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Kelly Asbury
Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Janelle Monáe
Writing Credits:
Alison Peck

The free-spirited UglyDolls confront what it means to be different, struggle with a desire to be loved, and ultimately discover who you truly are is what matters most.

Box Office:
$45 Million.
Opening Weekend
$8,603,407 on 3652 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English DVS
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 88 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 7/30/2019

• Sing-Along Version
• “Making UglyDolls” Featurette
• “Fun with the Cast” Featurette
• Sing-Along Tease
• Previews
• DVD Copy


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-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


UglyDolls [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 21, 2019)

Inspired by the plush toy franchise of the same name, UglyDolls presents an animated musical adventure. In a factory that creates dolls, those with defects get tossed to the side.

The attractive toys eventually end up with kids, whereas the deformed ones find themselves exiled to Uglyville, their own fiefdom. In that setting, Moxy (voiced by Kelly Clarkson) dreams that she may someday wind up with a child.

Along with some friends, Moxy maneuvers a magical tunnel and gets to the Institute of Perfection, a facility that ensures the beautiful dolls find their human matches. Moxy and the others attempt to work their way through the system and eventually match with children.

With a prime early May release date, some name talent and the brand identification of the toy franchise, UglyDolls seemed primed for box office success. Alas, it flopped.

Even with a relatively low $45 million budget, UglyDolls didn’t approach a profit, as it maxed out with a pathetic $27 million worldwide. Add to that a slew of terrible reviews and any hopes this would turn into a movie franchise slid down the dumper.

In truth, UglyDolls doesn’t deserve to find itself tarred with the ignominy that comes with failure on all fronts, as it offers a passable piece of children’s fare. That doesn’t make it an actual good movie, though.

At its core, UglyDolls lacks a real story. Instead, it acts as a collection of inspirational messages connected by a loose sense of narrative and characters.

No one will call UglyDolls subtle, as it pounds home its message with jackhammer force. We get it: beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and we should appreciate diversity.

Wonderful thoughts, of course, though I find myself wholly unconvinced that a movie can make a dent in societal perceptions. That doesn’t mean tales like this shouldn’t try to broaden concepts, though, and I appreciate the basic notions behind the film.

I just wish it came with more actual entertainment value. As noted, we get a pretty good cast, and director Kelly Asbury comes from a strong animation background, with Shrek 2 as his calling card.

Despite these factors, UglyDolls seems banal from start to finish. It pursues trite, predictable plot points with trite, predictable characters as it muscles toward a trite, predictable conclusion.

UglyDolls simply lacks the narrative and character development to sustain a feature film, as it comes across like a short story stretched past its limits. Even at a tight 87 minutes, it feels long, and I was ready for it to wrap up after maybe 25 minutes.

Some funny lines appear, and the actors do their best to sell this material, a factor that makes UglyDolls moderately watchable. It just lacks the inspiration and creativity it needs to become something more than mediocre.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B+/ Bonus D

UglyDolls appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As expected, the movie delivered excellent visuals.

At all times, the film showed terrific delineation. No instances of softness arose, so the image remained tight and well-defined.

I witnessed no jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes were absent. Of course, no print flaws popped up.

Colors excelled. Given all the dolls and fantasy situations, the film boasted a broad, lively palette, and the hues came across with great vivacity.

Blacks appeared dark and deep, and shadows seemed smooth and concise. Everything about the image satisfied.

I also felt pleased with the film’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack. Much of the audio stayed with general sense of the various situations, but more than a few action scenes resulted.

The livelier sequences displayed nice range and involvement, and the rest of the material also managed to place us in the locations well. The track used the different channels to convey a lot of subtle but engaging information, and some directional dialogue appeared as well.

Audio quality satisfied. Speech remained natural and distinctive, while music appeared peppy and clear.

Effects showed nice dynamics, with crisp highs and warm lows. I thought the soundtrack added zest to the proceedings, though I should note that the mix came mastered at a slightly low level. With a minor bump in volume, it worked well.

In addition to the theatrical edition, UglyDolls can be viewed via a Sing-Along Version. Like most of its kind, this simply adds “bouncing ball” lyrics to the songs during the film. It’s nothing more than that.

Some featurettes follow, and the five-part Making UglyDolls goes for four minutes, 59 seconds. It includes comments from actors Blake Shelton, Nick Jonas, Charli XCX, Lizzo, Emma Roberts, Kelly Clarkson, Janelle Monae and Pitbull.

These clips look at cast, characters, and music. They’re wholly promotional and come with little informational value.

Another five-part collection, Fun with the Cast runs four minutes, 43 seconds and features Clarkson, Pitbull, Monae, and Jonas. They go through a mix of fluffy activities in these ads. They’re painless but absent of substance.

A Sing-Along Tease brings one-minute, 30-second snippet of “Couldn’t Be Better”. It was used to advertise the film and it seems pretty pointless here.

The disc opens with ads for A Dog’s Journey, The Biggest Little Farm, Secret Life of Pets 2, Curious George: Royal Monkey and Abominable. We also find three trailers for UglyDolls.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of UglyDolls. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

Watchable but unspired, UglyDolls fails to become anything more than mediocre. While its cast manages to wring some mirth out of the proceedings, the film drags and doesn’t keep us very occupied across its brief running time. The Blu-ray offers excellent visuals and solid audio but it skimps on supplements. This one lacks depth and can’t deliver the goods.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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