The message of the screechy new kids’ movie “UglyDolls” may appear to be “Be yourself,” but the real takeaway here is “Buy our merch!”
That corporate greed is particularly noticeable in this latest film about a popular supermarket toy because the story is so insipid and creatively lacking. The script is garbage, the voice acting is wooden and the songs are as infectious — and deadly — as the Mister Softee jingle.
The story starts in Uglyville, where deformed, color-saturated plush pals live in hopes of one day being snapped up by a kid. But, of course, their prayers go unanswered.
Longing for more, a group led by the hyped-up Moxy (Kelly Clarkson) skips town and stumbles on the Institute of Perfection, a faraway school where toys learn how to be wanted. Basically training to become Bratz dolls. It’s led by the uber-cool Lou, snippily voiced by Nick Jonas. There, the Ugs attempt to assimilate, fail, and Little Timmy learns a lesson.
“UglyDolls” is a condescending pixie stick of a movie, meant for only the youngest of tykes — like glimmer-in-their-parents’-eyes young.
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