And a doll for every child.
They somehow find each other,
When destiny has smiled.
Who knows just how they're chosen?
The stories seldom say,
It could happen any moment,
And today could be the day...
Uglydolls is a 2019 animated film, and movie adaptation of the stuffed toy line of the same name. It is the first film in STX Entertainments family and animation division, with animation provided by Reel FX Creative Studios, along with funding from Alibaba Pictures.
The story takes place in Uglyville, an oddball location where the Uglydolls, a group of various defective dolls scrapped from the production line, live. Moxy (Kelly Clarkson) loves it here, but also wants to know whats on the other side of the mountain, and also wants to live her dream of finding a human to love her. With her closest friends Wage (Wanda Sykes), Babo (Gabriel Iglesias), Ox (Blake Shelton), Ugly Dog (Pitbull), and Lucky Bat (Wang Leehom), the group find themselves in the town of Perfection.
There, dolls are instructed to be perfect by the towns leader, Lou (Nick Jonas), giving them their chance of going to the real world as the toys for children. Its here that the Uglydolls realize what it truly means to be unique and different.
A 26 episode animated series on Hulu based on the movie is set to release sometime after the movie, along with the streaming rights of the movie itself.
The movie released on May 3rd, 2019, a week earlier than its planned day of May 10th. The first trailer premiered on November 8th, 2018, the second trailer premiered on February 5th, 2019, and the third and final trailer premiered on March 28th, 2019.
Uglydolls contains examples of:
- Actor IS the Title Character: Some posters featuring the characters were released with this type. For example: "Kelly Clarkson IS Moxy", Blake Shelton IS Ox", and "Pitbull IS Ugly Dog".
- Adaptational Job Change:
- Wage was originally not actually employed wherever he worked (most often Price Hike) in the toyline, though he also drove multiple tow trucks. Here, Wage, who is now a girl, works as a chef, possibly to justify the apron she still wears.
- Ox went from the neighborhood mischief maker to the mayor somehow.
- Babo's professions of running a cookie kitchen and sailing go unmentioned, and he seems to have more of a "fixit" type of job going by descriptions.
- Adaptation Dye-Job:
- Wedgehead is bright yellow in the film, compared to the toyline's dark blue.
- Babo returns to his original grey color, rather than the light blue that had been established by the toyline by that point. Various merch and digital stickers still keep him light blue, however.
- Gorgeous, Moxy's original toyline form, had blue eyes and a row of four teeth. In the movie, she has a missing tooth and the standard white Uglydoll eyes. Moxy's "Artist Series" doll retains these old traits.
- Tray, originally light pink in the toyline, is now light purple, and is also given a triple-lensed pair of glasses.
- Adaptation Name Change: Moxys name is Gorgeous in the original toyline. However, the name Moxy still existed in the toyline, being Oxs younger sister.
- Adaptation Personality Change:
- Moxy (then known as Gorgeous) in the toyline was very girly, but also sheltered herself and was very tech-savvy. Her film counterpart keeps her girliness, but gives her a more open and cheerful personality, while also lowering down her tech-savviness to being the newspaper writer for the town.
- Babo was a somewhat ditsy and childlike character in the toyline, who only really cared about cookies. In the movie, he still is focused on food, but also gains a much more mature mechanical nature to him. This combined with his added height makes him more comparable to Globox than his original personality.
- Wage in the toyline was a heavy worker, to the point of nearly constantly having a "spaced out feel". In the film, she is nearly almost antsy and panicked, with heavy anxiety.
- Ox is probably the heaviest change of them all: a petty thief in the toyline, he's gone to being the mayor that helps everyone.
- An Aesop: Freaky Is Cool
- "Perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire
- Ascended Extra: Moxy's counterpart in the toyline, Gorgeous, was a much smaller player in terms of content compared to the film, where Moxy's the lead.
- Authority in Name Only: Ox is the unofficial mayor of Uglyville. He does have the heart of the citizens in his best mind, though. This is because he's actually the creator of the town. He built it to save reject dolls from being recycled.
- Barely Missed Cushion: Willard, a slow turtle-like Uglydoll, is holding the mattress across his back during Wedgehead's introduction to Uglyville. Unfortunately for her, the mattress didn't get to the location in time, which causes her to slam headfirst onto the ground, gaining her wedge-shaped head.
- Beware the Nice Ones: As friendly and kind-hearted as Moxy is, she isnt afraid to glare daggers at anybody (namely Lou) for giving her and her friends a hard time. She even considers some very harsh punishments for him near the end of the movie.
- Big Bad: Lou. Most of his anger towards the Uglydolls comes from the fact that they could have a chance to go to the Big World, while he never can, as a prototype doll.
- Big Good: Ox. He built Uglyville so that the Dolls who get thrown away would have a good place to live and wouldn't be destroyed any more.
- Big Eater:
- Babo is still a food-loving dude, like the toyline. One scene shows him swallowing a whole pie in a single bite, while the dessert picnic in town has treats being thrown at rapid pace in his mouth.
- Tray, on her Hasbro website bio, is still listed as a huge blueberry pie eater.
- Bilingual Bonus: Ugly Dog is Hispanic, like his voice actor, Pitbull. As such, he is also fluent in Spanish. One scene has him attempting to flirt with a Perfection doll, asking "Tú vienes aquí mucho?", which translates into "You come here often?".
- Black Comedy Burst: During the montage of Uglyville falling into a depression, Ice-Bat is seen attempting suicide by going down with her ship, only to be saved by an inflating life jacket.
- Blind Without 'Em: Mandy is supposed to wear glasses, but she actively tries to avoid wearing them, because, according to her, "Perfect dolls have perfect vision". She has a tendency to run into things by mistake thanks to this mindset.
- Book-Ends: The movie's title is seen at the beginning following the doll factory and is also the last thing to appear before the credits begin.
- Brown Bag Mask:
- Some of the Perfection dolls place one over Wage's head to mock her during "The Ugly Truth".
- One of the Uglydolls puts a paper bag over her head to cover her face when Uglyville falls into depression.
- Butt-Monkey: Nolan. He's a Perfection doll that was designed sloppily, and is constantly picked on as an example of "ugly" in the Institute, forced to wear a sign around his neck proclaiming his "ugliness". He ends up being the one to pick Lou's punishment in the end and ends up living a happier life when he's able to be himself in the end.
- Canon Foreigner:
- Lucky Bat never appeared in the original toyline, and appears to be a parallel to the toy lines Ice-Bat, taking elements from Ninja Batty Shogun as well. Despite this, Ice-Bat himself still exists in the movie, albeit in a much more background role, while both of them have merchandise representation in the toyline.
- The Perfection Dolls were created for the movie, the original toyline only had the Uglydolls as characters.
- Casting Gag:
- Pitbull voicing Ugly Dog. One scene even has Ugly Dog dressing up as him.
- Blake Shelton as Ox, a green Uglydoll, in reference to his song "Green", which stated "[he] was green before green was a thing". This actually is his second green character he's voiced in a movie, the first being Earl the pig from The Angry Birds Movie.
- Gabriel Iglesias as Babo has him playing a character that is literally "fluffy", being a stuffed doll.
- Various texting stickers in the official app feature Moxy and Ox in the "I want you" turned around chairs from The Voice. Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton, their voice actors, are judges on the US run of the show.
- Catchphrase: Babo's is now "I got nothin'.", replacing his previous one of "What dat?". He says this whenever he goes through a rummage of his pockets, pulling out something that is needed, only to declare it worthless.
- Chekhov's Gag: Moxy references the "thing on her head" that she's not really sure what it is. It's later used as enough space to let Babo grab ahold of the chain to escape the recycling center, as his reach is too far from Moxy's hand.
- Childish Tooth Gap: Moxy has a missing tooth out of her top row, highlighting an energetic and plucky personality. She wears a fake one when she's attempting to look "perfect". In the end, she ends up becoming a gift to a little girl that is also missing one of her teeth, and is ecstatic to have a doll that looks like her.
- Co-Dragons: The SpyGirls are this to Lou. They're often by his side and carry out his commands.
- Covers Always Lie: The very first poster◊, thanks to using the official vinyl figures for the design of the cover, makes it seem like Ice-Bat is a major character in the movie, while she is relegated to background shots for the most part instead. Also, Ugly Dog is portrayed as purple, rather than blue.
- Cover Version: A cover of Daryl Hall and John Oates' "You Make My Dreams" by Pentatonix is performed during the montage of the Uglydolls training for the Gauntlet. It is the only non-credits song in the movie to not be performed by any characters as well.
- Creative Closing Credits: The credits contain fan creations from the Uglydolls Factory game.
- Cucumber Facial: Mandy gives some to the Uglydolls during "All Dolled Up", using a ceiling fan to slice the cucumbers. Wage is more content to eat her slices, along with Ugly Dog's, much to his annoyance.
- Cut-and-Paste Suburb: Perfection's houses are all the same white houses with grey roofing. They give Babo a near panic attack for how symmetrical they are.
- Dark Reprise:
- "The Ugly Truth" returns in a more villainous manner, "The Uglier Truth", as Lou plots to destroy the Uglydolls.
- Moxy sings a brief somber reprise of "Today's the Day" following her return home after the "Couldn't Be Better" montage, and another as she looks at the destroyed portal following the final battle.
- Demoted to Extra: Ice-Bat, Jeero, Tray, and Wedgehead, among others. Despite their demotion in the film, they still have merchandise representation throughout the movie's toyline.
- Disney Acid Sequence: Various trippy backdrops and scenery are seen throughout "All Dolled Up" as Mandy helps the Uglydolls look perfect. Another occurs with "Unbreakable" which features Moxy and Mandy in a celestial space with various mirrors.
- The Ditz: Tuesday. She's focused primarily on things that will get Lou to like her, so she's often a bit spacey about other things, including the meaning of words.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Lou is a blonde haired, blue eyed boy who wants to throw the Uglydolls into a furnace for being inferior toys.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Moxy and the Uglydolls go through a lot throughout the movie to achieve their goal of going to the Big World. In the end after all problems are solved, Moxy's wish comes true and she gets an owner, as do her friends.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Lou. He manages to make both the guy and girl Perfection dolls faint and scream in elation during "The Ugly Truth".
- Fainting: A Perfection citizen faints when Lucky Bat screams at her due to a mistaken belief that screaming in terror is how the Perfection citizens greet each other.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: Nolan has one green eye and one purple, along with one sleeve folded higher than the other as ways to mark his "ugliness" compared to the other Perfection dolls. Despite this, he looks exactly the same as the others in build and body.
- The dolls in the Institute of Perfection all wear matching prep school uniforms with little to no differences. Lou is the only inhabitant who does not wear a uniform himself, sporting a tux instead. This is the first visible clue that he's not like the others; he's a prototype.
- Another clue against Lou is that he knew Ox. The flashback shows him being best friends with the very first Uglydoll, which has grown into an entire town of them since the flashback. Even with that time gap, he's still at the University, instead of with a child.
- Ox claims to be the "unofficial" mayor of Uglyville though still having the good heart of the others who live there. This foreshadows he made Uglyville himself, and diverted the rejected Uglydolls from the furnace to the town to save their lives.
- Freaky Is Cool: This is the mindset of the Uglydolls, as exemplified in the intro song:
And we just couldn't be more on fire!
Is there anything better than this?
No, it couldn't get better than this!
- Gender-Blender Name: Peggy, despite having a feminine name, is a male character. This appears to be a late switch in the drafts, as the book keeps the character female.
- Gender Flip:
- Wage is female in the movie, in contrast to her original doll counterpart, who was male.
- Wedgehead is also turned into a female character in the film.
- Ice-Bat is also a female character in the movie, according to the Hasbro website's character page.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: An unidentified Perfection doll follows Lou's statement "I'll run the Gauntlet with you" with "I'll run your Gauntlet, Lou!"
- Girl Posse: The SpyGirls. They're described as "pretty on the inside, but gross on the inside" in terms of their personality.
- The Glasses Gotta Go: Played with. Mandy is insistent on not wearing her glasses, because, in her mind "Perfect dolls have perfect vision". This is despite the fact she constantly runs into door frames without them. She eventually comes to accept that she needs them, and wears them freely after. The child that ends up getting her also needs glasses, and a scene during the credits is Mandy with her new child at the optometrist.
- Hammerspace: Babo has pockets in his body that can pull out any sized item.
- Head Desk: An Uglydoll can be seen banging his head against a building when Uglyville falls into despair.
- HeelFace Door-Slam: In the climax, as Lou is thrown to the robotic dog, Moxy and the other dolls on what to do with him. As they discuss their ideal punishment for him, Lou pleads for a second chance, only to be thrown in the washing machine by Nolan (whom Lou called "Ugly" in his song "The Ugly Truth").
- Heroic BSoD: All of the Uglydolls go through one after finding out they're rejected dolls that weren't supposed to even exist. This reflects on the scenery as well.
- If I Can't Have You...: Lou's motivation for sending Ox to be recycled.
- Incredibly Long Note: "Couldn't Be Better" ends on one, as with its Triumphant Reprise. "Unbreakable" has a few of these as well.
- Ink-Suit Actor: A downplayed case. The Perfection dolls, while having wildly varying yarn colors for their hair, share similar skin tones with their voice actors, a trait picked on purpose according to interviews.
- "I Want" Song: The opening song, "Couldn't Be Better", as Moxy hopes she gets an owner in the Big World soon.
- List Song: "The Ugly Truth" has Lou list off several possible flaws that a doll shouldn't have in order to have an owner.
- Living Toys:
- The Uglydolls, along with the dolls from Perfection, live in a world parallel to the real one, where they become the perfect toy for the children. The design of Uglyville also has obvious stitches, fabric patterns, and buttons making up the landscape.
- The Perfection dolls, while less obvious at first glance as dolls, have yarn for hair, along with "stuffed joints" on their arms.
- Logo Joke: The STX Entertainment, Alibaba Pictures, and Huaxia Film Distribution logos are portrayed as pieces of felt loosely falling onto the backdrop, fitting the "crafted" world of the movie.
- Makeover Montage: The song "All Dolled Up" features Mandy going through steps to make the Uglydolls look more like the Perfection dolls. Despite this, the outfits sadly fail.
- Mark of Shame: Nolan is forced to wear a sign that says "ugly" on it around his neck, labeling him as a poorly-designed doll to be taunted. He later swaps the sign out for one that still says "ugly", but written in bright gold and in an affirmative way.
- Meaningful Name: Wedgehead has a wedge for a head, a fact lampshaded when she introduces herself to Ox:
Ox: I love literal naming! Isn't that right, Gibberish Cat?
(Cut to Gibberish Cat, who babbles incoherently)
- Meaningful Rename: At the end of the movie Perfection is renamed Imperfection.
- Mock Hollywood Sign: Uglyville has a plush version of its name on the side of the mountain that it is in.
- Mirrors play an important part throughout the movie as a recurring element, emphasizing the idea of self-worth.
- The merchandise line uses packaging and letters as a motif throughout, referencing the origins of the franchise through letters and a package.
- The Musical: The movie has songs throughout, along with multiple pop stars in the voice roles.
- Mythology Gag:
- Moxy calls herself "gorgeous" in a song. Gorgeous was Moxy's name in the original toyline.
- One of the possible names to give an Uglydoll in the Uglydolls Factory game is "Jrizzle", in reference to "Jrizzy", the unseen but mentioned brother of Ugly Charlie from his original toy bio.
- The shipping box and letter designs used as motifs in the toyline are in reference to David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim's creation of the very first Uglydoll: through a letter and a shipped package.
- The red and white-striped awnings on the Uglyville playset is a reference to the awnings seen on a few of the covers of the comic books.
- Jeero's "Pancake Champion" Surprise Disguise toy is a reference to the comic "Sweet Victory", where he enters a pancake-eating competition.
- Tray's favorite food remains blueberry pie, according to her Hasbro website's character bio.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: Lou's obsession with perfection and getting rid of dolls that came off of the assembly line "wrong" bears resemblance to American eugenics, which inspired the Nazi eugenics program, and continued long after Nazi Germany was defeated.
- Never Trust a Trailer: In one of the trailers during the scene where the dolls at the Perfection Institute are scanned, the computer gives the female doll Megan the job of an engineer and the male doll Michael a lawyer. In the actual flick, it's the opposite.
- Not So Different: It turns out Lou is not exactly perfect himself; he is revealed as a prototype, just as the Ugly Dolls are "rejects".
- Orbital Shot: Moxy and Mandy get a few of these during "Unbreakable".
- Perfection Is Impossible: The big theme of the movie, and the lesson the Uglydolls both learn and teach.
- Pep-Talk Song: Mandy has "Unbreakable" as she encourages Moxy that no matter what she looks like and whatever Lou tells her, she will get an owner some day without a doubt.
- Production Throwback: The "Artist Series" of Target-exclusive dolls are designed to resemble the classic dolls, with their older designs and "flattened" looks.
- School Uniforms Are the New Black: The outfits the Perfection dolls wear are school uniforms, to reference to Perfection being an institute. Both outfits consist of black vests with gold buttons, white collared t-shirts, and blue neckties. The only difference is that the girl uniforms have blue checkered skirts with white socks and black flats, while the boy uniforms have blue checkered pants with black flats. Lou is the exception to this rule, wearing a black tuxedo instead. This ends up being a clue that there's something different from him compared to the other dolls.
- Self-Applied Nickname: Ugly Dog is the only one to call himself "Slick Dog", his musician persona.Ugly Dog: Folks call me Ugly Dog...
Wage: Because that's his name.
Ugly Dog: ...But those close to me call me "Slick Dog"!
Wage: Which is not his name.
- Silence Is Golden: During the final scene when Moxy is being given to her new owner, not a single word or sentence is spoken, with the mood being told through their emotions.
- Skunk Stripe: Nolan has a sloppily-applied green stripe in his brown hair, used to categorize him as "ugly".
- Slobs vs. Snobs: The wacky and carefree Uglydolls vs. the straight-laced and nearly-identical citizens of Perfection.
- Spelling Song: Lou spells the word "ugly" a few times throughout "The Ugly Truth".
- Super Prototype: Lou. Most of his anger is steeped in the fact that he's unable to be given to a child, forced to watch the others pass on.
- Tagline: Multiple, depending on the poster or commercial:
- "Things are about to get Ugly." (preliminary poster)
- "And sew it begins." (teaser poster)
- "Show 'em what you're made of." (character posters)
- "A classic underdoll story." (second poster)
- "Perfection gets stuffed." (character commercial) This one was later modified to the tamer "Perfection can stuff it."
- Team Chef: Wage is a chef by trade.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Zigzagged. Moxy is pink with eyelashes, though Wage lacks any defining feminine traits, looking just like the original doll, who was male. Meanwhile, Wedgehead is a middle ground. Like Wage, she is flipped from a male character in the toyline, meaning she has no additional characteristics, though she is given a bright yellow color scheme in the movie, instead of the dark blue of the original toy.
- Token Good Teammate: Mandy is the only Perfection doll to accept the Uglydolls for who they are.
- Triumphant Reprise:
- A short reprise of "Today's the Day" is heard as Moxy and her friends arrive at the Perfection Institute.
- Following the Dark Reprise of "Today's the Day" as mentioned above, Moxy and her friends launch into a quiet rendition of "Unbreakable" as they work to fix the portal, followed by a celebratory version of "Couldn't Be Better" as both towns embrace becoming one.
- Troubled Fetal Position: A Perfection citizen can be seen in one while rocking back in forth when the Uglydolls visit Perfection, much to the terror of the citizens.
- Two Girls to a Team: Moxy and Wage are the only females in the main team of Uglydolls.
- Uniformity Exception: Lou is the only Perfection doll to not wear a school uniform, opting for a tuxedo instead. This clues in that he's different in some way from the other dolls.
- Unnecessary Makeover: A case in-universe. Mandy admits in "All Dolled Up" that the Uglydolls don't really need to make themselves over to look like Perfection citizens, but does so since they insist. Sadly, this attempt fails.
But if you truly want me to,
We'll sculpt and mold,
And change and fix you anyway.
- Ugly Hero, Good-Looking Villain: The Uglydolls are lumpy and misshapen reject dolls with kind and optimistic hearts, while the Perfection dolls are mass produced and pretty dolls with snotty and disdainful personalities.
- Villain Song: Lou performing "The Ugly Truth" but the reprise "The Uglier Truth" falls further into this trope.
- Villainous Breakdown: Lou completely breaks down after he loses the Gauntlet and reveals he's a prototype who will never be loved. See Wham Line below.
- Virtual Paper Doll: The Uglydolls Factory is a website connected to the movie's website, where players can create their own Uglydolls. A few of the creations made from this show up in the movie's end credits.
- Vocal Dissonance: Peggy is a tiny and brightly-colored winged unicorn voiced by Ice-T.
- Weird Currency: Uglyville uses buttons for its currency.
- Weird Moon: Uglyville's moon is a button, chipped into a crescent to look like it's smiling. It turns into a frown when the town goes into ruin.
- Weird Sun: The sun in Uglyville is a ball of yarn, fitting the craft aesthetic of the town.
- We Used to Be Friends: Ox and Lou used to be friends. After screwing the Gauntlet training up for the others by mistake, Lou sends Ox away for his own sake, where he boards up the recycling incinerator to create Uglyville for the scrapped dolls.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The end of the movie reveals that the barrier between Uglyville and Perfection has been broken, letting the two towns merge together, while also embracing their differences instead of striving for perfection. They are able to go to the Real World, with plans to head back to their worlds when their children are asleep to meet up. The credits reveal that the children that ended up getting the dolls have the same quirks as the dolls themselves as well. Meanwhile, Lou is forced to clean the Institute, with the robot dog angrily watching his work.
- Winged Unicorn: Peggy is a tiny one-eyed winged unicorn. The novel specifically calls him a "pegacorn" as his species.
- Wham Line: Lou reveals his true nature after losing the Gauntlet to Moxy, despite being the only one to cross the finish line instead of comfort the robot baby:Lydia: You failed?
Tuesday: How could you fail?
Lou: You still don't get it? Of course I failed. I'll always fail! I'm a prototype!
- World of Snark: Most of the Uglydolls but namely Wage, voiced by Wanda Sykes.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Basically Mandy's words to Moxy during "Unbreakable".
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Many of the Perfection dolls have brightly colored yarn for their hair in colors not standard to basic hair colors. Of note are the SpyGirls, who have neon colors for their hair: Tuesday has neon blue hair, Kitty has neon pink hair, and Lydia has a mix of neon purple and dark purple braided together.
Don't fix me, dont try to change a thing
Can someone just know me?
Cause underneath, I'm broken and its beautiful