Let me be upfront: I haven’t seen The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure yet. Of course, you probably haven’t either, as it just had the worst opening weekend in box office history.
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. I mean, have you SEEN Oogieloves.com?! The sheer WTF factor of this strange, strange franchise is utterly intoxicating. And Oogieloves filmmaker Kenn Viselman seems to indicate that this might be exactly what he was hoping for. “This was never about box office,” Viselman told TheWrap Monday morning. “It was about exposure. We’ve now got the notoriety we were trying to get for weeks before the film opened.”
But whether this was a calculated box office bomb is just one of the questions that this movie has left us pondering today. Among the many others: Just who are the Oogieloves? Why are they all different colors? Why must they ride inside a giant sombrero? How come they describe themselves as “Sparkleiciousness” as if that’s an adjective? What’s up with this freaky Rainbow-Brite pillow named Schluufy that has a mouth but can’t talk? What are the filmmakers trying to say by naming the vacuum J. Edgar? No, really, is it more than just a Hoover pun?
The Oogieloves appear to be some sort of Frankenstein composed of The Teletubbies, My Little Pony, Dora the Explorer, and a couple boatloads of acid – the strong stuff.
By the way, Have you met Windy Window? She is an ACTUAL CHARACTER in The Oogieloves, and except for her commie-suctioning friend J. Edgar she’s got the most normal name in the movie. Oh yeah, that reminds me – I forgot to mention the three main characters: Toofie, Zoozie, and Goobie. If you head over to the official Oogieloves website, you can learn all kinds of interesting facts about these three – and their pet fish Ruffy. Poor Ruffy can’t even swim in the ocean. “Anything bigger than his bowl will set him sneezing,” explains the site, as if that’s a normal fish dilemma.
You know who else can’t stop sneezing? Toni Braxton. Yes, that Toni Braxton. The Grammy award-winning “Un-Break My Heart” singing Toni Braxton. She plays Rosalie Rosebud, a flu-stricken diva accompanied by the Oogieloves themselves.
That’s right, people, there are actual stars in The Oogieloves. Christopher Lloyd, Cloris Leachman, Cary Elwes, Chazz Palminteri, and Jaime Pressly all also appear, and they must have gotten paid very handsomely to film their scenes (Oogieloves did, inexplicably, cost $20 million, after all).
The word on the street is that, as a whole, Oogieloves is actually a perfectly fine choice for toddlers, but considering almost no one has seen the film as a whole – and except for tripped out drug users and snarky bloggers, no one ever will – it seems more likely that Oogieloves will live on as a meme-dwelling punchline.
And I sure hope the following clips don’t disappear from the ‘net anytime soon. They’re too amazing. Now that I’ve been exposed to the world of Oogieloves, I know I’ll be revisiting Braxton’s flu song snippet frequently until the full version hits the net.
But Chazz Palminteri’s Milky Marvin milkshake song? That’s a different story.
So go ahead and watch the following celebrity clips, and once you’re done asking yourself, “Why would they ever sign up for this?” vote in the poll about which star should be most embarrassed about his/her presence in the film. (Right now, I’m betting on Cary Elwes):
Keep in mind, this is a real movie. This actually got released into 2,160 theaters on Wednesday. I don’t know that I’ll ever get over that fact:
Cary Elwes as Bobby Wobbly
Jamie Pressly and Christopher Lloyd as Lola and Lero Sombrero
Toni Braxton as Rosalie Rosebud
Chazz Palminteri as Milky Marvin
Cloris Leachman as Dotty Rounder
Follow Grady on Twitter: @EWGradySmith