Sunday, May 26, 2019

UglyDolls (2019)

I’m in a difficult position.  I like animated features, but not all of them.  I also realize that school will be letting out soon, which means that the theaters for animated features will soon be full of small, noisy children.  Do I se an animated film just to see an animated film?  I regret to inform you that in the case of UglyDolls, the answer was yes.  I had seen the coming attractions.  I knew that it was going to be about being true to yourself.  I also knew that the best part of it would probably be the music.  I went to see it anyway.

The movie is about several dolls who live in Uglyville.  Specifically, they’re the rejects from an unnamed doll factory.  All they know is this nice little seaside village where they’re all happy being who they are.  Many of the characters are either named for what they are or some defining feature.  The leader, Ox, has one good eye and one exed out eye.  (O  X)

Moxy is one of the residents of Uglyville.  She desperately wants to be adopted by a human, so that she can feel a child’s love.  Alas, most of her fellow residents realize that this is not possible.  Ox set up Uglyville expressly for this purpose. (The alternative was being shredded and recycled.)  She leads a few of her fellow dolls through the pipe that brings in new UglyDolls to find the Institute of Perfection.

The Institute is where the dolls are supposed to go.  They’re all models and have some great career like scientist or architect.  Once they go through training to avoid imperfections, they’ll be sent to live with a child.  Moxy realizes that this is her chance to get what she’s always dreamed of.  Standing in her way is Lou, the doll who trains the other dolls in preparation for The Gauntlet, the final test to see if a doll is ready to go to The Real World.

There’s nothing really unpredictable about the movie.  You know moxie is going to have her heart broken by the truth only to come back and get what she wants.  This is so close to the template for other similar movies, it wouldn’t take much to make into a satire.  There’s the defeated hero who makes a comeback.  There’s a big secret that gets revealed about a main character.  There’s even one perfect character that’s revealed to have an imperfection.  In the end, everyone is happy.

If you’re an adult going to see the movie, it’s probably going to be as a chaperone for a young child.  It’s going to be entertaining, but not memorable.  The movie is definitely geared towards children.  I wasn’t aware of this, but the movie is based on a series of dolls.  The dolls were first released almost 20 years ago.  I’m not sure why the movie was released so late relative to the toys’ release.  Even considering that the movie spent several years in development, it’s still a long time.

The good news is that it’s going to be fairly safe for children.  There’s maybe one or two scenes where there’s some sort of mortal danger, but even that’s not too scary.  Adults will be entertained mostly by the music.  It was the one aspect that was most memorable for me.  If you’ve seen the coming attractions, you know that says something.

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