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The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure

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The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure
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This isn't actually a big balloon adventure, just a dumb adventure from the marketer of Teletubbies.
Genre: Adventure
Musical
Fantasy
Educational
Interactive
Directed By: Matthew Diamond
Written By: Alex J. Greene
Scott Stabile
Carol Sweeney
Kenn Viselman
Based On: My Bedbugs
by Alex J. Greene
and Carol Sweeney
Starring: Toni Braxton
Cloris Leachman
Christopher Lloyd
Chazz Palminteri
Cary Elwes
Jaime Pressly
Photography: Color
Distributed By: Kenn Viselman Productions
Freestyle Releasing
Release Date: July 26, 2012 (United Kingdom)
August 29, 2012 (North America)
Runtime: 88 minutes
Country: United States
Franchise: My Bedbugs


The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure is a 2012 American interactive adventure film for children directed by Matthew Diamond. It is the brainchild of Teletubbies marketer Ken Viselman, who could not obtain rights to make a movie based on that series due to disputes with the series' creator and decided to repurpose an obscure Detroit-based show, My Bedbugs, to make the film. The film was premiered at the Summer Olympics in the United Kingdom on July 26, 2012, and was theatrically released on August 29, 2012, by Kenn Viselman Presents and Freestyle Releasing.

Plot

The film opens with an introduction that explains the interactive nature of the movie and introduces the Oogieloves, Goobie (green), Zoozie (yellow), and Toofie (purple). The Oogieloves awake to prepare a surprise birthday party for their living pink pillow named Schluufy, with the aid of a magical window named Windy Window, a vacuum cleaner named J. Edgar and a goldfish named Ruffy. However, J. Edgar accidentally releases the five magical balloons they bought for the party, 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 Milky Marvin (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.

Why It Doesn't Deserve To Have A Birthday Party

  1. Right off the bat, making a film based on the obscure Detroit-based show, My Bedbugs, was a questionable idea from the get-go, considering that said preschool show is very obscure and therefore not popular enough among its audiences and fans to warrant a revival, let alone a film adaptation.
    • Worse still, the negative reception of this film had officially killed the My Bedbugs franchise, as there haven't been any reboot/revivals of My Bedbugs produced for a new generation of toddlers since this film's failure.
    • The only reason why this film was made to begin with is because Kenn Viselman originally wanted to make a Teletubbies movie, but creators Anne Wood and Andrew Davenport refused to grant him the film rights to said show.
  2. Extremely childish and intelligence-insulting writing, even for preschool standards. The film is intended to be for little kids ages 5 and under, but instead treats its target audience like idiots.
  3. A movie actively encouraging toddlers to get up and mess around inside a theatre full of steps to fall off and steel-framed seats for them to hit their heads on is not a very good idea.
    • On the topic, parents may be immune to realizing how annoying their own children are in movie theaters, but this instinct notably does not extend to anyone else's. And the fact that this movie had a theatrical release nationwide instead of being a direct-to-video or made-for-TV film just makes it even worse.
  4. Poor grasp of the original source material:
    • In the original My Bedbugs TV show, the main characters Gooby, Toofy, and Woozy are anthropomorphic bedbugs, hence their name, but here in the Oogieloves they're now redesigned as giant-sized five-year old human children with abnormally colorful skin complexions (see WIDDTHABP #5).
    • In the original My Bedbugs TV show, Toofy has blue skin, but here his skin color is changed to purple.
  5. The Oogieloves themselves are creepy-looking, with inexpressive animatronic faces (in particular, their eyebrows are totally static), mouths that can barely open, arms that bulge weirdly, obvious seams in their heads, lower eyelids that are always part-closed and make them look stoned, and soulless, glassy, cartoonish eyes that constantly reflect the studio lights.
    • Not only that, but the fact that they are placed in the presence of actual humans, where it turns out they are about seven feet tall and have heads so big they could reasonably fit an adult's entire head in their mouth, does not help in the slightest. They are even more grating than the Teletubbies and Barney the Dinosaur. Schluufy (who sounds like Meatwad) and the side characters look even more unsettling.
  6. The songs are pretty pointless, insultingly juvenile (even for preschool standards), uncreative, laughable, poorly-written, and would rather be jeered at than danced to, such as the song about nasal congestion (which was performed by TONI BRAXTON, of all people!) and the "Milkshake" song that's sung by none other than Chazz Palminteri (of A Bronx Tale and The Usual Suspects fame) who's also wasted on this sugar-coated trash heap.
  7. Paper-thin, and loosely written story that straight-up rips off The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, as both movies involve the main characters going on a quest to rescue something that has been stolen.
  8. The movie has very poor and unfunny attempts at comedy, whether there are running gags ("Goofy Toofy! Pick up your pants!"), lame puns (a treehouse shaped like a teapot = a tree-pot), or gross-out humor.
  9. Incredibly uninteresting characters who each have little to no dimensional outside of a single character quirk, including the main characters.
  10. Weirdness and nonsense all around and there are a few scenes that some could consider being racist. A few examples are wrong science facts, a Mexican walking like an Egyptian, and a Spanish person playing East-Indian music.
  11. For a movie aimed at toddlers, the film contains some scenes that could be a bit too risque for its target audience:
    • For some strange reason, the camera sure seems interested in showing off Jubilee's rear.
    • When Toofy says "I can't wait to get the snipples again!" (he is probably trying to say "sniffles," but it doesn't sound like it at all), it sounded more like "nipples", which is very inappropriate for the toddler audience.
    • Toni Braxton's character Rosalie Rosebud is often seen wearing very revealing outfits that show off her cleavage.
    • Some of the dance moves by Toni Braxton and Jaime Pressley's respective characters Rosalie Rosebud and Lola Sombrero seen during their respective musical numbers are a bit too provocative and suggestive for its toddler audience.
    • On the topic with WIS #8, there is often a recurring gag where Toofy's pants often drops down (exposing his underwear in the process) at each time he's within a presence of an attractive female character such as Jubilee for example.
  12. Horrible acting from the humans, even Christopher Lloyd, and especially with the Oogieloves.
  13. It features an unintentionally creepy scene where Bobby Wobbly the cowboy (played by Cary Elwes) asks the Oogieloves to come into the back of his truck for some "Bobby Wobbly fun" which does not exactly sound wholesome to an adult viewer. This could come off as teaching kids to trust weird strangers who ask anyone if they'd like to get into their vehicle to give them something.
  14. An infuriatingly stupid ending (where the balloons are about to fly away, but tell the Oogieloves that "their love is stronger than the wind", and they end up blowing kisses to get them back) that makes the whole journey seeking the balloons entirely pointless.
    • Speaking of balloons, the only reason why the five balloons are "magical balloons" is because they can talk, and is treated as if it's that big of a deal. Big deal - What's even magical about talking balloons, especially when you got a talking vacuum cleaner like J. Edgar and a talking magic mirror like Windy Window?
  15. The lyrics to Windy Window's song sound like they were written by Dr. Seuss while drunk and horribly depressed.
  16. At the beginning of the movie, there is blatant, self-praising bias when Zoozie exclaims that it's "the most amazing movie ever."
  17. They stole lines from other media (Notably that they stole a line from Boardwalk Empire).
  18. Stupid words like Oogust (which is supposed to be August) and the aforementioned Snipples.
  19. Heaps of idiotic and laughable location names, such as Lovely Loveville for example.
  20. False advertising: In the posters for the film, Gooby appears to be wearing a black beanie. But in the actual movie, he wears a maroon one.
  21. The film has loads of filler to pad out the run-time to feature-length. For example, the entire schtick of the Oogieloves retrieving the five magical balloons from other characters complete with a musical number has been repeated five times in this film.
  22. The creators of the film can't even decide to take the criticism, similar to David Hutter with Strawinsky and the Mysterious House. They gave Bobsheaux a copyright claim, forcing him to remove his review video.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The tone of the film, while mainly stupid, repetitive, and saccharine, is never mean-spirited (as the main theme of the film is spreading love and happiness), which is more than what can be said about other bad movies.
  2. It's rather tame compared to other nonsensical movies aimed at toddlers, but just barely.
  3. The original 2009 sample, Stomp Out Bullying, has actually better tone and looks much better than the final product.

Reception

Critical Response

The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure was universally panned by critics and audiences. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 30%, based on 22 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads: "Although it may serve as a passable diversion for very young viewers, The Oogieloves fails to offer much more than several brightly colored examples of the worst stereotypes of modern children's entertainment." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 32 out of 100, based on 11 reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews." IMDb has a score of 1.9/10.

Box Office

The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure was a critical and box-office bomb, grossing $1.1 million against a $20 million budget and surpassed Delgo for the record for the worst opening weekend for a film playing in over 2,000 theaters, earning $443,901 (an average of $205 per theater). The film's box office dropped over 90% on its second weekend, and it subsequently vanished from theaters after three weeks.

Accolades

The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure 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.

Trivia

  • Although the movie had been completed in 2009, it was shelved for three years due to the producer wanting to patent the visual cues and synchronized house lights used in the movie.
  • Not long after the movie's release, numerous 10-star reviews came in for the movie on IMDb. The accounts that posted the reviews joined not long after the movie's release and had similar name structures. Although nobody is sure as to why it happened, one possible explanation for the sudden spike is that somebody involved with the movie was attempting to make the movie look good. After enough complaints were made, IMDb eventually made all 10-star votes on the title invalid in order to prevent further vote stuffing.
    • Although the 10-star votes placed before IMDB's invalidation of no longer count towards the film's score, the number of votes is still counted, and it is currently #99 on IMDb's Bottom Rated Movies list.
  • This movie was never released outside Canada, the US and the UK.
  • As mentioned above, the film is loosely based on a children's television series called "My Bedbugs", which was broadcasted on TBN and Smile of a Child.
  • The director of the film was developing two other sequels: one titled The Oogieloves in the Big Family Adventure that was planned for 2013, and The Oogieloves in the Big Holiday Adventure for 2014. Furthermore, he was also wanting to make a reboot/revival television series (which is ironic, since the characters were already a TV show) to be released in 2015. Unsurprisingly after the flop of the first film, none of this ever materialized.

Videos

Trailers

Reviews

External Links

Comments

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