The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure

The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon AdventureHave you heard about The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure? It is a feature film produced for toddlers. But the reason people are talking about it is that after $20 million in production and $40 million in marketing, Oogieloves had the worst opening weekend in film history—making less than a half million dollars on over 2000 screens.

Grady Smith was on On the Media today. That’s how I learned about the film that opened at the end of August. He seems to be confused about the movie. On the one hand, as a writer for Entertainment Weekly, he’s only supposed to care about how much a film makes. On the other hand, a film with this kind of dismal performance has got to be “interesting.” We’re talking about Ed Wood territory here!

He even admits to this. In his second article about the film in Entertainment Weekly, he admitted that he hadn’t seen the film. “But I sort of want to. Somehow, the film earning that dubious distinction has unleashed an alarming obsession within me for all things Oogieloves in the last 24 hours.”

By the time he was interviewed by On the Media, he had seen the film:

It is so many levels higher on the demented scale than I could have imagined. There is this pillow that only speaks in his own pillow dialect, there are magical balloons, there is a vacuum cleaner named J. Edgar. It is so colorful and the songs are so weird and you are forced to say “Goofy Toofie, pick you your pants!” a myriad of times. I wasn’t ever expecting something that weird.

It is not clear whether he means this in a good or bad way. I suspect that he doesn’t even know. But this description made me think that I really wanted to see this film. It isn’t playing anywhere, but I did manage to find its trailer:

Typically, viewers of the trailer have overwhelmingly panning it. There are 10 likes and 98 dislikes. This doesn’t speak to the quality of the film or the trailer. Instead, it speaks to the fact that people know that this film is supposed to be bad. It’s the same with Ed Wood films.[1]

I would still like to see the film. What I see in the trailer is a very creative effort. I suspect that those toddlers who have been able to see it have enjoyed it. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it eventually did very well in the DVD market.

[1] I wrote about this in comments on The 3 (or 7) Houses of Parliament:

I don’t mean to be ragging on Ed Wood above. I think rather highly of him. His films were always interesting. Wood was the first reason (I’ve since developed more) that I hate Michael Medved. Certainly anyone can see that Plan 9 is a far better film than Robot Monster, which for all of its silliness is very hard to watch. Or “Manos”: The Hands of Fate.

Of course, my opinion is that anyone who can complete any film on a shoestring deserves respect. I see $100 million films all the time that show no more imagination or insight. Think: almost any Marvel movie.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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