A prime contender for most peculiar wide release of the year, “The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure” reps a passion project in children’s entertainment for producer Kenn Viselman (“Teletubbies”). Designed to get young viewers out of their seats singing, dancing, jumping and shouting at the screen, this exhausting “interactive” pic charts the quest of three candy-colored creatures to retrieve five magic balloons as a birthday surprise for their slumberous pillow pal, Schluffy. Filmed over four days in 2009 and only now hitting theaters through Viselman’s self-distribution chutzpah, this unknown commodity faces an uphill challenge luring moppets and parents into theaters.The simple plot serves as an excuse to string together kid-friendly production numbers for 10 original songs; conceivably, that should play to the strengths of director Matthew Diamond, whose credits include numerous televised musical-theater specials and Disney’s “Camp Rock.” Instead, the low-budget production feels chintzy and impossibly square, even by tyke standards. Six “name” celebrities pop up for single-sequence cameos, each gamely involved in a song-and-dance number. Supposedly, Viselman has two additional “Oogieloves” adventures in the works, but it’s unlikely anyone leaves this one clamoring for more.
A Kenn Viselman presentation. Produced by Kenn Viselman, Gayle Dickie. Executive producers, Michael A. Chirco, Scot J. Moceri, David R. Schwarcz. Co-producer, Angela Rivet. Directed by Matthew Diamond. Screenplay, Scott Stabile.
Camera (Deluxe color, HD), Peter Klein; editor, Girish Bhargava; music, Joe Alfuso, Rob Rettberg; music supervisors, Rettberg, Alfuso; production designer, Bob Kayganich; art directors, Graham Halky, Marcie Paul; set decorator, Mike Grady; costume designer, Stacy Lauwers; sound (Dolby), Frank Biondo; supervising sound editor, Andrew Smetek; re-recording mixer, Spencer Hall; visual effects supervisor, James Gilmore; visual effects, The Clik Group; stunt coordinator, T.J. White; choreographer, Mandy Moore; line producer, Wendal Scott Reeder; assistant director, Bill Latka; casting, Valerie McCaffrey, Dayna Polehanki. Reviewed at AMC Universal Citywalk Stadium 19, Universal City, Calif., Aug. 29, 2012. MPAA Rating: G. Running time: 88 MIN.
Cloris Leachman, Chazz Palminteri, Toni Braxton, Cary Elwes, Christopher Lloyd, Jaime Pressly, Misty Miller, Stephanie Renz, Malerie Grady.