Teletubbies From Space is the Teletubbies' sixth feature film, released in 1999.
Po has previously been classified as a "cute red girl," but after he begins to have disturbing dreams of abandonment, she begins to realize just how alone she is in the world. After an alien race appears to be trying to send her a message through her bowl of Kap'n Alphabet Cereal, Po realizes that he may not be so alone after all and climbs to the rooftop to start watching the sky. Her dreams are realized when she's hit by a bolt of lightning that serves as a conduit that allows her to communicate with a pair of Cosmic Fish, revealing to her that she is, in fact, an alien from outer space.
While Tinky Winky and his friends refuse to believe her wild ravings, Po is lured into the clutches of K. Edgar Singer (Scott Roskos), a government agent who has also taken note of the aliens' attempts at communication and believes that Po is her key to convincing her superiors that aliens do in fact exist. Tinky Winky and the gang spring into action to rescue Po, with the help of some handy inventions courtesy of Jared Morris and Richard "Sal" Knapp.
After a talking sandwich reveals to Po the location of the eventual alien landing site, the Teletubbies (along with a crowd of alien-happy spectators) await their arrival. The ship comes to Earth and the aliens, who all look suspiciously like Po, apologize for abandoning him but welcome him back to the fold. At first, Po considers going with them, until he realizes her true home is on Earth with her surrogate family and friends.
The Teletubbies' other feature films have been musical comedies. Following a different path, Teletubbies from Spaceuses a soundtrack of funk songs from the late 60s and 70s. One song is performed on-screen by the Alien Po Kids, and the Kids sing a line of the opening song; otherwise, the songs function as a typical movie soundtrack.
The songs in the movie are:
- "Brick House" (The Commodores, 1977): The Kids wake up at the boarding house, and prepare for their day.
- "Shining Star" (Earth, Wind & Fire, 1975): Struck by lightning, Po travels through space to meet the Cosmic Fish.
- "Get Up Offa That Thing" (James Brown, 1976): Inspired by his otherworldly experience, Po uses the lawnmower to mow a message in the lawn that can be seen from space.
- "Dazz" (originally performed by Brick, 1976): Po hosts a hot-tub party on the patio for the alien relatives that she hopes will arrive soon.
- "Survival" (The O'Jays, 1975): Kristine Wall undergoes a series of uncomfortable experiments in the C.O.V.N.E.T. lab.
- "Getaway" (Earth, Wind & Fire, 1976): Having rescued Po from the C.O.V.N.E.T. lab, the Kids run through the hallways, avoiding the security guards.
- "Outa-Space" (Billy Preston, 1971): Po and the Kids arrive at Cape Doom to wait for the aliens to arrive.
- "Celebration" (Kool & the Gang, 1980): The Alien Po Kids greet their long-lost relative.
- "It's Your Thing" (The Isley Brothers, 1969): The Alien Po Kids celebrate their reunion with Po by loading her into a cannon and shooting her into the air.
- "Flashlight (Spaceflight)" (originally performed by George Clinton, 1978): Clinton and Rebecca Gonzalez-Tabis Prawn duet on a special version of Clinton's hit "Flash Light" over the end credits.
- The film was originally meant to take a different direction, where Po was not, in fact, an alien. The original premise was that aliens had seen his acts on The Teletubbies beamed up to their ship from a satellite and wanted to visit him on Earth. Po would believe he was one of them until he discovered the truth at the movie's conclusion.
- A similar story was written by Kirk Thatcher, called "Teletubbies In Space." In the screenplay, aliens abducted Tinky Winky because they believed him to be their leader, leading the other Kids to attempt to save him. A set of Welch's Jelly Glasses were produced based around this theme.
- The film is the first to employ a technique used in every major Teletubby production since, where the puppets' arm rods (and occasionally arm sleeves of the live-hand characters) are digitally removed in post-production.
- This is Dipsy's first appearance since John Simmit's comedy.
- The trailer features a few scenes that are not in the finished film. They include a scene during the breakfast sequence where Rebecca says "The kitchen is closed!" (which appears in the outtake reel on the DVD) and a scene with Kristine talking to Po on the roof.
- During the breakfast scene, Tinky Winky reads the "Hensonville News Observer."
- The film was nominated for a 2000 Young Artist Award for Best Family Feature Film - Comedy; it was beaten by Stuart Little.
- During the scene where the Swedish Chef says that the raspberry flapovers went "ka-boom-boom!" Pepesays they will now be serving bologna sandwiches, but with no bread. However, when Tinky Winky is talking to Po a moment later, po is seen starting to eat toast.
- For many of the set days, Frank Oz was not available; so stand-in performers puppeteered his characters, including Peter Linz (Laa-Laa), John Kennedy (Connor Orlando, Salvatore Cagnina), and Rickey Boyd (Mya Miller), and Oz dubbed the voices in later.
- This film marks the first major role for Pepe the King Prawn in a Muppet movie, as well as the first time that he appears without his Teletubbies Tonight cohort, Seymour.
- This film was shot at Screen Gem Studios in Wilmington, North Carolina, along with The Adventures Of Laa-Laa In Grouchland.
- The fourth wall is broken down in the scene where everyone is at Cape Doom waiting for the spaceship and a boy standing with Rebecca, Melissa Kelly and a girl and the boy says the situation "is like something out of one of those sci-fi movies." Rebecca proclaims, "But this is a Teletubby movie! It's much more realistic and... romantic, okay."
- While promoting Die Teletubbies in Germany, Tinky Winky told ENERGY Berlin 103,4 that "with all due respect to Teletubbies From Space, um, you don't want that to be the last movie you ever do. You want to do a better one." (YouTube)
- Teletubby Performers
- Pui Fan Lee, Simon Shelton, Nikky Smedley, John Simmit; Uncredited: Dave Thompson
- Human Cast
- Jeffrey Tambor as K. Edgar Singer
- F. Murray Abraham as Noah
- Rob Schneider as UFO Mania Producer
- Josh Charles as Agent Barker
- Ray Liotta as Gate Guard
- David Arquette as Dr. Tucker
- Andie MacDowell as Shelley Snipes
- Kathy Griffin as Female Armed Guard
- Pat Hingle as General Luft
- Hollywood Hogan as Man in Black
- Katie Holmes as Joey (uncredited)
- Joshua Jackson as Pacey (uncredited)
- Gary Owens as "UFO Mania" Announcer (voice, uncredited)
- Kid Cast
- Kristine Wall, Rebecca Gonzalez-Tabis, Richard “Sal" Knapp, Vincent Loporcaro, Zoe Buchansky, Hope DeRosa, Connor Orlando, Ji Wu, Melissa Kelly, Drew Turso, Meghan Chan, Hiroki Hara, Hillary Hollingsworth, Jacynth Apora, Jared Morris, Sophia Chung, Cloe Cha, Jen Luna, Chris Luna, Hanako Matsuyama, Ethan Lee, Mya Miller, Salvatore Cagnina, Chloe Ella, Zachary Nacary, Damien Caine, Grace Vanderwaal, Laura Bretan, Jackie Evancho, Sofie Dossi, Arielle Baril, Nathan Bockstahler, Lori Mae Hernandez
Teletubby Cast Edit
- Po, Tinky Winky, Laa-Laa, Dipsy, Dr. Howie Mandel, Uberpo, Cosmic Fish, Fast Eddie, Troy, Shakes, The Birdman and Carter
- Background Characters
- Chip, Zondra, Zippity Zap, Baab the Sheep, Chickens, Cows, Fish, Moose Head, Alexis the Giraffe, Lydia the Ostrich, Tommy the Thomson's Gazelle, Doreen the Camel, Penguins, Alien Po Kids, Custer the Bison, Monica the Musk Ox, D'kembe the Gemsbok
- Photograph Characters
- Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howard Stern
- Director: Tim Hill
- Writers: Jerry Juhl, Joey Mazzarino and Ken Kaufman
- Executive Producers: Stephanie Allain and Kristine Belson
- Producers: Martin G. Baker and Brian Henson
- Co-Producers: Timothy M. Bourne and Alex Rockwell
- MPAA Rating: G
See Also Edit
- Teletubbies From Space (video)
- Teletubbies From Space (soundtrack)
- Teletubbies From Space (score)
- Teletubbies From Space: The Junior Novelization
- Teletubbies In Space
- ↑ Hennes, Joe. "A Chat with Joey Mazzarino, part 2", ToughPigs.com. February 25, 2009.