Kristin Gore and Damian Kulash co-wrote and co-directed the Apple TV movie based on the book,The Beanie Bubble: The Amazing Story of How America Lost Its Mind Over a Plush Toy—and the Eccentric Genius Behind It by author Zac Bissonnette. “The Beanie Bubble,” the husband-and-wife team paints an unfavorable portrait of the founder Ty Warner portrayed by Zach Galifianakis. Apparently, he was not the genius behind those cute cuddly stuffed animals, rather three key women “Succession’s” Sarah Snook, Elizabeth Banks, (“Cocaine Bear”), and Geraldine Viswanathan (“Miracle Workers”), were the key to his success. This Comic-Drama stretches the truth, yet watching Galifianakis is hysterical, and the three women are entertaining.
“The Beanie Bubble” does make you think you’re watching a classic ‘biopic’ about one person’s rise to success, although it’s really about three women who became giants in their careers and eventually outrivaled Ty Warner despite his egomaniac persona— as the three women had all the creative ideas.
You’ll see the rise and eventual fall of the company, with Ty’s greed front and center. The problem with this point of view is that one doesn’t really know what’s true and what is artificial; I enjoyed watching all four of the remarkable cast and will view anything Elizabeth Banks is tied to. The main problem is the script needed to be tightened as the story dragged out too long.
Those small cute, cuddly, posable stuffed animals were a craze in the 1990s; for myself, as a mom at the time in Naperville, IL, where Mary Beth’s Beanie World magazine was created, I lived the craze, although I didn’t get caught up in it. In a twist of fate, I eventually moved next door to its founder, Mary Beth Sobolewski. In the movie, her composite character visits Ty Warner, although in this free-form genre, one can’t be sure what’s fact and fiction. If you’re interested in a true Beanie Baby story, “Mary Beth, the Heart of Ty Beanie Babies” on Roger Ebert.com, is an article told by a person that lived the craze. Mary Beth is interviewed, and the documentary “Beanie Mania” is reviewed.
To be clear, I enjoyed “The Beanie Bubble,” although have concerns with the fictional component. You can view it on Apple+ TV.
Sarah Knight Adamson© August 6, 2023