Friday, April 4, 2014

The Brave Little Toaster (1987) Review:

What exactly was novelist Thomas M. Disch imaging of when he created this story? I mean, this can be asked of for any novelist but I guess the fact that the idea seems so out in left field, just makes it so much more significant to ask. Did Mr. Disch have a connection between himself and the appliances he had at his house? It is definitely a creative idea but what inspired him to come up with it? In some ways it presents itself as a premature movie that inspired Toy Story (1995) (considering John Lasseter was on the animation team originally), and in other ways in dives into territories some viewers may not expect.

You choose your favorite!
The story follows the travels of five appliance items who long to hear from their master, or the kid who consistently used them from their childhood. Come to find out, their master has moved on permanently. Refusing to be left alone or to be taken over by another person, the group of appliances set out to find their owner. To do this, they test the fates by stepping outside the house and venture out to accomplish their mission. Along their journey they will also learn some very startling truths that the real world has in store (no pun intended).

The screenplay written by Jerry Rees and now deceased Disney veteran Joe Ranft is praiseworthy for its creativeness and heartfelt characters. The voice casts behind the characters are great. Jon Lovitz as the radio is probably the most comical of the bunch for his quick remarks and energetic attitude. That's not to say the others aren't memorable either. Deanna Oliver as the toaster is by far the most memorable for her soft voice and caring heart. Every viewer will find his or her own character to latch onto. However, with good characters come some flaws that need to be addressed in the story. One of them is continuity - if the group needs an outlet so they can move; the story cannot all of a sudden drop the need for one.

The master
The other flaw that needs to be addressed is the element of death. A family picture has every right to portray a death in a story. The world is not always happy-go-lucky and that's something people learn to understand as they grow up. So the idea that this exists in the movie isn't the flaw - the flaw is how some scenes portray the death. A dramatic death is the best type to be used in a kid’s film. But ones that involve torture or mutilation? That may be diving a little too deep for young viewers. Of course it's ok because guts and blood are replaced with nuts, bolts and battery acid, but that's just as graphic as portraying it to a kid as is blood and guts to an adult. I mean props for taking on adult material but why is it handled with such care as if it were for a horror film? Take it easy guys.

Other than that the rest of the film provides solid entertainment. Along with likable characters, are unique songs (although they may not stick), colorful animation and appropriate film music. David Newman, who produced the score didn't create a theme for these characters but it does match the scenes effectively and do convey the correct emotion. If a family film is what you're looking for, this is definitely one that can be on your list. Hopefully for young one's now a days it shouldn't be too scary.

Its story does suffer from minor continuity errors and portrays death fairly harsh for young viewers, but that doesn't stop the characters from being any memorable than they already are today. It may seem kiddy when in fact it is more adult like than some may know.

Points Earned --> 7:10

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