A group of overlit, malformed, and oppressively upbeat FAO Schwarz factory rejects leave Uglytown for the Big World, an alternate universe populated by winsome, acromegalic Tootsie Pops who cringe at the very sight of them. In a word, fugly. Combine the suppleness of character detail often associated with a Cricket Wireless commercial with the visual humdrum of a packed sock drawer, and it still wouldn’t be as inert as this. How is it that director Kelly Asbury, blessed with the wherewithal to texturize pixels to the point where characters look like finely-detailed terry cloth, still lacks the imagination needed to put the technology to good use? The Baby Lloyd Webber “spoken singing” score could be the most repugnant ever assigned a cartoon, and I’ve logged all 3 Smurf movies. If your child demands that you see it through to the end with them, no one would would think twice if you were to sue for parent abuse. (2019) — Scott Marks
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