The Oogieloves Movie Trailer or All Hope Abandon, Ye Who Enter Here

Let the record show I am not reviewing The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure, merely the trailer which my wife & I saw while waiting for Pixar's Brave to start.[1]

You have been warned.

Talk about abominations in the eyes of God & man!  Based on what we saw, conscientious parents would be better advised to take their kids to a midnight screening of Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salo: The 120 Days Of Sodom than this festering, pulsating, hydrochloric acid eyewash.  When I was writing for animation we used to call this sorta crap "simulated entertainment".

Look, I understand that little kids have an unquenchable thirst for brightly colored jangly things, and I can fully understand the parent who turns on the TV or pops in a DVD BluRay to keep the little heathens occupied while fixing a drink dinner, but for the love of all that's sweet & holy, thisThis?!?!?

And apparently I am not unfair in my assessment.  Zap2It reports The Oogieloves "had the sorriest opening weekend for a widely released movie (2,000-plus theaters) ever...[making] a paltry $448,131 over the 2,160 theaters, meaning it had a per-screen average of just $207."

The previous low bar record holder made $237 per theater.

Let's not further shame "the marketing visionary"[2] behind this fiasco by mentioning them by name.[3] Suffice it to say this movie demonstrates why it's possible to succeed with wide release family films, but not wide release children's films.

See, the younger your intended audience, the more you rely on adults for ticket sales.  10-12 seems to be the average age where kids are allowed to go to movie theaters on their own (varies by neighborhood. movie, and individual child, of course).  Below that age, and you need parents or older siblings to take them.

By definition a family film is just that:  Something for everyone, young and old. Parents and grandparents and older brothers and sisters don't mind seeing a Pixar film or a Disney animated feature or a Muppet movie because they tend to be accessible to younger audiences while at the same time not off putting to older viewers.  Indeed, the best family films work on multiple levels and are richly satisfying experiences for parent and child.

That's why you found Soon-ok & myself in a theater full of kids, because Brave had enough going for it to make it a fun afternoon for two decrepit old farts adults.

The problems of trying to release this film wide should have been readily apparent to everybody working on the marketing end.  There's nothing in it to attract adults and a lot to repel them.




[1]  We both highly recommend Brave, but then Pixar ain't dropped a log yet, Cars 2 not withstanding

[2]  Their words, not ours.

[3]  According to Wikipedia, "the marketing visionary" was behind the American localization of the British children's series Teletubbies and Thomas & Friends.  Said "marketing visionary" claims they had multiple disputes with Teletubbies creator Anne Wood, in part because Wood refused to let "the marketing visionary" pursue a film adaptation of that show.  I never thought I would be writing this sentence, but God bless you, Ms Wood.

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