The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure

The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure

THE OOGIELOVES IN THE BIG BALLOON ADVENTURE, a film directed by Matthew Diamond. Photo credit: Matthew Mitchell. Picture TM & © 2012 BBAM, LLC. Licensed by Kenn Viselman Presents, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure (2012)

Opened: 08/29/2012 Wide

Columbia Park ...08/29/2012 - 09/06/20129 days
Showcase Cinem...08/29/2012 - 09/06/20129 days
AMC Loews Meth...08/29/2012 - 09/06/20129 days
AMC Empire 2508/29/2012 - 09/06/20129 days
AMC Deer Valley08/29/2012 - 09/06/20129 days
Georgetown 1408/29/2012 - 09/06/20129 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube

Genre: Children's Film

Rated: G


THE OOGIELOVES IN THE BIG BALLOON ADVENTURE is a simple story of a loving friendship, a surprise birthday party and a BIG adventure...It's a beautiful day in Lovelyloveville. It's Schluufy's birthday and the Oogieloves (Goobie, Zoozie, and Toofie) along with their friends J. Edgar, Windy Window and Ruffy, are organizing a party (Ssshh! It's a secret). Everything is going along just perfectly until J.Edgar trips and loses the last five magical balloons in all of Lovelyloveville - OH NO!!! The Oogieloves immediately take action and set out to find the magical balloons in time to save their friend's party. Along the way they meet some very interesting characters indeed, including Dotty Rounder (Cloris Leachman); Bobby Wobbly (Carey Elwes); Milky Marvin(Chazz Palminteri), Rosalie Rosebud (Toni Braxton) and Lola and Lero Sombero (Christopher Lloyd and Jaime Pressly). Can these new friends help them recover the magical balloons and get back to the cottage in time to celebrate Schluufy's surprise birthday?

About the Production

Kenn Viselman, creator and producer of THE OOGIELOVES IN THE BIG BALLOON ADVENTURE, began his career far from Hollywood, in New York's bustling and competitive garment industry. He quickly carved out a reputation as the go-to-guy for transforming struggling companies into successful businesses. The news of his golden touch brought Quality Family Entertainment, the production company behind "Shining Time Station" featuring Thomas the Tank Engine, to his door for help in building a following for their children's show.

Viselman was about to find out that his talent could transform more than businesses; it could change lives. Learning of an autistic fan who responded strongly to the character of Thomas, he sent the family a "Thomas" T-shirt along with some other merchandise. Three weeks later, he received a letter from the boy's mother telling him that her son wore the shirt every day--even when he bathed. His symptoms had lessened and, most importantly, he had said his first words--"Choo choo." Viselman realized in that moment that he could use his marketing skills to change children's lives for the better. He began to carry a photo of the boy with him at all times to remind him of that.

The sensational success of "Thomas the Tank Engine" made him a business-world superstar, and led to more success in children's entertainment. After already successfully selling one of Ragdoll's television series to PBS, he was approached by British television producer Anne Wood and her series development partner, Andy Davenport, about a new series designed for a pre-school audience. With Viselman's help, the show became the global phenomenon, "Teletubbies."

When the series skyrocketed to success, Viselman and Wood were approached about doing a Teletubbies movie. Though Wood rejected the offer, Viselman kept the idea in his back pocket. After a decade, Viselman couldn't get the idea of making a feature film for the youngest of audiences out of his head...obsessing over how it could be made and deconstructing the movie-going experience over and over in his head. At this time there was a series being pitched around and when Mike Chirco, a successful Michigan real estate developer, decided to take a chance by investing in the series. He and the show's creators, Alex Greene and Carol Sweeney, initially approached writer Scott Stabile, who had worked on projects for Viselman's Itsy Bitsy Entertainment Company, with their idea...Stabile introduced them to Viselman.

Despite serious flaws, Viselman recognized that with serious re-working the series had potential. "There hadn't been a product with characters like these that could really spark the imagination of children in quite some time, and I think Kenn saw that opportunity," says David R. Schwarcz, one of the film's executive producers. "At that time, though, the characters weren't as fully developed as they could have been. They needed someone like Kenn to give the project more universal appeal."

Viselman insisted on a number of changes, beginning with the name. He also asked Chirco to buy the original series outright and allow him complete creative control over the property. When Chirco agreed, Viselman finally ready to create the kind of film he had long dreamed of. He asked Stabile to write the screenplay. "Scott understood what I was trying to communicate," he explains. "We were in sync immediately. He knows where I sit on a lot of the issues involved in this."

One of the first tasks for the duo was coming up with a new name. "We knew we wanted the word 'love' in the title," says Viselman. "I went through hundreds of names, because I wanted a sound there that a kid could make. And kids naturally go 'OOOO.'"

His experience with "Teletubbies" gave Viselman an advanced education in what appeals to television's youngest and often most dedicated viewers and he began to apply what he learned to his newest project and see what would translate on to the big screen. First and foremost, he says, small children respond to repetition. "Anne Wood taught me that young children have trouble hearing and seeing at the same time. They focus on one thing so exhaustedly that it over-shadows the other. Repetition allows them to see it, then hear it--and they remember it."

Next, he emphasizes, setting the right pace is key to comprehension. "If you want your child to feel like they're connected to the universe and empowered, you don't give them a show that's paced faster than they can keep up with," he says. "The pace can be even more important than the story."

Creating a colorful, yet simple environment full of cute giggling creatures seems to magically make preschoolers contented, Viselman adds. "The Teletubbies were just having fun, and they would laugh and would giggle. When children see happy babies, it makes them happy."

But he and Stabile also wanted to ensure that the film experience would be enjoyable for the whole family. "That means that, for the youngest child, each little story is a complete thought in and of itself," says Viselman. "But for an older child, we wanted an arc that they could follow. That was the idea of having to retrieve all of the balloons and get back in time for Schluufy's party. We insisted on no bad guys, yet we still wanted drama... so it became an issue of beating the clock and getting back in time for the party despite the obstacles that they encounter along the way"

For Matthew Diamond, who signed on as the film's director, the concept had immediate appeal. "It really works well for the little ones," Diamond says. "Kenn and I talked quite a lot about the length of the shots. There isn't an enormous amount of fast cutting. Kids' eyes have to look around the screen--they really have to incorporate what they see. If there's too much to absorb too fast, they can't take it in."

Diamond has directed diverse projects including dramas like "Desperate Housewives" and "Gilmore Girls," and received an Academy Award nomination for the dance documentary, "Dancemaker," as well as directing the Disney musical, "Camp Rock." "I've always wanted to make something that would include younger children and their families," Diamond says. "I think that the opportunity to entertain them at the most impressionable time of their lives is a privilege."

Diamond also enjoyed the collaboration with Viselman, who took an extremely hands-on approach to the project. "Kenn had a really clear vision, which didn't intrude on what I saw," Diamond adds. "We really were so much of a single mind about things. I don't think there was a single incident where he wasn't making really great choices. "

What truly sets THE OOGIELOVES IN THE BIG BALLOON ADVENTURE apart from other children's movies is that it is the first completely interactive movie experience for kids. "When Kenn first talked to me, he said, 'I want to do a Rocky Horror movie for children,'" remembers Stabile, "What a fantastic idea! Why hasn't that been done for kids before?"

Kids--as well as their caregivers--are encouraged to get out of their seats and join in the fun with the OOGIELOVES as they sing, dance and cheer. "Kenn really believes that little ones aren't really geared to sit still that long," says Diamond. "And what helps them get out a little bit of the ants-in-their-pants is participation."

The audience is cued to get up by a flurry of butterflies flitting across the screen. When it's time to sit, a family of turtles meanders past. "Kids want to succeed," Diamond says. "So when they're told what to do and it's within their capabilities, they're very happy. If you're three, you probably can't read, but when you see a butterfly, you know that means it's time to get up. And we've timed the shots very carefully, so they have time to get back in their seats and follow the story again and not miss anything."

There's more interactive fun each time a balloon is retrieved, as the happy OOGIELOVES ask the audience to join a special OOGIELOVE Cheer. "It's a celebration of what they've just achieved," says Stabile. "And a way to invite the kids to make some noise while moving the story along. It brings them into the adventure with the OOGIELOVES."

THE OOGIELOVES AND THE BIG BALLOON ADVENTURE is also filled with songs that are fun and easy for everyone to learn to sing along with, with silly names and whimsical lyrics like "Wonky Wake Up," "Pineapple Upside-down Flapjacks," "Polka Dotty Shake Your Body" and "Wobble With Your Wiggle."

"Kenn and I knew we wanted nine or ten songs that would get kids out of their seats," recalls Stabile. "One way of doing that was to make sure the songs were filled with clear direction so that they know what they're supposed to do, making it incredibly interactive."

Composer Joshua Gronner set Stabile's lyrics to music. Though the Bay Area musician had never composed for children, he found the process incredibly enjoyable. "I would just put Scott's lyrics in front of me, turn my recorder on, and sing," he recalls. "Whatever came out of my mouth was what you hear. It was so much fun."

With specific direction from Viselman, Gronner orchestrated the songs with sounds that he knew appealed to children. "I figured 'kids' music' means lots of bells and whistles and funny sounds. I tried to find instruments that would sound fun."

Viselman wanted to use the opportunity to help turn children on to a variety of styles of music. "We want to introduce kids to musical styles that they've probably never heard before," he says, such as '50s pop, Latin music and more.

And if the songs don't get kids out of their seats, the high-spirited dances they see onscreen will. "We designed dances that children can do right in front of their seat," says Viselman. "It's not terribly structured dancing. It's all about freedom and having fun."

Diamond brought in choreographer Mandy Moore, of "So You Think You Can Dance," who has also been teaching children to dance for years. "They were looking for someone who understands movement for children," she says. "You never do things 'down to' a child's level. If you watch kids play, it's what they do naturally. They just love to move their bodies."

About the Cast

Toni Braxton (Rosalie Rosebud)

Rosalie Rosebud, played by the incomparable Toni Braxton, is LovelyLoveville's singing diva extraordinaire. She's got a big love of roses, and also a big case of the sniffles. She brings a hearty dose of rhythm and blues to the interactive ballad, Ode to Adelaide (Scratchy Sneezy Cough Cough).

Cloris Leachman (Dotty Rounder)

Dotty Rounder, played by Cloris Leachman, is the highly energetic grandmother, who lives in her Treepot high up in the tallest tree in all of Fun Forest, with her very square-loving granddaughter, Jubilee. Dotty loves everything and anything round, and she makes this abundantly clear in her interactive song and dance number, the Polka Dotty Shake Your Body.

Christopher Lloyd (Lero Sombrero)

Lola & Lero Sombrero, played with comic brilliance by Jaime Pressly and Christopher Lloyd, are the guardians of the Wonder Windmill on Great Grass Lake. With help from their cruise ship sized Latin hat (El Sombrero) and the interactive dance moves of Jump, Step, Clap, this dynamic couple helps the Oogieloves dance and sing their way to the fifth and final balloon.

Chazz Palminteri (Milky Marvin)

Milky Marvin, played by Chazz Palminteri, is the proud owner of Milky Marvin's Milkshake Manor, home of the internationally famous Moola, the Milkshake-Making Cow. You'll think it's the second coming of Elvis when Marvin shakes things up and performs his interactive song and dance, Milkshake Moo Moo Song.

Cary Elwes (Bobby Wobbly)

Bobby Wobbly, played by Cary Elwes, is the rhinestone-wearing, bubble- making cowboy, who lives and works in a very special, bubble-filled semi-truck. He loves nothing more than blowing bubbles and, of course, "wobblin' til he just can't wobble anymore." His interactive Wobble With Your Wiggle will get everyone up and giggling, as well as wobbling and wiggling.

Jaime Pressly (Lola Sombrero)

Lola & Lero Sombrero, played with comic brilliance by Jaime Pressly and Christopher Lloyd, are the guardians of the Wonder Windmill on Great Grass Lake. With help from their cruise ship sized Latin hat (El Sombrero) and the interactive dance moves of Jump, Step, Clap, this dynamic couple helps the Oogieloves dance and sing their way to the fifth and final balloon.