Customer Reviews: The Brave Little Toaster
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on October 23, 2007
Oh boy, did I love this movie when I was little! I must've wasted half my childhood watching this thing. Yes, it's got some scenes which may scare some young kids, but plenty of other animated movies have scary scenes, too. I didn't get scared when I was watching this at the age of eight or nine. If your child is old enough to watch Bambi or the Lion King, he or she should have no problem with the Brave Little Toaster. Parents of very young children (i.e. four or five year olds) may want to preview the movie beforehand, though. For those who don't know, this 1987 movie is not actually a Disney film. It was made by the independent studio Hyperion, and Disney ended up buying the TV and home video rights.

I gave this two out of five stars because while the movie is excellent, the DVD itself is bad, bad, bad, bad, bad. This might be the very worst DVD release I've ever seen. The picture shakes left and right throughout the entire duration of the movie. Not to mention there's plenty of dirt and debris littering the picture. It's almost as if someone ran this movie on a projector, then recorded it with a camcorder. The problems are very noticeable, and very distracting. Disney should be ashamed of itself for releasing this DVD in such poor quality. This movie deserves more respect than that, especially considering that one of the writers of the Brave Little Toaster is the late, great Pixar storyman Joe Ranft. Don't buy this DVD, but instead, hunt down an old copy of the VHS. Show Disney that substandard releases such as this one will not be tolerated by us fans!
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Entertaining, suspenseful and with a good moral, The Brave Little Toaster works on many different levels for children. It's well made and written. This actually isn't a Disney production but an independent production company. The production design and use of colors will captivate your child's attention. Additionally, the conflicts and some of the suspenseful situations mirror experiences that little ones have in their day to day experience.
My only complaint is that the sequels produced aren't up to the high quality of the first film. While the third film in the series (but second produced) The Brave Little Toaster Goes To Mars is very close in quality to the first film, the second film suffers from a lower budget and is missing the imaginative direction of the first film.
As to the viewer who mentioned that there were images inappropriate for younger children--honestly, my kids can't operate the pause button and never noticed the "image". It isn't nasty or subversive and I find it doesn't effect the overall quality of this fine children's film. The cliche about not being able to see the woods for the tree applies to children's movies as well. While all movies have something we may not like (and books or toys for that matter), it's the overall values communicated not a single image (and your interpretation of it) that makes or breaks a child's video.
The Brave Little Toaster doesn't have any hidden agendas and is perfect entertainment for little ones and adults can watch it with them to explain the story as it goes along if necessary.
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on May 26, 2012
Unfortunately, due to the fact that Disney is only the distributor of this movie they've given it a very lackluster release. The VHS copy I had was actually better quality before it became warn down from frequent viewings. If you order the DVD expect cell dirt to be prevalent through the film and for the beginning to have the picture shaking quite badly. It steadies itself withing the first few minutes, and only pops up once in awhile after that, but it is still a large distraction. While the movie itself is a solid 4 out of 5, the picture issues are bad enough to deduct a star. Plus, and this may just annoy me, Kirby is pink on the cover for some reason.

Special features are also very disappointing. Instead of getting any neat behind the scenes info or anything interesting at all about this movie you're basically given a long commercial trying to get you to buy the other two films. Don't fall for it. They lack the intelligence and charm that this movie did, choosing instead to really pander to children instead of creating a masterpiece that all ages can enjoy.

It's funny how fast time passes, as this film is already 25 years old! It first made its appearance at various film festivals and actually should have won best film at the Sundance Film Festival, but it was decided to be too risky as they feared people wouldn't take the festival seriously anymore if an animated film won best prize. This tells you right there how wonderful this film is and to disregard any 1 star reviews.

Disney may have had the rights, but due to their minimal involvement, they decided not to release the film in theaters but instead on their television network and on VHS. From there the film was well received with its young viewers to the point where it has become a fond memory for them as adults and a movie they would share with their children. In fact, the film was such a hit that when Deanna Oliver's son told his military group she was the Toaster, they brought toasters of their own for her to sign. Sadly, this film seems to be losing steam with each new generation and is becoming forgotten. If you're considering this due to word of mouth or Amazon recommendations I strongly urge you to pick it up. My mother was the one to introduce me to it because I wasn't even born when it came out.

The film stars some well known talents but even those who were either totally or somewhat inexperienced do an excellent job in voicing the various appliances to really give life to the characters and make them stand out as an individual.

The late great Thurl Ravenscroft graces us with his presence though the roll of Kirby, a grumpy vacuum cleaner with a heart of gold.

Jon Lovitz voices the enigmatic Radio, who encourages the group by creating broadcasts about their exploits.

Tim Stack is Lampy, a not so bright lamp.

Lesser known is Timothy E. Day (he may not have ever done anything else film wise; I have yet to find more about him) who voices the childish Blanky.

Finally, the leader of group, Deanna Oliver lends her talents as the Toaster. She dabbled in a few other films but still does a stand up job despite not achieving the same fame as the first three. Some complain that that her voice was too girlie for a male character but young boys often have an androgynous voice that she fits well.

The film begins with the cast starting the day like any other in a seemingly abandoned cottage. They wake up, bicker a little, and are at last motivated to do their daily chores along with the tune of Tootie Fruity. Don't be surprised if you find your child themselves rocking out to the song along with the characters. Many have said this was one of their favorite parts when they were little. Their work comes to an abrupt end when Blanky, in Radar O'Reilly fashion, alerts them that a car is coming near. Hoping that at last the young boy who they belonged to along with his family have at last returned they form a platform for Blanky to climb up and check through the attic window, only to be disappointed once again.

Having had enough Toaster proposes that they finally leave the cottage and track down the boy and his family. Kirby is content to stay in the cottage and wait for a new master but leaves when he sees that everyone else is going along with the plan. From here they rig a power supply together, tie a chair to Kirby that the others ride on, and set of on their grand adventure through various terrain and a spooky appliance shop, meeting both friends and foes along the way while learning to work as a team and get along a bit better despite the personality conflicts until the climax at a junk yard. Of note is the antagonistic Jack Nicholson sound alike air conditioner in the cottage who ends up short circuiting (Don't worry; he was a jerk anyway) and the Peter Lorre caricature in the form of a ceiling lamp.

What's also a treat are the songs in this movie. There is just the right amount and don't drag the movie down like what happened with Cats Don't Dance and Anastasia. They're very catchy and contain smart lyrics, the song "Worthless" in particular one you'll want to listen closely to as the cars give background on themselves as well as hints to what model they are. My personal favorite is "B Movie", which sounds like it would fit in perfectly into the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Now for the downsides. This film doesn't pander to children with loads of sunshine, flowers, and endless happiness, which seems to get under some parents' skin. The truth is that there are only a few scary moments in this movie, but even if you take the time to screen the movie before presenting it to your child (which you should if they're fairly young and you have an idea of what they don't like seeing) you might be surprised by what bothers them, which applies to absolutely anything they view. What sticks out is a nightmare sequence the Toaster has with a clown. This is about two minutes long and can easily be fast forwarded through. It's nothing that should keep your kid up at night but it may bother them for the brief time its on the screen.

What shocks me is that the Air Conditioner has been brought up because apparently that person's child didn't understand why he was so angry. See, sometimes things pop up in movies that can easily be explained to your kid. If it's too much effort to explain something to your kid that their young mind can't yet comprehend, just have them stare at a wall when they're at home if you're going to be that lazy.

Personally, I was only startled at a point where Kirby is out of the frame for awhile and suddenly zooms forward. It's something I laugh at now. If anything scared me as a child it was Hexxus from Ferngully.

Oh, there's also some really laughable complaints about the name calling. Yes, your child will hear horrific insults such as "loud mouth" and "carpet breath". Gasp! If you've taught your child name calling is bad it's no problem. See, not everyone who ends up spending a lot of time together always gets along, thus some arguments between the cast in the film. What's nice is how they bond and those incidences become less and less, thus character development!

I have a co-worker who has a 6 year old and I lent it to him for her to watch. She absolutely loved it and actually requested to watch it multiple times before he gave it back to me. Every kid is unique in what they do or don't like, I don't really understand why some have to throw a fit and bash this movie over it like only their child's opinion matters.

The film is about an hour and thirty minutes long so your child may grow bored with it since it's a bit longer than other animated features. Also, it could be one of those films that your child finds boring now so you should leave it on the shelf for while and try again later. It's a little quirky in that you really appreciate it later when you understand all the clever references. You may actually enjoy it more than your kid does!

This is rather lengthy, and my first review, so hopefully I've covered what you need to know about the film and influence your decision. The typical $9 price tag that Amazon slaps on it is well worth a try!
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on November 20, 1999
My 3 year old son and I both liked this movie. It has good animation and is entertaining for both young and old. However, it has a pretty scary junkyard scene where old cars get smashed by a crusher into scrap metal. The cars are singing songs about their lives before it happens which makes the scene even more disturbing. An ominous looking magnet chases the toaster and his friends, trying to get them in the crusher too. My son was literally trembling on my lap. Afterwards he was afraid of our living room ceiling fan, saying it was a magnet and was going to get him. Overall though, the movie was fun and it ends well. My son still talks about it and wants to see it again but I think we'll wait until he's a little older. I would recommend this movie for kids 4 and over or younger ones that are not easily scared.
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This was one of my son's favorite animated movies to watch when he was young. He's now 13 and when it was on TV recently, he sat down to watch it again with his little brother who is 2 1/2 years old. It's a delightful, sometimes sad, and a little scary, tale of several appliances who come to life and try to get home to their master, a young man named Rob.

It seems that the appliances have all been left behind in an old cottage and the cottage is soon to be sold. The five appliances: Radio (Jon Lovitz), Lampy (Tim Stack), Kirby the vacuum Cleaner (Thurl Ravenscroft, voice of Tony the Tiger) Blanky the electic blanket (Timothy Day) and the Toaster (Deanna Oliver. Phil Hartman does the voice of the Air conditioner at the cottage who tells the other appliances they are going to be left behind.

They tie a car battery to an office chair and plug in Kirby as he pulls the rest of the appliances like a wagon. Literally over hill, dale, and river, the comrades face a world of peril including "the collector" who takes apart old appliances and sells parts, a dangerous waterfall, and the climax at a junk yard.

A very cute little Movie NOT made by Disney although Hyperion pictures would eventually be acquired by Disney. The movie was based on a story by renowned sci-fi and Horror author Thomas M. Disch who gives us a modern day fable. The voice actors, particularly Lovitz and Ravenscroft are outstanding and the animation is quite good considering it was done in the 1980's when studios were not spending a great deal on quality animation.

This would be followed up by two sequels: The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars and The Brave Little Toaster to the rescue. Neither sequel managed to capture the charm of the original although most of the cast (minus Lovitz and Hartman) would return for both films.

A minor classic!
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on September 8, 2014
This movie did something odd for me: it immediately downgraded my opinion of "Toy Story 3." Don't get me wrong, TS3 is still a great movie but having now seen this forgotten classic I realized how much of the "daring," "dark," and "edgy' material was lifted wholesale from "The Brave Little Toaster." Belongings dealing with being left behind and forgotten? Check. At least one that is sorely bitter that it was ignored by its owner? Check. A possibly ill-fated quest to find said owner again? Check. Numerous glimpses of the disastrous fate of forgotten possessions? Double Check!

This is an odd kind of movie to try and encapsulate without breaking it down point for point. The playful animation and lively anthropomorphic appliances will definitely appeal to any and all youngsters who see it. However the adults in the room are likely to quickly pick up on an underlying current of darkness that is omnipresent and almost unrelenting. That might sound like a warning, but in a way that's part of why I recommend it. It's the kind of movie you'll enjoy as a kid, then come back and revisit and have an entirely new perspective on.

The personalities of the various appliances are varied and well rounded, which will help ensure that every viewer will find a favorite. My daughter favors the toaster, while my wife always loved the blanket and I myself gravitate to the radio. Given that much of its plot has now been aped by more successful films, the actual story won't surprise too many. But it's presented very well and with the aforementioned thread of darkness that gives the overall film a pretty unique feel to it. If you're a kid, or an adult who appreciates bold animation than this is well worth seeking out.
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on August 11, 2014
Believe the reviews that say this is an unbelievably bad copy of an otherwise great movie. Disney should be embarrassed to sell this with their name on it, and Amazon should just pull it until the quality of transfer is improved. I returned it the same day.
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on May 26, 2014
It literally looks like someone brought their camera to the theaters and recorded this movie. The screen bounces around so much that it was making me sick. It sucks because I really liked this As a kid and wanted my son to enjoy it too.
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on February 25, 2015
I purchased my original version of the classic "Brave Little Toaster" on VCR for my daughter in 1988 and the picture and audio quality were fantastic and the best I’ve experienced. The story line is just as good as well. Everything was simply fantastic. Especially when the eerie music and deep bass played while the appliances were in the used appliance story about to be canablized. My kids and I would watch the VHS version of the The Brave Little Toaster over and over again and never get tired of it. HOWEVER, SAVE YOUR MONEY! Whoever copied this classic to DVD ruined this classic for me and for generations to come. The DVD version is grainy and even flickers and the reproduction audio and sound quality are simply atrocious. I guess they thought this movie was just for kids and that the quality didn’t really matter. Well…it does so SAVE YOUR MONEY. On line I have seen hundreds of complaints about the same poor reproduction video and audio quality reflected in the DVD version. It is truly a shame the incompetent people responsible for transferring this classic to a DVD ruined it for me and future generations. Where was the Quality Control for reproducing this classic? Nowhere obviously. It just turns my stomach ever time I see the DVD version of the Brave Little Toaster in my video library.
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on December 19, 2015
This under-appreciated gem is one of the top ten animated films of all time. Its artwork - while not as glorious as Miyasaki classics - is bright, clear, and solidly conveys the plot. The story is as good as they come: smart, heartwarming, thrilling, funny, and whimsical. Kids will watch it over and over, while parents will enjoy the humour throughout this joyful tale of adventure.
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