Willie Waffle is the movie critic for people who hate movie critics.

The Oogieloves in The Big Balloon Adventure - Review

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oogielovesposter.jpgAs I sat there in the empty theater, the lights dimming in anticipation of the day's feature presentation, and the tempting aroma of popcorn wafting in, I felt like every moment in my life, every decision, every time I chose the path less traveled had led me to this life altering moment of clarity.  On a Wednesday afternoon at 1:30 PM, I, a grown man, had bought a ticket to see The Oogieloves in The Big Balloon Adventure.  Really?

Billed as an interactive moviegoing experience encouraging kids in the audience to participate, Goobie (Misty Miller), Zoozie (Stefanie Renz) and Toofi Oogielove (Malerie Grady) have to spring into action to save their pal's, Shluufy (Taras Los), birthday celebration.  J. Edgar (Nick Drago) let go of the 5 magical balloons they wanted to present to Shluufy, so The Oogieloves have set out to find each one in time for the birthday party.  With some help from Windy Window (Mary Stange), they travel all over town and meet some new friends. 

Can they find all 5 balloons in time for the surprise party?

Within the first two minutes, one of the characters proclaims this will be "the greatest movie ever", and you know it won't be.  Even the 4-year old sitting behind me was dubious of that claim.  I had never heard of the Oogieloves until I saw a poster in a movie theater lobby a few months ago, and I wish I could return to those days of blissful ignorance.  

Sure, the whole movie is aimed at pre-school children who just want to see bright colors, kooky characters and plenty of singing and dancing, but, as I mentioned, I paid to see this in a theater and the only other people there was a family of four, with two small children, who refused to stand up and sing and dance every time the Oogieloves prodded them to do so.  These kids didn't want to have any of that!

So, your mind starts to wander.  What is the relationship between Windy Window and J. Edgar as she cries out in her sexy southern drawl that he makes the greatest flapjacks for breakfast, and he strokes her drapes?  

Is Cloris Leachman in this movie because Betty White turned it down?  Plus, is she sitting down during her song and dance number because, in the immortal words of Lethal Weapon's Roger Murtaugh, she's too old for this "stuff"?  

Why is Chazz Palminteri doing a very bad Andrew Dice Clay impression while serving milkshakes?  

Why is Jamie Pressly, a blonde southern lady, portraying a Latina flamenco dancer, complete with a stereotypical Mexican or Central American accent?      

And, Carl Elwes?  Really?!?!? Carl Elwes is in this movie?

I don't want to be too hard on the film, since it truly is aimed at young children who have no desire for character development, story arcs or sublime acting, but writer Scott Stabile and director Matthew Diamond aren't trying to do anything positively memorable or entertaining with The Oogieloves in The Big Balloon Adventure
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The costumed characters' mouths barely move when speaking, so they look creepy.  They are quite bulky and can't move all that well, so the breakdancing sequence is more laugh inducing than any intended comedy in the entire film (yes, I said breakdancing sequence). 

And, for such a simple story, did they have to put in a last minute twist/obstacle that even that 4-year old behind me felt was too much?

The Oogieloves in The Big Balloon Adventure is a deflating experience for anyone over the age of 5. 

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The Oogieloves in The Big Balloon Adventure is rated G