An animated adventure in which the free-spirited UglyDolls confront what it means to be different, struggle with a desire to be loved, and ultimately discover who you truly are is what matters most.
Inside a toy factory, there is the town of Uglyville, where UglyDolls live joyously. One doll, Moxy, dreams of going to Big World to be given to a child to play with, but her friends think she’s just dreaming. She then leads her friends – Ugly Dog, Lucky Bat, Wage, and Babo – to a tunnel that leads them to the Institute of Perfection, where cute dolls in uniforms are distributed to kids. Their leader, the snobbish jerk Lou, deems the UglyDolls unfit of being given to children, but Moxy’s unshakeable confidence leads him to let them stay and compete in The Gauntlet, which will determine who gets to be given to a kid. The dolls are befriended by a Perfect doll named Mandy, who is friendly and hides her “imperfection,” which is that she wears glasses.
Lou orders three spy dolls – Tuesday, Kitty, and Lydia – to kidnap Uglyville’s mayor Ox, as he and Lou knew each other since Ox accidentally made his way to Perfection. When he failed at the Gauntlet, he was almost sent to recycling, which is where the UglyDolls were meant to go. He made Uglyville to spare them from the truth, but Ox is forced to tell Moxy and her friends, which crushes her dreams and spirit, as well as all the other UglyDolls.
Mandy convinces Moxy to not give up. After Lou tries to have them recycled, Moxy challenges him to The Gauntlet. As they compete, Lou tries to sabotage Moxy, but she ends up winning. Angered, Lou tries to destroy the portal to Big World after revealing he is a prototype doll not meant for distribution, so he refuses to let the UglyDolls be played with too. The other dolls turn on Lou and send him to the washing machine that he tormented Moxy and her friends with.
The UglyDolls and Perfect dolls later integrate their towns and become friends. Moxy and her friends later end up with children who share their traits.
The film starts in a toy factory as dolls are being made and processed to be sent to children around the world. The deformed dolls get sent down to the land of Uglyville. A doll named Wedgehead (Emma Roberts) falls into Uglyville and is greeted by their mayor, Ox (Blake Shelton). The citizens then gather to start the day, always full of cheer and fun (“Couldn’t Be Better”). One doll, Moxy (Kelly Clarkson), is always optimistic and believes she is meant to go to the Big World where she will be given to a child who she can bring joy to (“Today’s The Day”), even though Ox and the other UglyDolls tell her that Big World doesn’t exist. Ox asks the wise Lucky Bat (Wang Leehom) to help Moxy out.
Lucky has lunch with Moxy and tries to give her positive wisdom. He gets a fortune cookie that says “Find your own truth”, which encourages Moxy to go out and find Big World herself. She gathers Lucky, plus their friends, the laid-back Ugly Dog (Pitbull), worrying Wage (Wanda Sykes), and gentle giant Babo (Gabriel Iglesias), to go venture beyond Uglyville. They come across a flower that leads to a pipe that appears to go on forever. Moxy convinces them all to follow her, and they end up going through a tunnel into a different world.
The UglyDolls find themselves among dolls that look like children. They end up in the Institute of Perfection where the prettiest dolls are made and sent to kids. The Perfect dolls see the Uglydolls as hideous. They are taken before Lou (Nick Jonas), the leader of the Perfect dolls who judges the newcomers based on the slightest flaws (“The Ugly Truth”). He mocks the UglyDolls and says they should just leave, as no kid would ever want them. They start to leave, but Moxy won’t let Lou bring her down. She mentions Ox, which gives Lou an idea. He allows the UglyDolls to stay in a crummy shed in preparation for an event called The Gauntlet, which involves tests that will determine which doll can be sent to a kid. Lou orders a Perfect doll named Mandy (Janelle Monae) to bring the UglyDolls to their new home. She is friendlier than all the Perfect dolls, but she hides it from others that she needs glasses to see, as it would make her imperfect.
Training for The Gauntlet begins, but as the UglyDolls think and act differently from the Perfects, Lou continuously torments them by sending them to the washing machine whenever they get dirty, as they would be if they got dirty around children.
Meanwhile, Lou sends three spy dolls – Kitty (Charli XCX), Tuesday (Bebe Rexha), and Lydia (Lizzo) – to find Ox and bring him back to Perfection. The three enter Uglyville without realizing they are there before they eventually come across Ox and kidnap him. They bring him back to Lou, and it appears that Ox recognizes him.
The UglyDolls take Mandy’s advice and undergo a slight makeover (“All Dolled Up”), while Mandy struggles with hiding her poor eyesight and maintaining the “perfect” image. They go out into town to show off their new looks to the Perfects, but the moment is ruined when Lou shows up and presents Ox to his friends. Ox reveals to the UglyDolls that he and Lou knew each other when Ox mistakenly fell into Perfection like Moxy and her friends did. Ox and Lou were friends who competed in The Gauntlet until Ox lost and was banished. He discovered that dolls like him were recycled and shredded to bits. To spare the others UglyDolls from the truth, he closed off the recycling chute in the factory and created Uglyville as a safe haven for them. Ox tells his friends they are rejects and that kids would never want them. The UglyDolls are hurt, but none more so than Moxy.
Uglyville becomes a grey and dreary wasteland when everyone becomes depressed after learning the truth. Moxy gives up on her dream of finding a child, until she is visited by Mandy. She tells Moxy not to let Lou get her down, because her own confidence inspired Mandy (“Unbreakable”). Just as Moxy is reinvigorated, they are found by Kitty, Tuesday, and Lydia, and they get kidnapped. Ox later comes across Moxy’s home and sees the mess before going to a doll that makes printed copies of the girls taking Moxy and Mandy.
Lou has Moxy and Mandy thrown into the recycling chute. They fall on the conveyor belt and try to run as they keep getting pulled in closer and closer. They are then saved by the entire town of Uglyville, as the dolls all form a chain to rescue Moxy and Mandy.
The UglyDolls return to Lou and decide to challenge him to compete in The Gauntlet. Despite his annoyance, he agrees. The Gauntlet begins, and it involves them going through a simulated house to avoid the dangers of the environment. Ugly Dog manages to distract a giant robot dog in the first room, but Lou keeps trying to sabotage them. A vacuum cleaner tries to suck them up, and Lou uses Tuesday (who has a crush on him) as bait. Babo frees Tuesday from the vacuum as Moxy and Lou near the last obstacle – a robot baby. It picks up both dolls and starts to play with them, but Lou kicks the baby in the nose and makes it cry so he can get away, but he gets thrown into a toy chest. Moxy sees an opportunity to make it to the finish line (which is out the doggy door), but she instead goes back to comfort the baby and nurture it. Both Perfect and UglyDolls witness this on the big screen. While Lou crosses the doggy door line, Moxy and her friends are declared the winners since she made the right call with the baby. However, Lou can’t handle the failure and runs to destroy the portal to Big World. Ox and Lucky try to fight him, but he smashes the portal to bits. Lou then reveals to everyone that he is a prototype doll, which means he can’t go to Big World and be given to a child, so it pained him to see dolls like Moxy and Ox get closer than he could. With every doll turned on him, Lou is taken by the robot dog to the washing machine. Everyone then gathers to repair the portal.
Later on, both Uglyville and Perfection are integrated, naming their town Imperfection, and everyone becomes friends. The day then finally comes for Moxy to go to Big World. She says goodbye to her friends and wakes up in the real world where she is given as a gift by two parents to their daughter Maizy. They leave Moxy in Maizy’s room as she sleeps, but Moxy walks over to her bed and accidentally wakes her up. Maizy sees Moxy has a gap in her teeth, and she smiles to reveal that she has a similar look. Maizy hugs Moxy, and the little doll hugs her back.
The credits show the other characters being played with by kids with similar traits (Mandy with a girl with glasses, Wage with a girl who loves baking, etc) while Lou now cleans up after the robot dog.