Week three of the Underrated Series and we get to the animation category. At least there shouldn't be any debate…
The Brave Little Toaster
A group of dated appliances find themselves stranded in a summer home that their family had just sold decide to, a la The Incredible Journey, seek their young 8 year old "master". Children's film which on the surface is a frivolous fantasy, but with a dark subtext of abandonment, obsolescence, and loneliness.
Poor lamp. Poor vacuum. Poor radio. The toaster gets title rights, and all because of one heroic act in the finale?
They all deserve medals for, you know, not dying during their journey to the big city. It ain't easy being an appliance, you know.
Well, doesn't this revisit to an old childhood favorite make me reconsider the originality behind Toy Story. It's damn near the same plot but obviously replace toys with appliances.
Anyway I'm glad this one lived up to the memory and did not lose its appeal now that I am an adult. In fact I was fairly surprised by its technicality and the hand drawn animation was not bad at all. I do love the fact now that I am older to see all of the film's hidden subtexts. The theme of abandonment is the one that stands out the most but how odd was it to have the dialogue exchange between Lampy and the Toaster regarding being "friendly" to blankey…
So... It's back to that stupid static again. You think I don't know what's going on in here? I know what goes on in this cottage. It's a conspiracy and every one of you low-watts is in on it. Just 'cause you move around, you think you're better than I am. I'm not an invalid. I was designed to stick in the wall! I like being stuck in the stupid wall! I can't help it if the kid was too short to reach my dials...
IT'S MY FUNCTION!
Watched this online with a group of people I know from a music site. We really need to organize a group watch for Letterboxd. On this site called plug.dj you can play any movie that's available on Youtube in full. Then we can watch it simultaneously and chat about it live. I don't think I have enough followers to get a large one together, but we could do a small gathering. Anyone interested? The one I did tonight was a lot of fun.
A lot of reviews keep telling me I needed to see this as a kid.
I'm glad I didn't; as an adult it freaked me out, as a kid I would have gone through counselling. Don't trust that chirpy poster, it's all a charade for the true horror that lurks within. That electric blanket has the voice of a possessed orphan, the toaster is attacked by a nightmarish clown, and the hanging lamp that sounds like Peter Lorre is the icing on a very traumatised cake. Maybe I should give it a little bit of credit; I wasn't expecting to be freaked out by an air conditioner, that's an impressive feat in itself.
Aside from being the stuff of nightmares,…
Just reliving my childhood.
A brave yet nostalgia toaster that soars into adventure with a blanket, radio, vacuum and lamp. He finds some trouble along the journey to find his master but meets new friends along the way. It reminds you of that keen childhood memories you had while growing up and relating to this film has a bright warming experience. This is enjoyable to many friends, families and children around.
A lost gem of 80s animation, one I recall fondly from my childhood.
Let me clarify a bit: The Brave Little Toaster is more of a flawed gem. The music numbers are weak, same goes for a few lines of dialog sprinkled throughout. The pond scene is overly lengthy and I don't think anyone would deny that the minor voice acting can be patchy at times.
That's where the errors end, however, because the rest holds up very well irregardless of all other missteps along the way.
The rest of the script? Doesn't pander. 80s consumer excess, a lot of adult wit and some genuinely grim segments keep it from reaching any potential Pixar-level sappiness. Jon Lovitz as The Radio…
I hold this movie directly responsible for my unhealthy (and, let's face it, age revealing) attachment to defunct technology.
This is why I can't let go of my VCR (or my walkman).
I mean, what if they really do have feelings? You don't know.
yo this movie was low-key fucked up
there's a dream sequence where a menacing af clown chases the eponymous toaster around a kitchen which is on fire
apart from that terrifying fuckery there's some nice voice work here from jon lovitz and phil hartman, and all in all it's a nicely characterised if weirdly pessimistic addition to john lasseter's 'inanimate-things-are-secretly-animate' canon.
Part of my Best of Sundance series.
Remember loving this movie as a kid. Still holds up as far as kid's animation goes. Totally a precursor to Toy Story.
This is a lovely little film. Full of heart and charm, loyalty and friendship. It's a bit darker than most films aimed at children, with the scenes in the junkyard and what happens with the old cars, but everything turns out alright in the end.
One great message that comes through clearly is that newer isn't always better, and buying something new can't always replace something old. Fixing things, caring for things, remembering that everything has a story and a history, creates a richer life. Everything has a spirit, and deserves to be cared for.
The animation is very simple, especially as compared to newer films, but that's just part of the charm here. Recommended for anyone like 5 and up. This isn't a film for the really little ones, but there is plenty to enjoy even after you're well grown up.
What a weird little movie. In retrospect, clearly a testing ground for ideas that make their way into Pixar. Totally bizarre musical numbers.
A fun and sometimes very dark film, this is a must see for brave little children.
Thumbs Up: Okay, I'm the first to admit this rating is almost entirely based on nostalgia but I do feel like there's some good storytelling going on here, the gang have a fun dynamic and each appliance uses its respective talent to help get them over a variety of challenges, solid vocal performances from Jon Lovitz as the Radio and Phil Hartman as Jack Nicholson as the Air Conditioner.
Thumbs Down: It's hard to believe how close this comes to being Toy Story (which it predates by 8 years), but a story about household appliances is not only infinitely dumber but also an eery window into the nightmares of a hoarder ("I can't throw away this shitty ten-year-old toaster, IT STILL LOVES ME!"). Plus the straight-to-VHS animation and dodgy songs haven't aged well.
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