Remember when kids movie were meant to traumatize rather than pander? Forget all the Don Bluth movies, forget The Black Couldron, let’s talk about The Brave Little Toaster. I watched this recently for nostalgia sake and I think this movie may be the reason I am so sick in the head.
Marketed as a cute little movie about a bunch of appliances that come to life and go search for their long-missing Master, this Toy Story predecessor (no seriously, look it up!) had a horrifying dark side. Check THESE scenes out. (All images from Disney).
1. THE SUICIDAL AIR CONDITIONER
While the main cast is sad about the Master being gone so long, the A/C, impersonating Jack Nicholson for some reason, flat-out says they’ve been dumped. He harbors little love for the kid anyway. But suddenly, the appliances get to the heart of some surprisingly deep psychological scarring when they point out that he’s suck in the wall. I’ll just quote you the A/C’s reply.
“Just cuz you can move around, you think you’re better than I am! I’m not an invalid! I was DESIGNED to stick in a wall! I like being stuck in this stupid wall! I can’t help it if the kid was too short to reach my dials! IT’S MY FUNCTION!!”
Then he explodes.
As if watching him blow up from childhood torture wasn’t bad enough, my wife pointed out that there’s just a dead guy sitting in the background for the rest of the scene.
And the appliances’ reaction? “He was a jerk anyway.”
2. THE HEARTBROKEN FLOWER
This one just came out of nowhere. Toaster comes across a flower that sees its reflection in the mirror and falls in love…yeah, I know. Toaster tries to explain, but it keeps hugging him, so he runs off. He feels a little guilty, so he looks back through the bushes.
The flower is dying. Literally dying. It’s wilted and its petals are falling off. All of a sudden this silly little scene is no longer silly, and Toaster wanders off, looking over his shoulder, haunted by this tragic encounter.
WHAT THE CRAP, MAN?!
3. BLANKY WAS NEARLY EATEN ALIVE
This on requires a little thought. Shortly after the flower’s Narcissistic Suicide, Blanky is getting pulled into a rat hole by the rats because it was earlier established that they like him a lot. He calls for help and they rescue him, but kids don’t realize how much.
What do mice do to blankets? Eat through them. Blanky would have been eaten alive. Nice save, Toaster.
4. SCARY FOREST OF DEATH
Ah, the haunted woods. Cliche, but ever-terrifying. It’s already a surprisingly scary place with nighttime sounds and eerie music, not to mention the fact that Lampie finds THIS:
That, my friends, is a jump-scare done right. But then a storm comes and we get to one of the most heart-stopping scenes in the film.
5. LAMPIE’S VIOLENT SACRIFICE
When their battery dies in the middle of a storm, the appliances realize they’re trapped in the forest. So Blanky gets in idea of how to charge the darn thing:
By plugging himself in and allowing himself to be struck by lightning.
It’s actually kind of gruesome the way his bulb just plain explodes and Lampy suffers some obvious torture before falling to the ground, unconscious. He’s alive, of course, but DANG!
6. KIRBY GOES A LITTLE…FUNNY
When you’re voiced by Thurl Ravenscroft (Tony the Tiger and Mr. Grinch Song himself), it’s easy to be the coolest character in the movie. But when he comes to a waterfall around the movie’s halfway point, Kirby shorts out and…well…
He snaps and starts eating his own cord. Why? I do not really know, but I have never EVER run over the cord while vacuuming thanks to this movie.
7. SLOW, STICKY DEATH
I couldn’t find a clip for this, possibly because it’s too traumatic to save.
Kirby is weary from rescuing the others, so they all tie their cords to him and pull him along. Suddenly, he slips into a puddle of mud and starts to sink. And because they’re attached to him, all the others start to get pulled in.
I think it’s just imagining this in real life that terrifies me most. Kirby is stuck on his side, helpless as he sinks into the mud, and the others aren’t strong enough to pull him out, and then they’re suddenly fighting for their own lives, scrambling and scraping to get out of the mud, only to sink.
The most disturbing part is when Blanky goes down. Toaster tells him to try and untie himself, and Blanky replies in the creepiest, calmest voice possible…
“I’m not scared…”
8. THE LITTLE CHOP SHOP OF HORRORS
Fortunately, the gang is saved by a passer-by who takes them back to his store. What’s his store? A parts store. Also known as a chop shop for appliances.
FIRST OF ALL, we’re treated to the gruesome death of a blender. The whole thing plays like a scene from Hostel. The bad guy squeezes the blender in a vice, then rips off his power cord, then holds up a shiny screwdriver, stabs it in, twists until he hears a sickening crack and then laughs about the noise. Then there’s a shadow of him snipping something with scissors. And as he walks away, we see oil dripping from the counter top onto the floor.
And we’re not done. Seeing that they’re all about to die horribly, the gang tries to escape, but the torn-up appliances all around them sing them a horribly scary song called “It’s a B Movie.” The message of the song? “You’d be start believing in Ghost Stories, Miss Turner. You’re in one!”
The appliances are grotesque, but there’s one little creation that get his own brief solo.
So basically, we’re in Sid’s house from Toy Story. Only instead of just rearranging their parts, he kills them, too.
9. CUTTING EDGE
But out heroes break free and FINALLY, the gang makes it to the Master’s city house, but he’s not home, so the local appliances welcome them in. But they, too, have a song for our heroes. It’s called “Cutting Edge.” The point of the song is thus: “You’re old, we’re new, we’re better and more powerful, you’re antiques. Go ahead and die!” And then they throw our heroes into the dumpster.
It’s sick, but you know why they do this? Because the Master was going to take the old appliances to the dorm instead of them. Not only is this dramatic irony, but it shows that the new appliances aren’t truly evil.
The want the Master’s love just as much as our heroes do, and they aren’t going to get it.
And if two villain songs weren’t enough, we have a third!
When our heroes arrive at the dump, they see a giant Magnet taking all the trash to the Smasher, which crunches everything into a little cube. Now that’s good tension already, but this movie wants to kill your soul, remember? So the cars all begin singing a little tune.
It’s called “Worthless.”
The cars all sing about how they used to be somebody, but now they’re nothing. A race car sings “I was the top of the line, out of sight, out of mind, so much for fortune and fame!” And they’re all singing just seconds before they get killed by the Smasher. So these side characters are getting killed left and right, all while singing about how they’re all worthless now, deserving of nothing but destruction.
In the final shot, some car parts fly off and a muffler lands on Toaster on Blanky. Yeah…that’s his lower intestine.
11. SOMEONE TRIED TO KILL ROB
But at last, the Master, named Rob, shows up and finds his appliances by chance. But these appliances have given the Magnet the runaround for too long and he’s not about to let someone take away his kill. I’m not joking, this Magnet is bloodthirsty. When Rob doesn’t let go of his appliance, the Magnet throws him on the conveyor belt too. Rob is pinned by more trash that falls on him and seconds away from being crushed to death.
But…was the magnet REALLY to blame?
Hang with me for a minute. Appliances in the BLT universe never let humans know their alive. Even our heroes won’t save their beloved Master’s life because it would show they’re alive. But the Magnet isn’t just doing things in secret; it’s doing its job. No way this is going to be hidden. So why would it be so blatant about its sentience? Well, either the landfill saw it as a way to cut costs…or…
Somebody was operating the magnet. There was a human being inside the machine, just as sick and twisted as the magnet is theorized to be. The garbage is his now, all his. And it’s garbage. You crush it, you kill it. No one escapes. He is in charge. But here comes a little dude about to take away his garbage, the same little appliances that have been giving him a hard time. Not on this guy’s watch. This kid didn’t want to die? He shouldn’t have come into the dump.
Personally, I think it’s the Parts Store Owner, trying to get revenge on those appliances that staged a jail break.
12. TOASTER’S VIOLENT SACRIFICE
But the Master is saved when Toaster, the only one not caught by the magnet, JUMPS FACE-FIRST INTO THE GEARS OF THE SMASHER! That’s right, he uses his own body as a wedge to jam the Smasher and save Rob. And we watch as he is destroyed.
Now of course, Rob fixes his precious toaster because he loves them so much and it’s a kid’s movie, but the fact that the shot doesn’t cut away is horrifying. You just watch him get crushed. Sheesh.
But wait…there’s one I’ve forgotten…oh yes, the scariest, sickest, most messed-up moment in any kids movie EVER!!
13. TOASTER’S NIGHTMARE
Way back in the horrifying forest, Toaster has a dream…a bad one.
You know what? Click Here for the Youtube Clip of the scene. It’s only a minute long, go ahead, I’ll wait.
…was that MESSED UP or what? It starts out logical. Toaster is scared of losing the master, so dreams of something taking him away. But then he sees THIS:
A demon clown ASCENDING FROM HELL with a torture device in each hand (for toasters, forks and water are bad news). But he doesn’t kill Toaster, he leans in close and whispers with a Joker-Like smile, “Run…” This isn’t just a monster, this is a psychopath, a sick and twisted freak who enjoys torturing his victims. He lets toaster get a head start and then traps him, but does he kill him? Nope!
He suspends Toaster over a bathtub full of water and plugs him in. Then he sits back and waits for Toaster’s strength to fail, so that he’ll finally fall into the tub and die. Did I mention he was laughing all the while?
Why? Why? Why? Why is this here? Who sat down and thought about a grotesquely creative death for the lead character in a kid’s movie?! Who animated it?! Who said it was suitable?!
Hey, don’t get me wrong, it’s AWESOME! I’m a freak and the darkness of these movies is EPIC. But it’s not quite for kids, is it? I mean, this movie is seriously messed up!
I mean I dare you, I defy you, to find ANY children’s movie more messed up than–