The Beanie Bubble (2023)

The Beanie Bubble (2023)

Following a wave of corporate origin stories, The Beanie Bubble sufficiently entertains even if it fails to stand out



United States of America
Comedy, Drama
Ajay Friese, Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Elizabeth Banks
110 min


Pop off, Elizabeth Banks!

What it's about

Based on the book of the same name, The Beanie Bubble looks at the swift rise of Beanie Babies and reveals how the toys’ owner, Ty Warner (Zach Galifianakis), took advantage of the talents of the women around him.

The take

Between Air, Pinball, Blackberry, and Tetris (is nothing sacred anymore?), 2023 has seen its fair share of business biopics. Unfortunately for The Beanie Bubble, it’s coming at the tail end of a trend that has overstayed its welcome in theaters. The Beanie Bubble isn’t very different from its predecessors in that it depicts its product as revolutionary and game-changing for the industry (it’s really not) and attempts to simplify the business phenom via cute graphics and quirky dialogue. Those aspects of the film are fine, if a bit forgettable, but The Beanie Bubble deserves some praise for exploring the power imbalance between Warner and his female partners, whose ideas he milked to no end. Robbie (Elizabeth Banks), Sheila (Sarah Snook), and Maya (Geraldine Viswanathan) are the ones telling this story, and even though the constant time hopping can get irritating, there are times when it feels inspired, like when Robbie starts one sentence and Maya ends her thought. They may be years apart but they’re all falling victim to the same greedy man who has a pattern of exploiting the talented women around him. 

What stands out

Banks and Viswanathan are such fun to watch, it’s hard to notice anything or anyone else when they’re on screen. The film does well to have them on separate timelines, their delightful appearances equally distributed. I only leave out Snook because her character, Sheila, calls for a different and more dialed-down approach than Banks and Viswanathan, but as usual, no one can deliver subtle betrayal like she can. In fact, all three make do with what they have, which are caricature renderings of Girl Boss types. The material is flimsy but their delivery is outstanding.


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