Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.


    No Rating Available

Watch This Review

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Movie Review

Today is a special day in LovelyLoveville: It's Schluufy the Pillow's birthday!

Schluufy, you see, lives with the Oogieloves, three larger-than-life characters named Goobie (the green one with glasses), Zoozie (the yellow one with red hair) and Toofie (the purple one with the yellow faux-hawk). Helping look after them all is a vacuum cleaner named, what else, J. Edgar, as well as the Oogieloves' magical mirror, Windy Window, who gives them glimpses of what's happening all over LovelyLoveville.

Everything was going as planned for the party until the moment J. Edgar tripped … and lost the five magical balloons he and the Oogieloves were going to give Schluufy for his birthday.

Luckily, the Oogieloves love a lovely little adventure. And so they set out to retrieve the prodigal balloons, with J. Edgar and Windy Window guiding them via makeshift walkie-talkies and Windy Window's magical visions of each balloon's location. Joining them on their quest is their pet fish, a grumpy fin-flapper named Ruffy.

It's not long before they find the first balloon, which has gotten trapped in the tree-pot—that's right, a teapot melded into a tree—where a young teen named Jubilee and her grandmother, Dotty Rounder, live. Some singing, some dancing, a bit of magic later and, voilà, Balloon No. 1 is back in the Oogieloves' possession.

And so it goes as these three colorful characters traipse—as well as sing and dance, inviting children in the moviegoing audience to do the same—across Loveleyloveville. Before they're done, they'll visit the sweet diner of Marvin Milkshake, meet (and perform with) the international singing sensation Rosalie Rosebud, step into the bubble-blowing world of bubble-lover Bobby Wobbly and take a ride to the top of a huge windmill courtesy of the flying sombrero that the aptly named Lero and Lola Sombrero call home.

They'll manage all that in just enough time to make sure they get home for Schluufy's birthday party—balloons in hand, of course.

Positive Elements

This film gently illustrates the virtues of friendship, teamwork, kindness, generosity and, perhaps most directly, the power and importance of love. When the magical balloons are briefly blown away once more near the end of the movie, they communicate that only the power of love—not physical exploits this time—can bring them back. "There's only one force stronger than the wind," the balloons say. "Love."

Spiritual Content

The land of LovelyLoveville is a whimsical, enchanted place. Windy Window magically shows J. Edgar the location of each balloon; the balloons themselves come to life and deliver affirming messages when each is rescued; there are talking animals and pillows and vacuum cleaners; and a flying sombrero—powered by the spirited salsa dancing of its inhabitants—is home to the Sombreros.

Rosalie Rosebud thanks "the gods" for both her beauty and her voice.

Sexual Content

Rosalie wears a cleavage-baring dress. She's repeatedly shown dancing, sashaying and swaying (a bit sensually) as she sings. In a similar vein, Lola repeatedly shakes both her chest and her backside as she does a Latin dance.

Lola gives Ruffy (the curmudgeonly fish the Oogieloves take with them in his fish bowl) a big kiss for good luck, after which she exclaims with satisfaction, "Holy mackerel!" And when someone suggests perhaps Ruffy could help retrieve one of the lost balloons from a tree's upper branches, he replies, "I'm a lover, not a climber."

J. Edgar has a crush on comely Windy Window, blushing when he looks at her and relishing the moment he gets to comb her "hair."

Violent Content


Crude or Profane Language

A half-dozen uses of "gosh" and one of "gosh darn."

Drug and Alcohol Content


Other Negative Elements

Because Toofie doesn't wear a belt, his pants repeatedly fall down, revealing his boxer shorts underneath.

Grandma Dotty coaches the Oogieloves in a dance, saying, "You have to really shake it, as much as you can." Another song and dance, led by Bobby Wobbly, includes the line and corresponding action, "Wobble, wobble all around and give your tush a pat." (Characters slap their backside.)

Ruffy belches loudly.


Ooglieloves creator Kenn Viselman, the man who helped import Teletubbies and Thomas the Tank Engine from Britain to America, has two things in mind with his latest project: First, he wants to revolutionize the moviegoing experience for cinema's youngest ticketholders. Second, his storytelling style and approach are informed by the simple themes of the 1950s. And the latter, ironically, might ultimately prove a significant hindrance to the former.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Viselman talked about spending years "deconstructing the entire moviegoing experience" of a child. "Why would a child not be happy in a movie theater?" he asked. "Eventually, what it really breaks down to in really simple terms is that young kids are asked to be adults when they go into the movie theater. They're asked to go there and be quiet, don't talk, eat your popcorn and drink your soda and just be quiet. That's not the way children interact."

After watching an audience offer advice out loud at a Tyler Perry movie, combined with a friend telling him about the participatory element in ongoing screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Viselman had a brainstorm: Invite children to actively participate in the story through song and dance and motions.

"What we need to do is allow children to be children, allow them to behave the way they would behave," he said. "And so if we created a film that allowed for that, that actually embraced it and encouraged it, we would have an incredibly different experience—not only would it be a different experience on the screen, but it would be a much more successful experience on the shelf. Because you can bond with these characters in a way that you can't bond in another film, because now they're your friends, now they're asking for your help. We break the fourth wall down—we use auditory and visual cues to tell kids when to stand up and sit down. Literally, they are the catalyst for the adventure. And it changes the whole experience."

So, can a movie reach forward like that while simultaneously pulling us backward?

Viselman also told The Hollywood Reporter, "Everything I do comes from what life was like in the 1950s. The idea for me is the safety that you felt in the 1950s, where you didn't lock your door, small-town America, everybody knew each other, people said thank you and held doors for each other, it was just a very sweet, polite, loving time where there wasn't a lot of fear. It's never really about being overly technological, just about being more compassionate and more loving and more understanding of your child."

To its credit, that earnest, loving spirit comes through loud and clear in The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure. But even though it was obviously a labor of love, it also feels like a movie that has no concept, aesthetically speaking, of what it's up against in the modern American marketplace. It's as if it thinks Disney and Pixar and DreamWorks Animation and Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon don't exist. As much as I would like a movie with Viselman's ideas to succeed in the way he hopes, its storytelling and approach would have felt wooden and dated in 1972 … let alone 2012. As a father of children who are precisely in this film's target demographic, 2, nearly 4 and nearly 6, I just don't think its story would hold their attention long—even factoring in the interactive components.

And if the goal here is 1950s "safety," why does The Oogieloves spend so much time showing off Toni Braxton's plunging neckline? With watching her shimmy sensually? I don't want to have to explain to my kids why Jaime Pressly keeps shaking her breasts and backside in a sultry Latin dance. For that matter, I don't need my kids to see a puppet's boxer shorts or learn dances where they're smacking their rump.

In other words (Viselman's), "What we need to do is allow children to be children." It's too bad The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure doesn't quite accomplish that, bighearted and full of would-be revolutionary zeal though it may be.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range



Misty Miller as Goobie; Stephanie Renz as Zoozie; Malerie Grady as Toofie; Nick Drago as J. Edgar; Maya Stange as Windy Window; Randy Carfagno as the voice of Ruffy; Taras Los as the voice of Schluufy the Pillow; Kylie O'Brien as Jubilee Rounder; Cloris Leachman as Grandma Dotty Rounder; Toni Braxton as Rosalie Rosebud; Chazz Palminteri as Marvin Milkshake; Cary Elwes as Bobby Wobbly; Christopher Lloyd as Lero Sombrero; Jaime Pressly as Lola Sombrero


Matthew Diamond ( )




Record Label



In Theaters

August 29, 2012

On Video

February 5, 2013

Year Published



Adam R. Holz

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!