The pop star-studded UglyDolls soundtrack
SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil (The Philippine Star) - May 15, 2019 - 12:00am

UglyDolls is a computer animated film inspired by the ugly but cute plush toys of the same name. The toys are the factory rejects because they came out defective, think, one-eyed, three-teeth, one-legged, etc., etc. These dolls are thrown down to a place named Ugliville, where they can be happy together but will never know how to be loved and played with by a child.

Directed by Kelly Ashbury who also megged Shrek 2 and Gnomeo and Juliet, UglyDolls is a heartwarming story about acceptance in the face of diversity, of friendship among different types of people and of learning how to empower oneself in the fight against great odds. 

That might sound like heavy stuff but UglyDolls presents those lessons in a most entertaining way. With parents helping kids navigate these life’s lessons in the movie, there is no reason why the little ones cannot enjoy the colorful visuals. Not only that, but also because the story is anchored on pop music. No long speeches in UglyDolls, the characters talk in one engaging pop song after another. And I am sure children and their parents will be singing the songs after they leave the theater.

Truth to tell, I have a feeling that Uglydolls will go down in history as the film with the most pop star-studded cast of all time. I do not know whose idea it was to recruit those big music figures but I tell you, just reading the names of the members of the cast was more than enough to whet my appetite to check out the whole picture and the soundtrack of course.

First, lending voice to UglyDolls is Kelly Clarkson, the first and the biggest-selling American Idol, who is now a coach of The Voice, as the pink and free-spirited Moxy, the uglydoll with the three-tooth grin, who longs to know what it feels like to be loved by a human child. So she leaves Uglyville, a town where weird is celebrated and being strange is special for the big, strange world outside.

Joining her in her quest are Pitbull of the famous party music as Moxy’s best friend named Uglydog with the Cyclops eye; award-winning Chinese actor and pop star Wang Leehom as the wise Lucky Bat; comedienne Wanda Sykes as Wage of the inverted vampire fangs, the group’s voice of reason; and Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias as the big and friendly Babo. There is also Blake Shelton, the country music superstar and one of the coaches of The Voice, as Ox, the green rabbit like stuffie with a letter X for one of his eyes, who is the “mayor” of Uglyville.

On the other side, in a town named Perfection, are the Perfect Dolls, headed by Lou played by Nick Jonas. He is the Jonas bro married to Priyanka Chopra and has a big hit with the other Jonases in the tune Sucker. He voices the fit and handsome Lou who is out to put the Ugly Dolls through the rigorous process of preparing themselves for the real world. He actually hopes the Uglies will not pass the test.

Also among the Perfects are Janelle Monae, the singer and actress, as Mandy, who likes Lou and is eternally worried she is not perfect and The Spy Girls, the Lou groupies made up of Bebe Rexha, Charli XCX and rapper Lizzo of the Lizzobangers, who are tasked with spying on the UglyDolls.

As for the songs, take a look at this list of the UglyDolls soundtrack album: The openers are three cuts by Kelly, Broken & Beautiful, where she sings about strange beauty;   Couldn’t Be Better with the UglyDolls cast about Uglyville and its unique denizens; and Today’s The Day, where she proclaims her decision to go out and explore the world, and then maybe she can also become a well-loved doll.

Also included in the soundtrack are Today’s The Perfect Day by the UglyDolls cast; The Ugly Truth by Nick Jonas; You Make My Dreams by the Pentatonix; The Uglier Truth also by Nick; All Dolled Up and Unbreakable by Janelle featuring Kelly; The Big Finale by the UglyDolls cast; Girl In The Mirror by Bebe; Ugly, the English version performed by Anitta; Don’t Change by the boy band Why Don’t We; Wallflowers & Weeds by Blake; and the Spanish version of Ugly also performed by Anitta.

Enjoy the music but also love imperfection or simply being different.

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