The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure
|The Oogieloves in the
Big Balloon Adventure
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Matthew Diamond|
|Screenplay by||Scott Stabile|
|Story by||Kenn Viselman|
|Based on||My Bedbugs
by Alex Greene
and Carol Sweeney
|Edited by||Girish Bhargava|
|Box office||$1.1 million|
The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure (also referred to as The Oogieloves) is a 2012 American interactive children's musical adventure comedy film based loosely on the children's television series My Bedbugs by Alex Greene and Carol Sweeney. It features the voice talents of Malerie Grady, Stephanie Renz and Misty Miller as the three Oogieloves and also stars Toni Braxton, Cloris Leachman, Christopher Lloyd, Chazz Palminteri, Cary Elwes and Jaime Pressly.
Marketed as an "interactive film", The Oogieloves encourages the viewers to sing and dance along. The film was theatrically released on August 29, 2012 by Kenn Viselman Presents and Freestyle Releasing and was negatively reviewed by critics. It earned $1,065,907 on a budget of $20 million, making it a huge box office bomb. The film was nominated for Worst Picture and Worst Screen Ensemble at the 33rd Golden Raspberry Awards, but lost both to The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2. The film was released on DVD on February 5, 2013.
The film opens with an introduction explaining the interactive nature of the movie and introducing the Oogieloves, Goobie, Zoozie, and Toofie.
The Oogieloves awake to prepare a surprise birthday party for their living pillow Schluufy, with the aid of magical window Windy Window, vacuum cleaner J. Edgar, and fish Ruffy. However, J. Edgar accidentally releases the five magical balloons they bought for Schluufy, so the Oogieloves set out to retrieve them.
The first balloon is found at the treehouse home of Dotty Rounder (Cloris Leachman) who is obsessed with circles and polka dots, and her granddaughter Jubilee (Kylie Dakota), who is obsessed with squares. The second is found at the milkshake cafe of Marvin Milkshake (Chazz Palminteri), who is holding a milkshake contest to win the second balloon in which the Oogieloves and their pet fish participate. The third balloon is found in possession of Rosalie Rosebud (Toni Braxton), a pop singer who denies her allergy to roses. The fourth balloon is by the truck of Bobby Wobbly (Cary Elwes), a cowboy with an unusual walk. The last balloon is found on top of a windmill, where the Oogieloves retrieve it with the help of Lola and Lero Sombrero (Jaime Pressly and Christopher Lloyd), who ride a giant flying sombrero.
Just before they reach home with all the balloons, the Oogieloves accidentally release them again but blow kisses to persuade them to return. They then hold the surprise party for Schluufy, who did not awake until just before their return.
- Malerie Grady as the voice of Toofie
- Alex Greene as Toofie (in-suit performer)
- Stephanie Renz as the voice of Zoozie
- Carol Sweeney as Zoozie (in-suit performer)
- Misty Miller as the voice of Goobie
- Eric Dunman as Goobie (in-suit performer)
- Toni Braxton as Rosalie Rosebud
- Cloris Leachman as Dottie Rounder
- Christopher Lloyd as Lero Sombrero
- Chazz Palminteri as Marvin Milkshake
- Cary Elwes as Bobby Wobbly
- Jaime Pressly as Lola Sombrero
- Maya Stange as Windy Window
- Nick Drago as J. Edgar
- Alecia Jai Fears as Rochelle Rosebud
- Kylie O'Brien as Jubilee Rounder
- Taras Los as Schluufy the Pillow
- Randy Carfagno as Ruffy
- Guistina Chirco as Marna
The film was written by Scott Stabile and produced by Kenn Viselman, who was behind the American localization of the British children's series Teletubbies and Thomas & Friends. Viselman claims that he and Teletubbies creator Anne Wood had multiple disputes with each other, because Wood refused to let Viselman pursue a film adaptation of the show. The film is loosely based on the characters from the children's TV show My Bedbugs. After seeing Madea Goes to Jail in a theater, where he saw how the audience members would shout out advice to the characters on screen, Viselman was partially inspired to create a children's film in the vein of Teletubbies with the interactive aspect, allowing the children to sing, dance, and respond to the characters on screen. He felt that "The idea of interactivity isn't new, but the idea of interactivity in a theater is."
The film has a 27% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 22 reviews, and a score of 32% on Metacritic, based on 11 reviews. Loren King of the Boston Globe considered The Oogieloves to be a "dumbed-down mash-up of the least creative parts of Teletubbies, Barney & Friends and Pee-wee's Playhouse" which preschoolers would enjoy due to its interactivity, but would be a waste of time for parents "in a world where Sesame Street is on TV every day [and/or] even in a world where Sesame Street didn’t exist." King also questioned whether the intent of the film was to set the stage for future merchandising of its characters. Mark Olsen of the Los Angeles Times criticized The Oogieloves for being a "prefab construction meant to appear like a beloved set of characters", and for being "so ineffectual and disengaging that it may be better to call it just plain dumb." A. O. Scott of the New York Times reviewed the film from the perspective of the seven-year-old daughter of a family friend. She stated that she "thought it was for babies" and observed, among other things, that none of the children in the audience were paying attention to the film, and that the toddler whose family she saw it with fell asleep partway through the movie.
In its debut weekend, Oogieloves proved to be one of the weakest disasters of all time for films released in at least 2,000 theaters. Its production budget was $20 million, in addition to another $40 million in marketing costs. On August 29, 2012, the film opened at #17 at the box office to $102,564 in 2,160 theaters, with a per-theater average of $47. Box Office Mojo said the film needed "at least $5 million to avoid being dubbed a legendary flop, and it's not going to come anywhere close". It grossed only $445,000 in its opening weekend, surpassing Delgo for the lowest opening weekend of a film in 2,000 or more theaters. Delgo also played in the same number of theaters as Oogieloves, and was also the ugliest Freestyle Releasing film ever made. The film has the second worst opening weekend per-theater average for a widely released film at $206. "To put that in perspective, if each location played Oogieloves five times a day on one screen at an average ticket price of $7, that would translate to fewer than two people per showing", according to Box Office Mojo. Over the life of its exhibition in theaters, the film grossed a grand total of $1,065,907 as measured by total box office gross. Only Delgo had a worse theatrical gross by total gross; however, The Oogieloves played for 23 days while Delgo played for only 7.
- March and Moo – Chazz Palminteri
- Polkadotty Shake your Body – Cloris Leachman and Kylie O'Brien
- Ode to Adelaide (Scratchy Sneezy Cough Cough) – Toni Braxton
- Wobble with your Wiggle – Cary Elwes
- Jump, Step, Clap – Christopher Lloyd and Jaime Pressly
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- "Movie Review - "The Oogieloves and the Big Balloon Adventure"". New York Times. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
- Kaufman, Amy (30 August 2012). "'The Possession' will scare off competition over slow Labor Day". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
- Ray Subers (August 30, 2012). "Forecast: 'The Possession' Set To Haunt Theaters Over Labor Day". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
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- Official website
- The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure on IMDb
- The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure at AllMovie
- The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure at Box Office Mojo
- The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure at Metacritic