When you blog about family recreation and receive an invitation to attend a screening of a soon-to-be-released children’s movie that is touted as a “groundbreaking, interactive family film,” you have to go see what it’s about, even if your own kids are unable to join you. Which is how I found myself in a movie theater last week watching a G-rated flick with a gang of little ones, none of them my own, dancing and singing in the aisles around me.
That’s right, audience participation is the groundbreaking and interactive aspects of The Oogieloves in The Big Balloon Adventure, a new film created by Kenn Viselman, the marketer behind Thomas the Tank Engine, Teletubbies, and Eloise. This is a motion picture that was made for kids to not just view, but experience as well. They are encouraged — by the characters on the screen, no less — to get up and move and make noise right along with the movie.
This was exactly what Viselman, who was at the screening to discuss the film, envisioned when he came up with the idea. The invitation also included a roundtable with a group of local bloggers, and he noted that when it comes to movies, “kids are expected to be young adults instead of children,” having to sit still and stay quiet and contain their excitement. He wanted to provide a cinematic environment where they could react to and interact with what they saw on the screen.
And The Oogieloves achieves all of that and then some. Seeing all those children in the theater jump up to bop around and rap along with their on-screen friends was proof of it. And if my kids weren’t busy that day, I’m sure they would have partaken in it, too.
I can’t offer a critical review of the movie, as it’s embargoed until August 29, so here’s more about The Oogieloves in The Big Balloon Adventure from the official description:
The ﬁlm follows the Oogieloves – Goobie, Zoozie and Tooﬁe – as they set out to ﬁnd ﬁve magical golden balloons in time for their good friend Schluufyʼs surprise birthday party. With the help of their best friends, J. Edgar, Windy Window and Ruffy, and the support of many extraordinary new friends whom they meet along the way, the Oogieloves travel throughout all of beautiful LovelyLoveville on their search. They’ll need plenty of creative thinking, teamwork and enthusiasm to rescue these one-of-a-kind balloons in time for the big celebration. But when the Oogieloves work together with the audience, they can achieve anything!
The Oogieloves and The Big Balloon Adventure opens in theaters around the country on August 29. It’s rated G.
Disclosure: I was compensated for my transportation expenses to the screening and roundtable. All opinions expressed here, unless otherwise noted from another source, are entirely my own.