauntlet – an obstacle course based on a human house, which determines whether a doll can use the portal to the human world. Faced with Moxy’s positivity, Lou eventually relents and lets them train; however, he sends his three Spy Girls to find out where the Uglies came from.

The Uglies’ first days of training end in disaster. Mandy, one of the Pretties, sympathizes with them, as she has poor eyesight but can’t wear glasses for fear of being labeled ‘ugly’ and put in the dreaded recycling center. She gives them some pointers, and helps them dress the part of a ‘perfect doll’.

The Spy Girls return with a kidnapped Ox, and Lou makes him admit to Moxy he actually knew about the Big World, as he had once trained with Lou for the Gauntlet and nearly passed. However, the Pretties turned on Ox, and Lou sent him down the tunnel, claiming he thought it led to safety. Ox found the recycling center there; seeing other dolls like himself being shredded up, he rerouted the tunnel and founded Uglyville at the other end. 

Demoralized by the realization they are factory rejects, the entire town of Uglyville falls into despair, and Moxy resigns herself to her fate. Mandy follows her and encourages her to keep her faith, as it has given her and other imperfect Pretties hope that they might have a chance. Moxy agrees to return with Mandy to the Gauntlet, only to be waylaid by Lou, who has unblocked the Recycling center. He leaves Mandy and Moxy to be shredded, but Ox learns what has happened and rallies the Ugly Dolls to rescue the pair.

The entire population of Uglyville arrives at the Institute on the day of the Gauntlet. Moxy, Mandy, and several Uglies demand to be allowed to participate. Lou decides he and the Spy Girls will run with them, secretly planning to sabotage the Uglies’ chances. However, once in the Gauntlet, Lou shows his true colors as a coward, abandoning his comrades and leaving them to be saved by the Uglies. 

Lou loses everyone’s respect completely when he kicks a robot baby, making it cry. Moxy comforts the baby instead of finishing the course, prompting all but Lou to do the same. The system automatically passes them, since a Doll’s true purpose is to make a child happy. Lou, however, is failed despite finishing the course and is forced to admit he is only a prototype and forbidden to leave the factory. When he saw Ox nearly pass the training, he couldn’t bear to see an Ugly go to the human world when he, supposedly perfection itself, could not. He sabotaged Ox so he’d hopefully be killed in the recycling center.

Seeing everyone has turned on him, Lou smashes the portal to the human world out of spite. The Pretties capture and put Lou in a washing machine as punishment, but the portal is irrevocably destroyed. The Uglies and Pretties work together to build a brand new, permanently open-portal that does not require any training to pass back and forth through. They combine their towns into the City of Imperfection, still led by Mayor Ox. Moxy finally passes through the portal and is placed in the arms of her perfect child, Maizy, who has the same missing tooth as Moxy does. 

During the credits, it is shown that several Uglies and Pretties have found their perfect human, while a bedraggled Lou has been demoted to janitorial duty.

Ugly Dolls Review

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Animation and music was just eh okay. The lesson was there but felt forced with the plot. Kids seemed to enjoy it but as a long time Ugly Doll owner back when they first released (showing my age here). It just didn’t hold up for me. Kids will enjoy it but also Kinda feels like a Boss Baby copy cat. What are your thoughts?

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