This movie focuses on appliances, who are alive when people are not around. There are a few appliances, such as the radio, a little blanket, a vacuum cleaner, a lamp stand, and of course, the toaster.
They go on a quest to find their master, Robert, who was a little boy who once lived in the cabin that they still reside in. This film has a premise similar to the “Toy Story” movies and a plot similar to “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey.” However, this came out before those films, so those literary devices ended up either coincidences, or got inspired by “The Brave Little Toaster.” But I can’t imagine that this movie inspired either concepts of those later films.
Although this film is a bit overlooked, compared to other Disney films (like “The Little Mermaid”), and underrated, I ended up enjoying it.
Now onto the parts that pleased me the most:
Each character had his or her own personality. The radio had so much energy and liked to go on about certain topics. The lamp had to constantly get new light bulbs, but I can’t recall his traits too well. The blanket, named “Blanky,” had the voice and maturity level of a little kid as well as the enthusiasm and sadness, since he missed Robert. The vacuum cleaner, named “Kirby,” was grumpy and had a rough attitude. And the toaster had not only a bubbly personality, but also fearless. After all, he or she (the gender isn’t specified, but the toaster is voiced by a woman) is called “brave” in the title.
I especially felt sorry for when Blanky cried over missing Robert, and I disliked when the other appliances became impatient over that. Ironically, the toaster didn’t show sympathy to Blanky until later. And one of the appliances found that odd since the toaster had never been kind to him before.
But I supported the toaster’s sweetness to Blanky. It made for such a nice change.
I also admired how the appliances worked together on their journey, especially when they were in danger. Even Kirby would care about the others’ safety, and they would do the same for him, despite his harshness.
The musical numbers
While the first song sung did sound a little bit like a traditional Disney song from the 20th century, the others sounded like 80’s pop tunes, such as electro-funk. I found that interesting, particularly in a Disney film.
The mature allegories
While this film is supposed to be family-friendly, there are some mature allegories that go a little too far. An example is when the toaster has a nightmare similar to the opposite of Heaven.
However, I saw on IMDB that the movie isn’t rated. Although the PG rating was still similar to PG-13 at that time, even after the introduction of the new rating in 1984, it probably would have been rated G then. But today, it would be rated, at least, PG.
The pond scene with the animals
I heard that this scene was added to make the film more kid-friendly. Yet, to me, it felt out of place.
In fact, it played like a scene from a “Fantasia” movie, either the first or second. One part that felt weird was when a fish rescued a worm from a bird, and it descended back to the water, it randomly sang in an opera-like voice. Seriously?
Aside from how this movie engaged me, I also appreciated the various twists and turns that took place. I won’t spoil anything, though.
Regardless of some of my criticisms, I still would recommend “The Brave Little Toaster.” I would give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
2 thoughts on “Critique of “The Brave Little Toaster” (1987)”
Good review. My kids enjoyed this when they were small.
That’s great! It deserves more attention than it gets.