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Film / The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure

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Oogie-what...?

Voiceover: Please be reminded that once the show starts, if you plan on talking, if you feel like singing, and if you can't stop dancing...
Toofie: Then you're in the right place!
The Oogieloves: We're the Oogieloves!
— From one of the movie's trailers

From Kenn Viselman, the marketing genius (not creator) behind such franchises as Teletubbies, comes the adventuriffic 2012 kids' film The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure, based on costumed characters in a 2009 series of PSAs, who in turn were based on characters from an obscure 2004 kids' show called My Bedbugs, whose rights were sold off to Viselman by its owners as their production company was about to be shut down during the 2008 economic meltdown.

As Goobie, Zoozie, and Toofie work with their friends J. Edgar the vacuum cleaner, Windy Window, and Ruffy the Goldfish to organize a surprise party for their friend Schluufy the Pillow, J. Edgar trips and loses the last five magical balloons in all of Lovelyloveville, setting the Oogieloves to find them all in time. Along the way, they meet a variety of characters (including a polka dot-obsessed woman played by Cloris Leachman and a cowboy/mariachi played by Christopher Lloyd) who help them out in their quest.

The Oogieloves came about after Viselman saw Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail and observed the audience shouting advice to the characters. He figured he could work backward from that idea by making an interactive aspect with a children's movie around it, with auditory and visual cues telling kids when to sing, dance, and respond to the on-screen action, as well as when to sit down.

It is considered by many to be one of the biggest box office bombs of all time, underperforming Delgo in its opening weekend as one of the lowest-grossing wide-release films. It eventually made more money in its lifetime than Delgo, as Delgo only appeared in theaters for a single week, while Oogieloves lasted 23 days, grossing only $1 million against a $20 million production budget.


This film contains examples of:

  • Adam Westing: Rosalie Rosebud's entire character boils down to Toni Braxton parodying herself.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Woozy's and Snoozy's names change to Zoozie and Schluufy in the film.
  • Alliterative Name: Rosalie Rosebud, Lola and Lero Sombrero, Milky Marvin, and Windy Window.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Goobie refuses to believe that the balloons are magical and can talk, stating that it is scientifically impossible. This despite the fact they live in a house with a magic talking window, a talking pillow, and a talking vacuum cleaner.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Apparently if a balloon is somehow attached to the horizontal stabilizer on the tail of a full size plane, it cannot take off. At all.
  • AstroTurf: The movie's rating on IMDb used to be quite high (peaking at 8.1, and reaching 6.0) due to lots of sock puppets of the producers, as 82.1% of the overall voters gave it 10/10, yet the ratings by demographics (read: by users who bothered to fill out their profile info, which most astroturfers don't) mostly hover around the more realistic 2 to 4 points range. Furthermore, almost all of the positive reviews are the only reviews of their authors and many have dubious formatting (paragraph breaks in mid-sentence) and/or fall victim to a Translation Train Wreck, all clear signs of astroturfing. The website caught on to discard those from the formula and the current grade is 1.7.
  • Audience Participation: Strongly encouraged here: visual cues encourage the kids to stand up and dance during a song.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: All over the film, especially in the climax, when The Power of Love, which the Oogieloves (and audience) express by blowing kisses, bring the runaway balloons back.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase: The Oogieloves are the leads of the film and have to restore the balloons.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: The Oogieloves have a rather strange taste in milkshakes, but it's one Milky Marvin is willing to cater to.
  • Crunchtastic: The characters all have a Catchphrase with this type of word (Sparkleliciousness for Zoozie, Sciencetastic for Goobie, and Adventurific for Toofie).
  • Deus ex Machina: At the climax, the balloons get lost again, but the Oogieloves blow kisses for them to return.
  • Excuse Plot: The plot is not so much threadbare as it is a single fraying string.
    • While J. Edgar claims he can't just buy more balloons because these were the last five magical ones in the land, the Oogieloves have plenty of other fantastic inventions they could just give Schluufy as a present instead. He wouldn't even notice, as he was asleep during most of the film and turns out to have the mind of a baby.
    • At the climax, the Oogieloves lose the balloons again but summon them back with kisses. It's never said why they didn't do this in the first place.
    • There are many other ways the Oogieloves could've gotten the balloons. They could've just simply asked the people for their balloons back or get a ladder to climb up to get the higher placed ones, rather than having to do half of the things they do in order to find get the balloons back.
  • Flat Character: Every single character. The closest to having a personality is Ruffy, and even then his basic character is being grumpy.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Toofie's underwear has bunnies on it.
  • Hipster: Goobie has the appearance of one (beanie and glasses), though his personality is more of your standard nerd.
  • If My Calculations Are Correct: Goobie, a stereotypical nerd, uses this as his catchphrase.
  • Like Is, Like, a Comma: Jubilee Rounder has an exaggerated Valley Girl accent, complete with this. "You guys are, like, totally square!"
  • Magic Mirror: Windy functions as one, as she is able to find the location of the lost balloons upon request.
  • Meaningful Name: Dottie Rounder loves polka-dots and circles. Milky Marvin runs a milkshake restaurant. Rosalie Rosebud loves roses. Bobby Wobbly loves wobbling. Lola and Lero Sombrero live in a flying sombrero.
  • Merchandise-Driven: This seems to be the idea behind the Oogieloves film's conception, but given its failure, none was ever distributed.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Rosalie Rosebud, played by R&B singer Toni Braxton, moving surprisingly seductively during her song.
  • No Antagonist: The only real problem is finding the balloons.
  • No Indoor Voice: The Oogieloves themselves are quite loud and expressive.
  • Omniglot: Zoozie can speak every language, including animal talk.
  • Owls Ask "Who?": Despite allegedly speaking fluent animal, Zoozie encounters this problem when asking an owl where Milky Marvin is, and he just says "Who" over and over.
  • Parental Bonus: Who in the target audience would understand the reference to the vacuum being named J. Edgar?
  • People in Rubber Suits: Not rubber, but the Oogieloves are portrayed by actors in colorful suits.
  • Phrase Catcher: The audience is supposed to say "Goofy Toofie! Pick up your pants!" whenever Toofie's pants fall down. It happens a lot.
  • Polish the Turd: Downplayed in the trailer; when Toofie brings up Matthew Diamond as an Academy Award-nominated director, he uses a celebratory tone of voice that makes it sound like he actually won the award. While being nominated for is an achievement in itself, it doesn't bear the same amount of weight as winning the award.
    • This movie is far from the only trailer to play up a nomination like that. But it’s made worse by the fact Diamond was nominated for Best Documentary Feature and not Best Director. While Diamond’s had a good career directing episodes of popular TV shows (and has won a Primetime Emmy) this was his first theatrically released movie.
  • The Power of Love: Towards the end the Oogieloves blow kisses to call the balloons back and call the audience to do the same.
  • Running Gag: Goofy's pants continuously fall down, prompting his friends to say "Goofy Toofie! Pick up your pants!" every time.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Goobie loves to speak in big words.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Zoozie claims she can speak any language, and talks to animals throughout the film.
  • Spexico: Lero and Lola Sombrero embody this trope, living in a giant sombrero and being fond of flamenco dancing. By the way, neither is played by a Spanish or Hispanic actor.
  • Sugar Bowl: The 1950s-inspired Lovelyloveville is exceedingly colorful, full of cheery individuals.
  • Title Drop: "Good luck on your Big Balloon Adventure!" is said by all the guest stars at the end of their segments.
  • Toilet Humor:
    • Ruffy burps after drinking a milkshake in a contest.
    • "This is Penelope! Her bunions are bothering her, and she's gassy."
  • Valley Girl: Dottie's granddaughter Jubilee has the speech patterns of one, using "like" and "totally" repeatedly in her conversations with the Oogieloves. She also refers to things she thinks is cool as "totally square", relating back to her square obsession.

 
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