The new film “The Beanie Bubble (2023)” on Apple TV+ takes a look at the rise and fall of American billionaire Ty Warner, who is now a convicted felon. The film centers around Ty’s introduction of the cute, plushy soft toy idea to America, which took the nation by storm in the 90s and early 2000s with the Beanie Babies, redefining an era.
Written and directed by Kristin Gore and Damian Kulash, the film aims to shed light on how men like Ty build their image by overshadowing women and undermining their invaluable efforts. While the film successfully creates nostalgia with its use of music from that time, glitter, sparkle, and adorable beanies, it ultimately falls short of fully exploring the revolutionary tale it could have been. Instead, it becomes another story of a ‘man child’ who believes he can rule the world by diminishing the power of women and their intelligence.
Ty’s failure to show gratitude towards the women who played a significant role in Ty Inc.’s achievements highlights a lack of appreciation for their support and dedication. This behavior exemplifies the challenges many women face in male-dominated environments, where their contributions are often overlooked and undervalued. “The Beanie Bubble” provides a glimpse into the fascinating world of Beanie Babies and their impact on American culture. However, it misses the opportunity to delve deeper into the intricate dynamics between Ty and the women who were instrumental in his success.
The Beanie Bubble (2023) Movie Synopsis & Plot Summary:
In “The Beanie Bubble,” we are introduced to all the characters at once through a background monologue reflecting on Ty Warner, a self-proclaimed “American” businessman.
The monologue highlights how his dream is made possible due to the unwavering hard work and unconditional support provided by these three women: Robbie, Sheila, and Maya.
Robbie and Ty’s paths cross when Ty is going through a tough time after losing his father.
In a heartwarming gesture, Robbie, who works as a workshop mechanic, prepares lasagna to comfort him. However, Robbie’s life is no less challenging as she is devoted to taking care of her wheelchair-bound husband while also striving to make ends meet.
As Ty and Robbie spend more time together, they develop a strong connection. Ty shares stories about his life, and during one of their hangouts, he manages to persuade Robbie to become his business partner, where he proposes they sell moldable stuffed cats. While Robbie is a smart and business-oriented woman who basically knows how to get things done efficiently, Ty, on the other hand, doesn’t waste another minute and invests all his money into the business idea, registering the company as Ty Inc.
Robbie and Ty work on different ideas, from deciding the material to be used for the stuffed cats to selecting the colors and organizing events to attract customers.
While the two share a mutual understanding of working towards the goal of scaling their company, like any business, they also have differences that sometimes make things bitter.
Robbie puts her heart and soul into making the business the best, which becomes instantly successful. However, she does not hear her husband’s suggestion of Ty’s personality of using people till his purpose serves them well.
While Robbie loved every minute of using her skills and ideas for the best outcome for Ty Inc, being completely consumed in the company eventually costs her marriage.
Why did Robbie decide to leave Ty Warner?
As time goes by, Robbie and Ty find themselves gradually drawn into a romantic relationship. However, their love affair proves to be short-lived.
In the midst of this, Robbie expresses her desire to expand the business into the European market – particularly the U.K., using her own strategies and tactics. However, Ty is extremely annoyed with the idea and dismisses it outright because he doesn’t wish to expand the business into another country. He firmly believes that Ty Inc. should focus solely on being successful in America since it is proudly marketed as “made for Americans, by Americans.” This is despite Robbie’s persistent reminders that the company’s products are exclusively manufactured in China and Korea.
Realizing that Robbie is smarter and knows how to get things right, Ty feels increasingly insecure and jealous, leading him to interfere with her decision-making for the company.
When Robbie confronts Ty about his behavior, he attempts to justify himself by claiming that it is his company and she was merely a helping hand brought in to turn things around, for which she is being paid.
This revelation hits Robbie hard as she realizes that Ty doesn’t view her as an equal and is unable to share in the company’s vision. Her trust in Ty is shattered, and Robbie comes to the unsettling realization that he has been spying on her conversations, further fueling her sense of betrayal and confirming his insecurities.
Feeling disrespected and undervalued, she makes a tough decision and chooses to quit.
Who are Sheila and Maya?
Right when Robbie walks away from the company, recognizing her worth and refusing to be held back by someone’s insecurity, Maya and Sheila come into Ty’s life. Sheila leads a happy life as a working professional in the lighting business and a single mother to two beautiful daughters. Ty is enamored by Sheila’s kindness and compassion, and he becomes a huge fan of her daughters when they show interest in his tiny Beanie soft toys.
Inspired by their ideas, Ty decides to create a new line of Beanie toys that includes making substantial corrections to the existing ones, even using their names and adding personalized poems in the Beanie tags.
Sheila has had toxic experiences in past relationships, which has led her to vow never to get married or commit to anyone again. However, seeing Ty’s persistent determination and commitment to be a part of their lives, she eventually agrees to marry him.
Meanwhile, Maya, an aspiring college student studying to become a doctor, begins her internship at Ty Inc. She starts off as a receptionist but quickly demonstrates her exceptional skills in micro-managing important details for the company.
Ty recognizes her talents and entrusts her with major responsibilities, including handling marketing and business outreach.
Despite being employed on minimum wage, Maya was determined to be a part of something substantial, and her undeterred contributions significantly contributed to the company’s success and growth.
In fact, she even assists Ty in setting up a worldwide web page for Ty Inc., making it one of the first companies in America to embrace the internet’s potential.
As Maya and Sheila become important figures in Ty’s life and his company, one can see that their combined efforts and unique talents drive Ty Inc. to new heights, expanding its reach and impact in the ever-evolving business landscape.
What happens between Sheila and Ty?
As Ty and his company start making groundbreaking records with their profits and investments, it becomes evident that Ty is becoming delusional about his egotistical plans and grandeur. His behavior becomes erratic, going so far as to get a face-lift and even suggesting the same for Sheila when she confronts him about his absurd actions.
Despite Ty’s persuasion for marriage, he confesses to Sheila that he is not ready to be married or become a parent, admitting that he is someone who needs to be taken care of.
Ignoring multiple red flags that Ty repeatedly shows, Sheila continues her relationship with him, believing his apologies and promises that he won’t let her down like the other men in her life. However, everything takes a turn when her elder daughter points out to her that Ty used his name on one of the Beanie toy tags that she designed for him.
Sheila, who has been patient with Ty and his absurdities, reaches her breaking point when she discovers a canceled order package containing all the Beanie toys with her daughter’s name on them.
At this moment, Sheila realizes that there are limits to her patience, especially when it involves her children. At this point, I felt like warning Ty’s character with, ‘you may mess with a woman, but not a mother.’
Unable to tolerate Ty’s disrespectful actions towards her daughter, she finally decides to confront him and reassess their relationship.
Does Maya stand up for herself?
Maya, an intelligent and dedicated employee, who has complete knowledge of the ins and outs of Ty Inc., feels betrayed when Ty dismisses her idea of taking on bigger responsibilities so that Ty can focus on what he loves most.
Instead of entrusting her with these responsibilities, Ty hires a man with an impressive CV and assures Maya that her opinions will always matter. At first, Maya goes into a major sulking mode because she had quit college despite her parents’ warnings. She had always treated Ty Inc. as one of her own creations, given how much she had invested herself in it, both mentally and emotionally. However, she soon realizes that sulking won’t help her case and goes ahead with her strategies in front of Ty and the Japanese folks with whom he was discussing future expansion and exponential business ideas.
During the company’s success party, Ty announces that he has appointed an outsider to handle the segment responsible for business growth, despite Maya’s proposal for the position and a raise. She is even more shocked when Ty has the audacity to call her a secret weapon and offer her a mere 8-dollar raise from her 12-dollar per hour salary. At that moment, Maya makes a firm decision to quit instantly.
The Beanie Bubble (2023) Movie Ending, Explained:
What kind of a person is Ty Warner, really?
At this point, Ty becomes a textbook example of how some men literally use the phrase ‘behind every man’s success, there is a woman’ without showing an ounce of gratitude. He was a delusional man who failed to acknowledge the people who helped him raise the empire he called his own.
While the idea of selling beanie soft toys was his, it was through Robbie’s vision, Sheila and her children’s ideas and inspiration, and Maya’s brilliant business marketing strategies that Ty Inc. actually came to light and was seen by the world.
However, Ty’s insecurities of feeling inadequate in front of these strong, independent women and his fear of being in their shadows blind him from acknowledging their hard work and patience, despite enduring his absurdities. Instead of recognizing their dedicated contributions, he chooses to overlook their significance and downplays their role in the company’s success.
What is Ty Warner’s final fate?
With Maya quitting the company right in front of him, Ty finds himself in a vulnerable state. Meanwhile, Sheila, filled with frustration over his actions, goes to confront him but instead discovers him cheating on her with Robbie.
Back in time, when Robbie had made her exit from the company intelligently – she used Ty’s device to secretly record herself, creating an impression that she would stay in the company if he allowed her to proceed with expanding it in the UK.
During Ty’s desperate state, with no one to lean on for guidance, he begged Robbie to consider returning to the company. However, Robbie saw this as an opportunity to her advantage. She told Ty that she would only help him if she became the sole wholesale distributor in the UK division of her company, which she was starting on her own.
Faced with no other option, Ty reluctantly agreed. Years later, Robbie and Ty find themselves in some sort of proposition or “power play,” which Robbie casually shares in front of Sheila when she confronts Ty.
In the end, Robbie gets what she wants, while Maya decides to part ways with Ty Inc. and joins hands with the Japanese folks as their consultant.
As for Sheila, she takes matters into her own hands, delivering a powerful punch to Ty’s face before finally exiting his life for good.
The ending of The Beanie Bubble shows that Ty Inc. eventually crashes hard, just as Maya had anticipated. Ty himself gets convicted of tax fraud, and Sheila moves away with her daughter to a better place with bright prospects after canceling her wedding with Ty.