UglyDolls: Behind the Story with David Horvath and Kelly Asbury

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As a mom (and now grandmom,) I’ve always encouraged my family to celebrate their awesomeness.  It’s so important for us as parents, relatives, friends, caretakers, teachers or simply friends of our youth to help them navigate through life and embrace their own uniqueness and that of others.

It’s on this note that I’m so excited to see UGLYDOLLS in theaters right now!  This lovely animated film celebrates what is “ugly-licious” about everyone!  The central theme centers around the concept that you “don’t have to be perfect to be amazing because who you truly are is what matters most.” A wonderful, beautiful message for kids of all ages!

Thanks to STXfilms, I had the chance to go behind the film story with Creator of UGLYDOLLS David Horvath and Director Kelly Asbury to learn more about the creation of the film.  When developing the UglyDolls, creator David Horvath set out to show that the funny things that make us unique are the things we should treasure.

UglyDolls: Behind the Story with David Horvath and Kelly Asbury

“There’s as much normal as there is actual ugly, right?” says Horvath.  “When we create an UglyDoll, obviously they’re not ugly.  And that’s the whole point.  When we started the brand it had nothing to do with the ouside and it had everything to do with the inside.”

The UGLYDOLLS film takes on the words “ugly,” “perfect,” and “pretty” in a fun, yet meaningful way that will resonate with audiences, especially children who truly need to hear the message that these words do not define us.

In a time where kids are contending with how many “likes” they have on social media, Horvath thinks it’s important that we let children know this “doesn’t have to be their reality.”

“Like how Pitbull said (in the film,) you’ve got to love yourself,” says Horvath.  “That’s so true, that’s perfect for me. And the movie’s messaging the Kelly (Asbury) told is perfect.”

Director Kelly Asbury identified with the main character Moxie, feeling that she is a representation of how everyone feels at some point in their life.  He enjoys creating heartwarming stories and movies that make the audience feel good.  A straightforward, clear message can be highly entertaining and empowering.

UglyDolls: Behind the Story with David Horvath and Kelly Asbury

He hopes the audience picks up on a central message that resonated with him as a child when he read the book “To Kill a Mockingbird” – that “you don’t really know a person until you get in their shoes and walk around in them.”

“If my movie gives kids any kind of message, it’s that there’s more to someone than you might think,” says Asbury.  “Forget about how they look.  Forget about how they act.”

Along with delivering a wonderful message to all, UGLYDOLLS is highly entertaining, chock full of amazing voice talent including pop powerhouse Kelly Clarkson (Moxie) and country charmer Blake Shelton (Ox.)  Asbury is thrilled with the entire cast, and for good reason – they are all perfect in their adorable rolls!

UGLYDOLLS is currently in theaters and a great way to spend quality family time this weekend.  Reinforcing the messages of the film with your children afterwards can really be a very powerful parenting moment, too.  Learn more below and enjoy the show!


Unconventionality rules in UGLYDOLLS, STXfilms’ new animated musical adventure starring the acting and singing voices of Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Janelle Monáe, Blake Shelton and Pitbull. The film is inspired by the unique and beloved global plush toy phenomenon launched in 2001.

In the adorably different town of Uglyville, weird is celebrated, strange is special and beauty is embraced as more than simply meets the eye. Here, the free-spirited Moxy and her UglyDolls friends live every day in a whirlwind of bliss, letting their freak flags fly in a celebration of life and its endless possibilities, occasionally looking to the sky, where a new UglyDoll will appear and be embraced by the community.

Moxy (Kelly Clarkson) loves her square-peg life in this round-hole town, but her curiosity about all things leads her to wonder if there’s something – anything – on the other side of the mountain which nestles Uglyville. Moxy gathers a group of her closest friends and sets off to find what’s on the other side. They discover another world – Perfection – a town where more conventional dolls are trained in protocols before they graduate and are sent to the “real” world to find the love of a child.

In Perfection, Moxy and her crew are subject to the manipulations of Lou (Nick Jonas), the perfect doll in charge of training recruits. Here, the UglyDolls 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 perfect to be amazing because who you truly are is what matters most.

Director: Kelly Asbury Cast: Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Blake Shelton, Janelle Monae, Wanda Sykes, Emma Roberts, Gabriel Iglesias, Wang Leehom and Pitbull

UglyDolls: Behind the Story with David Horvath and Kelly Asbury

#UglyDollsMovie – only in theaters! Get tickets now:

For more information about the film, check out #UglyDolls on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an author and sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky. When she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s writing about country living and artisan culture.
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