Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Brave Little Toaster

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! I showed this movie to my own toaster so that it may learn what it is to be brave.  The damn coward is afraid of heights.

The Brave Little Toaster – 4 out of 5

I was just a little boy when The Brave Little Toaster came out but, even as a child, I wasn’t too interested in the product.  There was something about talking appliances that didn’t speak to me so I never pushed to see it.  As I got older, my interest in seeing this one grew thinner and thinner—all because I judged it on it being about anthropomorphic household items.  Despite my pushback, I’ve only heard good things about this movie and many, many, many of my friends have stated a deep love for this feature.  So, recently, I relented and decided to finally give this one a chance...and it really is a great movie!

Yeah, the toaster is brave but not as brave as our soldiers--is what your
conservative Facebook friend would say.

In a cabin out in the country, Toaster (Deanna Oliver), Radio (Jon Lovitz), Lampy (Timothy Stack), Blanky (Timothy E. Day) and Kirby (Thurl Ravenscroft), not so patiently wait for their master, the young Rob (Wayne Kaatz), to return.  Years have gone and they fear they will never see their friend and loved one again.  With determination, they decide they are going to venture out and travel to the city to be reunited with Rob but nothing can prepare them for the dangers that lurk behind every corner…

The longer you stare at this picture of Blanky with those crazy eyes the
funnier it gets.

To put it simply, The Brave Little Toaster is a simple concept that results in a charming and adorable feature but also surprised me with some great music and some shocking adult themes and undertones.  The latter part really shocked me because when you have a movie that literally centers on appliances that can speak, having adult oriented themes feel like the furthest thing you would experience.  However, this movie introduces some heavy emotional drama and even brings in things like hinted suicide as the group finds themselves at a junk yard and a sentient vehicle willingly drives into a compactor in order to be destroyed.  This element isn’t really a surprise in retrospect because many of those who worked on this feature went on to work for Pixar and we all know how that production company changed how animated films can be but having this dynamic that isn’t holding back on the heart and drama and isn’t talking down to the audience while presenting it in a stereotypical kid’s feature format was unheard of in 1987.  Honestly, this film felt very revolutionary.

Um yeah, not entirely a kid's movie.

The cast in this film is doing a fantastic job at bringing the characters to life.  This shouldn’t be a surprise because you have the likes of Phil Hartman and Jon Lovitz in the crew.  Everyone involved did such an amazing job of making their character heartfelt and endearing.  I also really enjoyed the way some smaller characters were impressions of some Hollywood icons like Jack Nicholson, Peter Lorre, and Joan Rivers.  These types of parodies were much bigger “back in the day” for animated features and have kinda faded away from modern cartoons and feature-length films.

Not going to lie, Peter Lorre light is terrifying as hell.

There’s something also very refreshing about watching a hand-drawn, 2D animated film in 2018.  Okay, as much as I rail against toxic nostalgia, I must vehemently state this isn’t me getting to that level.  I’m not going to whine that all animated movies currently made are terrible and the only good ones were the ones during my formative years.  Nope.  Instead, it was just kinda cool to see a hand-drawn, sorta dirty animated film that doesn’t look overly polished.  You can see all the tell-tale signs of the “old days” of animation and it’s pretty cool to see how far we’ve come.  That isn’t to say The Brave Little Toaster isn’t well animated—far from that.  It’s a beautifully constructed movie that looks terrific but one that also illustrates just how advanced and how developed the world of animation has become.

I'd doubt my own bravery if I ran into a group of sentient appliances in the woods.

The Brave Little Toaster is a sweet, super endearing and adorable animated movie.  The feature looks great, the voice acting is fantastic, and the story doesn’t shy away from getting into some real drama, emotion and even some dark themes.  I kinda feel like I cheated myself by not seeing this when it came out but I’m definitely glad I finally decided to give it a shot.

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