Lionsgate // 2012 // 86 Minutes // Rated G
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // August 2nd, 2013
I am currently sitting at our dining room table watching my three-year-old daughter staring at some weird crap. It's The Oogieloves in The Big Balloon Adventure and for some reason this is a big enough deal that a feature film was developed and stars an impressive number of recognizable Hollywood also-rans.
These include: Toni Braxton, Cloris Leachman, Christopher Lloyd, Chazz Palminteri, Cary Elwes and Jaime Pressly.
So just what are the Oogieloves? They're three pre-adolescent humanoid things named Goobie, Zoozie and Toofie. One of them is a girl, I think. They have a friend named Schluufy, which happens to be a sound similar to the one my bowels made as I watched this. Schluufy has a birthday coming up. To celebrate, the Oogieloves plan a party, but things hit a snag when five golden balloons fly away. So they're off, jumping on their bikes and heading towards a series of adventures featuring C-level celebrities. Along the way, there's singing and dancing and puppetry and a barely-conscious Christopher Lloyd dancing the salsa.
Amazingly, this incoherent sculch made a vanishingly small sprint in the theaters. Over 2,000 theaters actually, bringing with it a budget over $50 million (including advertising). And what did all this yield? A total of $445,000 in its opening weekend and just north of $1 million for its entire run. Good lord.
I feel bad for any well-meaning investors that took a bath, but this movie blows. Even when you grade it on the Children's Film Curve, what the Oogieloves vomit forth is excruciating. I don't care how young the target viewing audience is: you have to have at least a molecule of wit, right? There is none to be found, and what you're faced with is an annoying, unending trek with a group of felt-clad stiffs who feel the need to spontaneously break into song. The filmmakers obviously wanted kiddos to interact with the film (hence the lyrics that show on screen), but who would want to sing along with songs they never heard of? How many kindergartners are dying to belt out a milkshake song with Chazz Palminteri?
Look, I try to cut family films a break, but with so many decent animated films consistently churned out, the standards are high. However, even with standards flush to the ground, this pathetic foray couldn't clear it. Parent, guardians, babysitters, anyone charged with the care of a child: avoid the Oogieloves at all costs.
Now excuse me as I try to lure my child away from the TV with a Mallomar.
The DVD: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, Dolby 5.1 Surround, character profiles, and an interactive game.
May our doorways never be darkened again by the menace that is the Oogieloves.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (CC)
Running Time: 86 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Rated G
* Character Profiles
* Interactive Game