The Beanie Bubble is a sort of biographical comedy-drama film directed by Kristin Gore and Damian Kulash Jr.
Based on the 2015 book The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute by Zac Bissonnette, this is the story of the 90s Beanie Baby craze and the women who made it happen.
With an all-star cast, the Apple TV+ movie stars Zach Galifianakis, Elizabeth Banks, Sarah Snook, and Geraldine Viswanathan.
So what is it all about and should you add it to your watchlist??
What Is The Beanie Bubble About?
Ty Warner was a frustrated toy salesman who created an empire. Or did he?
To quote the old saying “Behind every great man is a great woman”. Except in this case, it was three great women, none of whom ever got the credit they deserved for the phenomenal success of the toy company.
The story begins back in 1983 when Ty Warner (Zach Galifianakis) and his neighbour Robbie (Elizabeth Banks) decided to create a toy company that specifically made stuffed Himalayan toy cats.
Over the next ten years, the duo grew the company into a very successful business and dated each other on and off in the process.
Then came along Maya Kumar, who over five years, grew the business from a multi-million dollar venture into a billion-dollar venture. Her clever marketing, internet savviness and ability to capitalise on the ‘Limited Edition' and investment nature of the toys, transformed TY Inc.
At the same time, Ty Warner met Sheila (Sarah Snook) and it was her daughters that gave Ty the idea for the Beanie Babies. Ava even had her name as the creator on some of them.
Integral to his success in the business, Robbie, Sheila, and Maya helped turn Beanie Babies into the coveted products they became.
So what happened? How did the bubble and the relationships all go up in a puff of smoke? That's the very interesting story behind The Beanie Bubble.
The Beanie Bubble Official Trailer
Is The Beanie Bubble Worth Watching?
Similar to Tetris, The Beanie Bubble is a really interesting story that charts the biggest toy craze in the world. From stuffed animals to a multi-billion dollar company, three women were instrumental in creating the biggest toy manufacturer in the world.
And yet, they were systematically cut out of the business and their achievements diminished as the sheer level of narcissism that consumed Ty Warner ensured they would never get any credit.
Everyone in this movie is on their A game and all are completely believable in their roles so the casting gets a big tick in the box.
The problem is that even though it runs at close to two hours, it feels rushed, jumping between two timelines that are only 10 years apart.
When the characters don't age, it's tricky to figure out where you are in the story and makes it feel disjointed at times.
Sure, there's a point that brings all three women together but the only really fleshed-out character, with real motivations, is Maya (Geraldine Viswanathan). Shelia is a close second but you never really get to know Robbie despite the screen time.
As the credits rolled I felt gibbed out of seeing Ty Warner as his whole business crumbled. Or at least the realisation of how monumentally he had messed up. And while I know the movie is about his collaboration with three women, it would have been the cherry on top that could have rounded out the film.
Otherwise, it's interesting, thought-provoking and has great social commentary and is worth watching. Just don't expect too much from it.
Is The Beanie Bubble Based On A True Story?
For the most part, the movie is true. The three women are based on real women – Patricia Roche (Robbie), Faith McGowan (Sheila), and Lina Trivedi (Maya) – each of whom played an integral role in the rising popularity of Beanie Babies.
Patricia Roche did date Warner and was actually a partner in Ty Inc. before being pushed aside.
Faith McGowan also dated Warner and was a 35-year-old divorced mother of two when she met him. Apparently, Faith and her daughters played a big role in the early Beanie Baby development and helped with some research and development.
Lina Trivedi is an entrepreneur, author, educator and civil servant. She is credited for authoring the first poems on the Beanie Baby tags and for creating the world's first business-to-consumer website Ty Inc. Basically, she invented E-commerce!
So while all three women existed, The Beanie Bubble is a fictionalised retelling of their story and so some parts have been added for dramatic effect.
Cast Of The Beanie Bubble
Zach Galifianakis (It's Kind of a Funny Story) as Ty Warner
Elizabeth Banks (Cocaine Bear) as Robbie
Sarah Snook (Succession) as Sheila
Geraldine Viswanathan as Maya Kumar
Tracey Bonner as Rose
Carl Clemons-Hopkins (Hacks) as Jeremy, Sheila's best friend
Hari Dhillon as Arjun Kumar
Ajay Friese as Deshad
Sweta Keswani as Neeti Kumar
Kurt Yaeger as Billy
Delaney Quinn as Maren, Sheila's daughter
Madison Johnson as Ava, Sheila's daughter
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