UglyDolls (U)



Musical (2019)
87mins Chi/Can/US

Starring: Ice-T, Pitbull, Kelly Clarkson, Janelle Monae, Blake Shelton, Nick Jonas
Director: Kelly Asbury
Writer(s): Alison Peck
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Misshapen and malformed dolls from a toy factory production line are diverted down a chute to the cardboard box ghetto of Uglyville. Pink plush Moxy wakes each morning, hopeful that today she will ascend to the Big World and be paired with a child. When her faith wavers, she abandons Uglyville with Lucky Bat, Babo, Wage and Ugly Dog to forge her own destiny. Her quest leads to the pearly gates of the Institute of Perfection, where dolls compete for the approval of Aryan major-domo Lou.

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LondonNet Film Review
UglyDolls (U)

The most beautiful sight in the world is the inquisitive face staring back at you in the bathroom mirror. That's the key learning of UglyDolls, a well-intentioned journey of self-acceptance and discovery based on the popular line of toys created by David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim. Kelly Asbury, who sang from a similar song sheet as director of Shrek 2, delivers this sharp riposte to airbrushed and filtered 'perfection' through computer animation and a soundtrack of anodyne pop ditties penned by Christopher Lennert and Glenn Slater...

UglyDolls. Copyright: STX International. Caption: Moxy (voiced by Kelly Clarkson) in UglyDolls, directed by Kelly Ashbury. All Rights Reserved.The composer and lyricist adopt a sledgehammer approach to affirmative melodies, which vaunt individuality, courage and occasional failure over bland mass-produced uniformity. "It's a square peg life in a round hole town but the folks couldn't be any sweeter/It may be upside backwards and wrong side down but it just couldn't feel more completer!" excitedly trills Kelly Clarkson's heroine in her opening musical showstopper, Couldn't Be Better. Asbury's picture, scripted by Alison Peck, could be better if it deviated from well-thumbed convention and attempted narrative sophistication beyond an empowering central message. Visuals are crisp and functional to match the assured vocal performances from the likes of Janelle Monae, Wanda Sykes and rapper Pitbull.

Misshapen and malformed dolls from a toy factory production line are diverted down a chute to the cardboard box ghetto of Uglyville where mayor Ox (voiced by Blake Shelton) welcomes each magnificent misfit. Pink plush Moxy (Clarkson) wakes each morning with a sense of unabashed optimism, hopeful that today she will ascend to the Big World and be paired with a child. When her faith wavers, Moxy visits resident soothsayer Lucky Bat (Wang Leehom) and misinterprets his tea leaf reading as a sign to abandon Uglyville and forge her own destiny. Lucky Bat, Babo (Gabriel Iglesias), Wage (Sykes) and Ugly Dog (Pitbull) join Moxy on her quest, which leads to the pearly gates of the Institute of Perfection. Here, dolls compete for the approval of Aryan major-domo Lou (Nick Jonas), who preaches from the book of "pretty makes perfect", flanked by a quartet of impeccably coiffed Spy Girls: Kitty (Charli XCX), Lydia (Lizzo), Tuesday (Bebe Rexha) and Megan (Monae). Lou sneeringly dismisses Moxy and her motley crew - "Ugly things belong in recycling" - but the new arrivals have dauntless belief in teamwork and they defiantly let their "freak flags fly".

UglyDolls defies its own key tenet and joins a herd of glossy coming-of-age fables, which warn bright young minds against judging themselves by appearances. Unblemished conformity should never be put on a pedestal above compassion and kindness so it's extremely disappointing that Asbury's picture doesn't wear its heart on a digitally-rendered sleeve. Songs including Clarkson and Monae's powerhouse duet Unbreakable are sweetly hummable in the moment but soon forgotten.

- Jo Planter

UglyDolls. Copyright: STX International. Caption: Moxy (voiced by Kelly Clarkson) in UglyDolls, directed by Kelly Ashbury. All Rights Reserved.


London Cinemas

From Friday 13th September
To Thursday 19th September

- Electric Cinema
- Peckhamplex
- Premiere Cinema
- Vue Croydon Purley Way
- Vue Romford


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Rest of UK and Irish Cinemas

Listed in alphabetical order by city/place name followed by cinema name.

From Friday 13th September
To Thursday 19th September

- Addlestone, The Light Cinema, Addlestone
- Antrim, Antrim Omniplex
- Arklow, Arklow Omniplex
- Armagh, Armagh Omniplex
- Ashbourne, Vue Ashbourne
- Athlone, IMC Athlone
- Ballincollig, The Reel Picture
- Banbridge, Banbridge Omniplex
- Bangor, Bangor Omniplex
- Basingstoke, Vue Basingstoke Festival Place
- Belfast, Kennedy Centre Belfast Omniplex
- Beverley, Parkway Cinema
- Birmingham, Vue Birmingham
- Blackpool, The Reel Picture
- Bolton, The Light Cinema, Bolton
- Bradford, The Light Cinema, Bradford
- Cambridge, The Light Cinema, Cambridge
- Cardiff, Cineworld Cardiff
- Carlow, Carlow Omniplex
- Carlow, IMC Carlow
- Carmarthen, Vue Carmarthen (Apollo)
- Carrickfergus, Carrickfergus Omniplex
- Cork, Cork Omniplex
- Cork, The Gate Mallow
- Craigavon, Craigavon Omniplex
- Cramlington, Vue Cramlington
- Cwmbran, Vue Cwmbran
- Derby, Derby QUAD
- Douglas, Cinemaworld Douglas
- Downpatrick, Downpatrick Omniplex
- Drogheda, The Arc Cinema, Drogheda
- Dublin, Balbriggan Omniplex
- Dublin, Dublin Rathmines Omniplex
- Dublin, IMC Santry
- Dublin, IMC Tallaght
- Dublin, Movies @ Dundrum
- Dublin, Movies @ Swords
- Dublin, Vue Dublin
- Dudley, Showcase Dudley
- Dundalk, Dundalk Omniplex
- Dungannon, Dungannon Omniplex
- Dun Laoghaire, IMC Dun Laoghaire
- Eastleigh, Vue Eastleigh
- Edinburgh, Vue Edinburgh Ocean Terminal
- Ellesmere Port, Vue Cheshire Oaks
- Enniskillen, IMC Enniskillen
- Farnborough, Vue Farnborough
- Galashiels, Pavilion
- Galway, Galway - Salthill Omniplex
- Galway, IMC Galway
- Galway, IMC Oranmore
- Glasgow, Vue Glasgow Fort
- Grays, Vue Thurrock
- Hemel Hempstead, Cineworld Hemel Hempstead
- Herne Bay, Kavanagh Cinema
- Inverness, Vue Inverness
- Kilkenny, IMC Kilkenny Barrack Street
- Killyconigan, Monaghan Omniplex
- Larne, Larne Harbour Omniplex
- Lifford, Eclipse Cinemas Lifford
- Limerick, Limerick Omniplex
- Limerick, Vue Limerick
- Lisburn, Lisburn Omniplex
- Livingston, Vue Livingston
- Londonderry, Brunswick Moviebowl
- Londonderry, Derry Omniplex
- Longford, Longford Omniplex
- Midleton, The Gate Midleton
- Navan, The Arc Cinema, Navan
- Newbury, Vue Newbury
- Newry, Newry Omniplex
- Newtownards, IMC Newtownards
- Nottingham, Showcase Cinema De Lux Nottingham
- Omagh, IMC Omagh
- Omagh, Omagh Omniplex
- Perth, Perth Playhouse
- Plymouth, Vue Plymouth
- Reading, Showcase Cinema De Lux Reading
- Roscommon, Roscommon Omniplex
- Sheffield, The Light Cinema, Sheffield
- Sheffield, Vue Sheffield
- Sligo, Sligo Omniplex
- Stockport, The Light Cinema, Stockport
- Thanet, Vue Westwood Cross
- Tralee, Tralee Omniplex
- Wallasey, The Light Cinema, New Brighton
- Walsall, The Light Cinema, Walsall
- Waterford, Waterford Omniplex
- Wexford, Wexford Omniplex
- Wisbech, The Light Cinema, Wisbech
From Friday 20th September
To Thursday 26th September

- Aberdeen, Vue Aberdeen
- Altrincham, Vue Altrincham (Apollo)
- Antrim, Antrim Omniplex
- Ashbourne, Vue Ashbourne
- Athlone, IMC Athlone
- Ballincollig, The Reel Picture
- Banbridge, Banbridge Omniplex
- Bangor, Bangor Omniplex
- Barrow-in-Furness, Vue Barrow (Apollo)
- Basildon, Cineworld Basildon
- Basingstoke, Vue Basingstoke Festival Place
- Bedford, Vue Bedford
- Beverley, Parkway Cinema
- Bicester, Vue Bicester
- Birkenhead, Vue Birkenhead
- Birmingham, Vue Birmingham
- Blackburn, Vue Blackburn
- Blackpool, The Reel Picture
- Bolton, The Light Cinema, Bolton
- Bolton, Vue Bolton
- Bootle, Odeon Liverpool Switch Island
- Bradford, The Light Cinema, Bradford
- Bristol, Vue Bristol Cribbs Causeway
- Bristol, Vue Bristol Longwell Green
- Bundoran, Eclipse Cinemas Bundoran
- Bury, Vue Bury The Rock
- Camberley, Vue Camberley
- Cambridge, The Light Cinema, Cambridge
- Cambridge, Vue Cambridge
- Cardiff, Cineworld Cardiff
- Cardiff, Vue Cardiff
- Carlisle, Vue Carlisle
- Carlow, Carlow Omniplex
- Carlow, IMC Carlow
- Carmarthen, Vue Carmarthen (Apollo)
- Carrickfergus, Carrickfergus Omniplex
- Cookstown, Ritz Multiplex
- Cork, The Gate Mallow
- Cramlington, Vue Cramlington
- Crawley, Cineworld Crawley
- Cwmbran, Vue Cwmbran
- Darlington, Vue Darlington
- Doncaster, Vue Doncaster
- Douglas, Cinemaworld Douglas
- Drogheda, The Arc Cinema, Drogheda
- Dublin, IMC Santry
- Dublin, IMC Tallaght
- Dublin, Movies @ Dundrum
- Dublin, Movies @ Swords
- Dublin, Odeon Charlestown
- Dublin, Odeon Coolock
- Dublin, Vue Dublin
- Dun Laoghaire, IMC Dun Laoghaire
- Eastleigh, Vue Eastleigh
- Edinburgh, Vue Edinburgh Ocean Terminal
- Edinburgh, Vue Edinburgh Omni Centre
- Ellesmere Port, Vue Cheshire Oaks
- Farnborough, Vue Farnborough
- Galashiels, Pavilion
- Galway, IMC Galway
- Gateshead, Vue Gateshead
- Glasgow, Cineworld Glasgow - Renfrew Street
- Glasgow, Vue Glasgow Fort
- Glengormley, Movie House Glengormley
- Grays, Vue Thurrock
- Halifax, Vue Halifax
- Hamilton, Vue Hamilton
- Hartlepool, Vue Hartlepool
- Hemel Hempstead, Cineworld Hemel Hempstead
- Herne Bay, Kavanagh Cinema
- Hull, Vue Hull Princes Quay
- Inverness, Vue Inverness
- Kendal, Brewery Arts Centre
- Kilkenny, IMC Kilkenny Barrack Street
- Lancaster, Vue Lancaster
- Leamington Spa, Vue Leamington Spa (Apollo)
- Leeds, Vue Leeds Kirkstall Road
- Leeds, Vue Leeds The Light
- Leicester, Vue Leicester
- Lifford, Eclipse Cinemas Lifford
- Limerick, Vue Limerick
- Lisburn, Lisburn Omniplex
- Livingston, Vue Livingston
- Londonderry, Brunswick Moviebowl
- Manchester, Vue Manchester Printworks
- Merthyr Tydfil, Vue Merthyr Tydfil
- Midleton, The Gate Midleton
- Milton Keynes, Cineworld Milton Keynes
- Navan, The Arc Cinema, Navan
- Newbury, Vue Newbury
- Newcastle-under-Lyme, Vue Newcastle-under-Lyme
- Newry, Newry Omniplex
- Newtownards, IMC Newtownards
- Northampton, Vue Northampton
- Norwich, Vue Norwich
- Omagh, Omagh Omniplex
- Oxford, Vue Oxford
- Paignton, Vue Torbay (Apollo)
- Perth, Perth Playhouse
- Plymouth, Vue Plymouth
- Portsmouth, Vue Portsmouth
- Preston, Vue Preston
- Reading, Vue Reading
- Redruth, Regal Film Centre
- Salford, Vue Manchester Lowry
- Scunthorpe, Vue Scunthorpe
- Sheffield, Cineworld Sheffield
- Sheffield, Vue Sheffield
- Sligo, Sligo Omniplex
- Southport, Vue Southport
- Stevenage, Cineworld Stevenage
- Stirling, Vue Stirling
- Stockport, The Light Cinema, Stockport
- Stroud, Vue Stroud (Apollo)
- Swansea, Vue Swansea
- Thanet, Vue Westwood Cross
- Thornton-Cleveleys, Vue Cleveleys
- Torquay, Central Cinema
- Tralee, Tralee Omniplex
- Wallasey, The Light Cinema, New Brighton
- Walsall, The Light Cinema, Walsall
- Waterford, Waterford Omniplex
- Watford, Vue Watford
- Wexford, Wexford Omniplex
- Worcester, Vue Worcester
- York, Vue York


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