Animation ‘UglyDolls’ offers beautiful messages in promotional packages
The story behind UglyDolls – toys, not new animated films about them – is a charm. The aspiring artist / storyteller David Horvath and his girlfriend Sun-Min Kim created the first character, Wage, when Horvath wrote a letter to Kim, including a cartoon slave wage dressed in an apron. When Kim sent him back the hand-sewn version of the figure, Horvath ran to show it to a friend, Eric Nakamura, who had just opened a Giant Robot shop, dedicated to Asian and Asian-American pop culture. Nakamura said, “I will take 20.”
The rest, as they say, is history. Horvath and Kim married. And the UglyDolls line – launched in 2001 – has grown to include a variety of characters that look ridiculous.
Based on these interesting characters, “UglyDolls” began in Uglyville, where a handicapped exile and substandard puppets had been exiled, cut off from the love of children because of the imperfection they felt.
The off-kilter visual design of this place is actually quite cute, even if it bears a resemblance to Island of Misfit Toys from the classic 1964 Rankin / Bass classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” There is also a small touch of the “Toy Story” franchise here, especially in setting the secret-life-toy movie. But the story behind Horvath and Kim and the sweet start of their products that were once foreigners cannot be found.
However, like the bay leaves that have been removed from stews, there is still the scent of rival energy and the message of love in the film, although sometimes you feel you are watching a long commercial ad for the toy. Mostly, this is thanks to the strong visual appeal of the doll itself, which has misaligned teeth, missing eyes and other pleasant deformities. Their sleek appearance helped offset the fact that some of the main characters – Moxy, Ox and Ugly Dog – were voiced by pop music star Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton and Pitbull. Nick Jonas and Janelle Monáe also voiced the characters of the “perfect” doll country, where our heroes traveled to be preferred.
Yes, “UglyDolls” are musicals, and fresh songs are delivered sincerely. Songs like Clarkson’s “Broken and Beautiful” celebrate body positivity and self-acceptance.
It is difficult to find fault with it, even if there are times when the explicit criticism of beauty films is idealized obscured by packaging which is also, in the end, a kind of pitch product.