'The Oogieloves' review: No sitting still

A scene from the "The Oogieloves." A scene from the "The Oogieloves." Photo Credit: Handout

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REVIEW

PLOT: Three fuzzy friends go searching for five magic balloons.

BOTTOM LINE: It's 100 percent kid-friendly and cutesy-wutesy, but adult brains will turn to mush within minutes.

CAST: Toni Braxton, Cloris Leachman, Chazz Palminteri

LENGTH: 1:23

Good news, parents! The MPAA rating for "The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure" is what you might call a hard G: always sweet, never scary and free of crude humor. The bad news, at least for you, is that it's nearly as insipid and mind-numbing as the television show that inspired it, "Teletubbies."

Produced by Kenn Viselman, who imported the massively successful "Teletubbies" and "Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends" series from England, "The Oogieloves" is presented as a new kind of interactive movie experience, with on-screen cues encouraging children to sing, dance and chant. (Viselman claims he got the idea while sitting among a raucous crowd at a Tyler Perry movie.) Well, that's another plus for this movie: No shushing necessary.

If only there were something on screen to keep your adult brain from dissolving into strained peas. Three actors in bigheaded, fuzzy-wuzzy costumes play Goobie (brainy, bespectacled), Zoozie (girlish, pigtailed) and Toofie (rowdy, sloppy), who are preparing a birthday surprise for their favorite throw pillow, Schluufy (babbling, immobile). But they've lost their five magic balloons somewhere in Lovelyloveville! Can you help find them?

"The Oogieloves," like the much-criticized "Teletubbies," isn't educational (there is some counting) and barely qualifies as entertaining; it's merely eye-occupying, like a spinning mobile or a blowing curtain. It also looks rather cheap and feels hastily conceived, with a random grab bag of guest stars playing tossed-off characters like circle-obsessed Dotty Rounder (Cloris Leachman), sneezing diva Rosalie Rosebud (Toni Braxton) and jive-talking soda jerk Milky Marvin (a fairly entertaining Chazz Palminteri). The film's one clever joke is a talking vacuum named J. Edgar -- get it?

Filmed, if not quite directed, by Matthew Diamond, "The Oogieloves" unfolds with a disjointed dream logic that may resonate with its target audience. The downside is that you'll have to sit through it, too.

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PLOT Three fuzzy friends go searching for five magic balloons. RATING G (one burb joke)

@Newsday

CAST Toni Braxton, Cloris Leachman, Chazz Palminteri

LENGTH 1:23

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PLAYING AT Area theaters

BOTTOM LINE It's 100 percent kid-friendly and cutesy-wutesy, but adult brains will turn to mush within minutes.

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