The Beanie Bubble

July 28, 202350/1006 min
Starring
Sarah Snook, Elizabeth Banks, Zach Galifianakis,
Written by
Kristin Gore ( screenplay by) Zac Bissonnette ( based on the book by)
Directed by
Kristin Gore and Damian Kulash
Run Time
1h 50min
Release Date
July 28th, 2023
Overall Score
Rating Summary

             The 90’s brought us all kinds of joy, from great fashion and fantastic music, and of course, great movies. Luckily the music and movies from that era  have stood the test of time, while the fashion…well we won’t go there. 90’s fashion though, that wasn’t the only causality from that era. Some of you may recall standing in line to get that coveted Beanie Baby, and the other things you had to go through to get them. I am sure some of you out there have some great stories, but what about the story on how those Babies came to be? Well that one is pretty great as well.

Have you ever looked at something and just thought to yourself, “I can do better than that.”? That’s exactly what Ty Warner thought, when he looked at stuffed animals that he believed were over-stuffed. So after his father died, he used the money he made by selling his antiques to change the stuffed animal game forever. His friend Robbie (Elizabeth Banks) helped him achieve this, and together they find a niche in the market and started doing very well. The sparks for what would become Beanie Baby Fever ignited when Ty meets Shelia (Sarah Snook) and her two daughters. It is while talking to them that the idea of smaller and less stuffed animals take shape, and soon that spark would light up the entire country. Despite experiencing amazing success, Ty and his company faced concerns from those around him, who saw this as a bubble that was about to burst because of poor planning. The Beanie Bubble  is the second movie to tell the Beanie Baby story, but the first one was a documentary, called Beanie Mania, which focused on the collectors. Now ,we get to see how the ideas came about in The Beanie Bubble and about the man whose name was on every tag on every Beanie Baby sold.

Written by Zac Bissonnette and Kristen Gore, the latter also co-directing alongside Damian Kulash, The Beanie Bubble attempts to weave three stories together at once. However, we’re made aware from the opening card that these stories aren’t entirely rooted in the truth and they are also feel somewhat jumbled as multiple narrators try and tell the tale. With so many voices, the movie ends up having little to say.

            There really is a desire for business rise-and-fall stories from the eighties and nineties, even some  going on right now. But unlike the others, you won’t really learn much from The Beanie Bubble,  beyond what you could find on Google, and that is the movie’s biggest weakness. On the bright side, the film’s strength lies in its performances, led by Galifianakis, who is almost unrecognizable as Warner. When you add Banks, Snook and Geraldine Viswanathan, who as Maya, shines, it does give the movie some more value than a simple documentary. It does take a lighter approach to this story, focusing primarily on the business side of things, which doesn’t make the movie less entertaining. Overall The Beanie Bubble is a fun look at that crazy time we lived in, but  the narrative choices drag the movie down, leaving us  with something that’s just so-so.

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