Australian Council on Children and the Media

UglyDolls

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Short takes

Parental guidance recommended for under 6; Suitable for 6+ (some violence and scary scenes).

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for UglyDolls
  • a review of UglyDolls completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 5 September 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children aged 6 and over Suitable for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: UglyDolls
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Very mild themes and animated violence
Length 87 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Uglyville is a town full of ‘ugly’ dolls who have been rejected due to imperfections, only they don’t know that. Moxy (voice of Kelly Clarkson) is a free-spirited eternal optimist who believes that each new day will bring ‘her child’ to take her home to love. It eventually dawns on her that instead of waiting for her child to come, she needs to be pro-active. Against the advice of Ox the Mayor (Blake Shelton), she therefore decides to enter the real world and takes her friends with her, Uglydog (Pitbull), Lucky Bat (Leeholm Wang), Wage (Wanda Sykes) and Babo (Gabriel Iglesias).

The friends find a tunnel that takes them to the Institute of Perfection, where ‘perfect’ dolls are trained for the real world. There they meet Lou (Nick Jonas), who controls the Institute and is adored by all. Lou tells the ugly dolls that they can never enter the big world because they are imperfect but he allows them to stay for a while. Moxy is certain she can make it in the real world and sets out to prove Lou wrong. There are many obstacles and rejections along the way but Moxy never gives up.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Diversity; Tolerance; Body Image

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, mostly done for laughs, including:

  • The dolls fall or get pushed and crash into objects.
  • A character gets ice cream thrown on them.
  • The dolls have a food fight at a feast.
  • A large bear doll knocks Lucky down with his fist.
  • The ugly dolls fall out of a tunnel into fast moving tubes like a roller coaster.
  • Ox ends up in a sack and trips on a rake. Some spies drag Ox back to Lou in the sack.
  • Lou puts the ugly dolls in a washing machine several times because they’re messy.

    Other violence includes:
  • Lou throws the ugly dolls into the recycling bin.
  • A large robot dog grabs a toy in its mouth.
  • Lou pushes a doll into a vacuum.
  • A large robot baby picks up Lou and Moxy and shakes them. Lou kicks the robot baby.
  • Lou and Ox fight with a knitting needle, they hit and punch each other and Lou throws Ox off the steps. Lou ends up in the robot dog’s mouth.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • The dolls have to go through the tunnel which is quite dark. They get lost inside and only their eyes are seen.
  • Lou is quite mean to the ugly dolls and makes them cry.
  • The recycling bin is a scary looking machine with red eyes and large teeth.
  • The robot dog and baby are quite large in comparison to the dolls and look rather scary.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Some of the dolls in the Institute are failing in ‘perfection’ and they have to sit with a sign around their neck stating, “Ugly Doll”.
  • When the ugly dolls realise they are rejects all of the lights go out in Uglyville and it resembles a depressed town. Everything is closed due to hopelessness. A doll is seen begging for buttons. A doll goes down with the ship (but doesn’t drown).
  • The recycling bin scene is quite scary. The dolls are trapped inside when lights and a siren start up. Large teeth on the machine chase after the dolls.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • Nothing of additional concern

Product placement

  • None noted

Sexual references

  • None noted

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • A doll is briefly shown with a bare buttock.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Uglydog flirts with a girl doll, sets out a table and opens a bottle of champagne.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including some name calling such as:

  • Emptyheaded
  • Mindless sycophants
  • Imbeciles

In a nutshell

UglyDolls is an animated comedy which explores the issues of body image and the fact that beauty is what is inside a person not what’s on the outside. This important message makes it a valuable movie for young children to see, however there are some scary scenes and violence so parental guidance is recommended for under 6.

The main messages from this movie are that regardless of appearance the most important thing is to have a kind heart; to believe in yourself; it’s our differences that make us shine and our flaws that make us unique; and not to give up because you’re not ‘perfect’.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Love for one another
  • Compassion and kindness
  • Acceptance of differences
  • The power of positivity
  • Determinedness
  • Strength of character

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • Why was Lou so mean and judgemental? His enforcement of such high standards and his belief that appearances are so important are shown to be false but why do people think this way?

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