Slinky Movie Shines the Spotlight on an Overlooked Female Entrepreneur

A Slinky movie is coming to theaters – but it isn’t a Pixar feature starring the dog character from the popular Toy Story franchise. Instead, it’s a history of the classic children’s toy which gives the character “Slinky Dog” his name and appearance. Although the film is still early in production, it already has an attached director – Tamra Davis, whose directing credits include Billy Madison and Half-Baked as well as several episodes of shows including Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Grey’s Anatomy, and Santa Clarita Diet.

Davis confirmed that she was working on the film in an interview with Variety. She explained that she was drawn to the history of the Slinky due to the unique circumstances behind its creation. While the invention of the Slinky is typically credited to engineer Richard James, Davis hopes to tell the story of his wife Betty, who she feels has not received enough credit for her contributions to the toy’s history. Betty, who came up with the name “Slinky,” took over the James Industries toy company following Richard’s death, and managed to turn the Slinky from a failing toy into a worldwide success – all while struggling to raise six children as a single parent. Discussing Betty James, Davis described the inventor to Variety as “an intrepid woman who’s [sic] goal in life was to create joy and make people happy.” She feels honored by the opportunity to bring James’ story to the big screen.

The film, currently titled simply Slinky, will be produced by Joanne Rubino of the newly formed Be Brave Media and feature a script written by Chris Sivertson (All Cheerleaders Die, I Know Who Killed Me.) Just Play, the company which currently manufactures and distributes the “Slinky” line of toys, is also supporting the project and will be working closely with Davis and the production team.


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