|Director(s)||Kristen Gore and Damian Kulash|
|Screenplay By||Kristen Gore|
|Based On||“The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute” by Zac Bissonnette|
|Date Released (Apple TV Plus)||July 28th, 2023|
|Genre(s)||Comedy, Drama, Biopic|
|Film Length||1 Hour, 50 Minutes|
|Content Rating||Rated R|
|Noted Characters and Cast|
What Is “The Beanie Bubble” Rated And Why?
“The Beanie Bubble” is Rated R due to profanity.
For having such a colorful subject, “The Beanie Bubble” is a colorless movie. This comedy-drama about the 90s Beanie Baby toy craze is light on comedy, drama, and information about what led to America’s deep obsession with Beanie Babies. While the film is made competently and has charming leads, “The Beanie Bubble” doesn’t provide insight into its subject matter or characters and is more entertaining on paper than it is an actual movie.
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“The Beanie Bubble” is told through three different women’s perspectives who were close to Ty Warner (Zach Galifianakis), one of the founders of Beanie Babies and a billionaire today. While Ty is an eccentric, selfish, and fascinating character, the movie opts to focus on the women he’s wronged in his life. One woman is an ex-girlfriend and co-founder of Ty Inc., Robbie (Elizabeth Banks). She is swept away by Ty’s ambitions, and he convinces her to quit her own job and follow this dream. Another woman, Maya (Geraldine Viswanathan), is an undergrad student with an eye for marketing who sees the potential power of the internet. The last woman is Sheila (Sarah Snook), another girlfriend who has kids that help Ty shape different Beanie Baby characters.
Each person is charmed by Ty and believes in his vision, but Ty has a pattern of choosing himself over others’ needs. The more power and fame Ty gets, the more petty he becomes. While “The Beanie Bubble” claims to be about three women, the sun they each orbit is Ty’s bright and horrible star. “The Beanie Bubble” glides between each narrative but doesn’t stick around long enough to get us invested in what it’s selling. There’s an interesting story within “The Beanie Bubble,” but this movie is too restrained by starting three different stories that, like the toy it discusses, make the movie feel like fluff.
Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.
Ty Warner is one of the creators of Beanie Babies and has dreams of becoming a rich toy maker. He may have come from a broken home and be unashamed of his eccentricities, but his sheer force and excitement for ideas keep others infatuated with him.
- The actor is also known for their role in “The Hangover,” their role in “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” and their role in “The Lego Batman Movie.”
Robbie feels stuck in life and is tired of the repetition she’s trapped in each day. When Ty suggests they start a business together, the two quickly become friends, business partners, and lovers.
- The actor is also known for their role in “The Hunger Games,” their role in “Love and Mercy,” and their role in “Pitch Perfect.”
Maya is an undergraduate who is tough and smart. She immediately makes an impression on Ty for her ability to market and know what people want. While she’s willing to commit herself to Ty Inc., she’s frustrated by her lack of recognition.
Sheila is dedicated to her kids and will do anything possible to ensure their health and happiness, even at the expense of her own. When Ty comes into her life, she’s cautious about trusting someone new, but she’s flattered by him.
- The actor is also known for their role in “Succession,” their role in “Run Rabbit Run,” and their role in “Soulmates.”
Our Rating: Mixed (Divisive)
Charming Cast with a Creative Comedy Writer and Directors
Writer and Director Kristen Gore once wrote for “Futurama” and “Saturday Night Live.” Damian Kulash has a history of performing and making viral music videos for OK GO. The two are a fun married couple. Zach Galifianakis, Elizabeth Banks, and Geraldine Viswanathan are all terrific comedic performers, and Sarah Snook will most likely win an Emmy for her work on “Succession.” With all of this great creative talent, “The Beanie Bubble” is still a bust. But no one artist should be held responsible. All of these creative talents should be given the benefit of the doubt and still work together or separately in the future.
Loses Narrative Structure and Focus
“The Beanie Bubble” starts with narration from three different women but then loses the tool after the first act. The movie plays around with time, going backward and forwards and teasing what happens, only to lose the tease halfway through. The movie hints at a cheeky nostalgic throwback to the 1990s or a cautionary tale of greed, but it doesn’t commit to anything with bite.
On The Fence
Little Learned About the Women, Ty, and the Beanie Bubble Craze
By the end of “The Beanie Bubble,” you know you should root for the women and the fall of Ty, but it’s all lackluster victories and downfalls. For a movie that starts by explaining that some of its story is false, perhaps the story could have used more fiction since it shared few interesting facts.
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