Images Courtesy of UglyDolls LLC and STXfilms PR
UglyDolls are a quirky and unconventional line of plush creatures that straddle the concept of dolls and stuffed animals. Shaped like aliens from other dimensions, but begging to be held and hugged, the UglyDolls have been a sensation for a dozen years. Created in late 2005, the line of plush pals became a surprise hit for co-creators David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim. Developing a rabid cult following, the UglyDolls won the Toy of the Year award in 2006 for its eccentric and genre-busting appearances. The UglyDolls gained a worldwide following, and they never looked back!
Now, the UglyDolls franchise is looking to conquer the entertainment industry. In May 2019, the antics of the familiar faces will hit the big screens as an animated musical extravaganza. Beyond the “silver screens,” the UglyDolls will also be taking over TV screens across the nation. Hulu is in agreements right now to stream the cartoon program through its exclusive platform, and Hasbro Toys has inked a deal to represent the brand’s global licensing. Not bad for an idea that was hatched by two cartoonists in New Jersey 13 years ago!
The stars of the UglyDolls movie read like a Who’s Who in current pop culture. Singing superstar, and winner of the first “American Idol” program, Kelly Clarkson has been tapped to voice the film’s central protagonist. She will be speaking and singing for the character of Moxy. During a Facebook Live chat, Clarkson told fans that she was thrilled to play the part: “I love that she’s pink. My daughter love pink, and I love her cause she’s pink, too. My daughter thinks I win at life!”
According to the creative team at STXfilms, the movie will revolve around Moxy and her band of misfit pals: “It will tell the story of free-spirited Moxy and her UglyDoll friends in their town of Uglyville. They will confront what it means to be different, struggle with their desire to be loved, and ultimately discover that you don’t have to be amazing because who you truly are is what matters most.”
This uplifting theme of self-confidence and self-empowerment are a welcome respite from much of the negative headlines that have dominated our recent news cycles. Amid so many TV shows and movies that are anything but family friendly, the UglyDolls debut flick seems to be on the right path for folks with young children. It is currently on track to be a breakout movie for folks that want to see a film that will tickle a generation of theatergoers.
Nick Jonas is another chart-topping singer and actor who has signed on to the project. Having toured the world as part of the Jonas Brothers, and having carved out a niche in musical-comedies on Broadway — plus dramatic work in independent films — Jonas will bring his voice talents and musical chops to the movie. “Nick is not only a talented musician, he’s also an accomplished actor beloved by millions of passionate fans around the world,” Adam Fogelson, STXfilms chairman, stated. “Over the last several years, Nick has proven there is not much he can’t do, and we’re ecstatic to have him join all of the other talented performers, like Kelly Clarkson and Pitbull, in this charming and funny film.”
Jonas also weighed in on his commitment to the project: “UglyDolls remind audiences the importance of acceptance and loving yourself, and as someone who started in this business very young, I understand the significance of using my platform to tell stories that lift others up,” Nick Jonas shared. “I love that I get to work with Pitbull and Kelly Clarkson. I can’t wait to get started.”
In addition to her platinum-recording career, Clarkson is a TV favorite, earning kudos and applause for her coaching work on “The Voice.” One of her co-stars on that NBC program is country-western hitmaker Blake Shelton. Shelton is portraying Ox, the unofficial mayor of Uglyville, a place that is populated with residents of all colors, stripes, and silhouettes. The producers have announced that he will be performing original songs for the movie’s soundtrack, which will be released on Atlantic Records.
As it stands right now, Shelton, Jonas, Pitbull, Clarkson, and Janelle Monae will be performing as well as writing music and lyrics for the animated film. “Spy Kids” creator/producer/director Robert Rodriguez will be the producer of the UglyDolls movie — hopefully becoming a franchise — and the director of “Gnomeo & Juliet” Kelly Asbury will direct.
Other top-tier names that have been attached to the UglyDolls movie include Emma Roberts (she’ll play Wedgehead), Wanda Sykes and Gabriel Iglesias. STXfilms has proclaimed that their version of the “uglyverse” will be welcoming and accommodating to all who enter.