Brave Little Toaster–Darkest Kids Movie Ever??

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.

BLT 2

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

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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

BLT 4

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:

BLT 5

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.

BLT 6

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…

BLT 7

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…”

*shiver*

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.

BLT 8 “Oh, look at me!” He says. “I’m a can-opener, a lamp, and a shaver! Oh, God, I’m a mish-mash!” Then they take him away.

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

BLT 9

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.

10. WORTHLESS

BLT 10

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

BLT 11

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:

BLT 12

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–

BLT 13

Oh…

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30 thoughts on “Brave Little Toaster–Darkest Kids Movie Ever??

  1. I remember this movie! Or the bits that haven’t been blocked out anyways…I was definitely afraid of running over the vacuum cord for many years after watching this. Now that you’ve gone over it, I do remember being very traumatized by this movie.

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  2. Oh yes, this was the most traumatic kids’ movie ever. (I feel like the 80’s were just a disturbing time for kids’ media.) It’s not just the disturbing scenes, it’s the sheer amount of them. The whole movie is a constant progression from one terrible thing to the next with no happy moments to break it up at all.

    I love it.

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    1. Yeah, it’s weird feeling, innit? This is miserable, awful, traumatizing…I must have more!
      Hey, the darker the journey, the brighter the light at the journey’s end, I say.
      And any movie with THREE villain songs is cool in my book.

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      1. I do think the repair shop appliances aren’t villains, per se, despite the Peter Lorre voice; they’re victims as well.

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      2. Technically they and the Master’s new appliances are victims in all this. The new appliances just want love, too. But there are no heroes here…just those who want to survive. Freaky.

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      3. And it goes to the next level when you consider the machines’ compelling need to perform their function. The magnet and crusher were made to destroy other machines; like all the other appliances, their function is probably the only thing they could ever feel fulfilled doing, and if they stopped, they would themselves be junked.

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  3. “The appliances are grotesque, but there’s one little creation that get his own brief solo.” Ahem. *Her* own brief solo–if you listen closely to that voice, it’s a dead-on Joan Rivers imitation…”ohhhh, Gawd!”

    And just typing this, I now realize what the point of that Joan Rivers voice was–like the appliances in the parts shop, Rivers herself (and other celebs like her, such as Joan Collins) was a patchwork of artificial parts that didn’t match. Clever little dig at the Hollywood mindset. 😛

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  4. If you think about it, this movie is just an introduction to nihilism for children. The appliances have a master/slave relationship with the boy. They only exist to perform their function and when they are unable to do that, they cease to have a reason to live. The Brave Little Toast is really just a college philosophy course for kids.

    P.S. Did anyone else notice that this movie has a higher death count than The Godfather? That’s really messed up.

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    1. I don’t know…I take a slightly warmer view of the whole relationship. I think that one of the underlying messages was that you only really find fulfillment thought selfless giving. Sort of like “The Velveteen Rabbit”–“only love makes a toy real.” Not exactly a view I associate with Nietzche, but that’s just my take on it.

      As for the body count…never thought of it that way. I mean, the way I saw it, only the cars in the junkyard really died. The air conditioner came back to life once the master repaired him, and the appliances at the chop shop escaped, even if they did escape maimed (except for the blender… 😦 ), and the newer appliances at the apartment were just left to stew in their own jealousy. Next time I watch, I’ll have to take notice of who’s not going to make it.

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  5. I watched Watership Down as a kid, but didn’t had the chance to watch TBLT. I wasn’t traumatised, just surprise at the amount of blood in the movie. Also, I did not get the Lapine culture thingy back then. I wanted to watch it coz I thought it was about bunnies, and bunnies are cute, right? WRONG

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  6. I remember watching this as a kid. It didn’t really bother me. I guess because they were machines and not humans. However, the me of today would probably get teary-eyed at a few parts.

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  7. This is a completely ridiculous article. Everything said about this great kids movie is twisted and messed up. Why must you taint our images of such a awesomely cute classic!!!

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  8. Hey, I’m a blogger on WordPress too, and I grew up with this movie. Do you mind if I write a post about this movie too? Not quite in the same vein as your post, but kind of expounding on the same idea that this movie in particular has a lot of depth for “just a kids’ movie.”

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      1. No problem, and I didn’t imagine it would be a problem, but I always figure it’s better to be safe than sorry. I’d hate to get a flurry of angry messages about how I’m a thief and a fraud because I wrote about something similar haha. Cheers.

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  9. TBLT isn’t dark at all. It all depends on how your mind sees it. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and disassociation, anxiety, depression, etc. I have severe panic attacks and dissociation episodes every single day. But guess what? TBLT actually calms me down when I get like this. It also keeps me from cutting and killing myself when I have those thoughts. Seriously, I can name several movies, Disney and non Disney, that are way darker. With all this being said, TBLT saved my life a lot of time and is continuing to do so. It’s my favorite movie in the world! 🙂

    Btw, these are just my thoughts on this topic. I respect that you feel different. I don’t want you to think that I’m being rude or anything.

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  10. TBLT isn’t dark at all. It all depends on how your mind sees it. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and disassociation, anxiety, depression, etc. I have severe panic attacks and dissociation episodes every single day. But guess what? TBLT actually calms me down when I get like this. It also keeps me from cutting and killing myself when I have those thoughts. Seriously, I can name several movies, Disney and non Disney, that are way darker. With all this being said, TBLT saved my life a lot of time and is continuing to do so. It’s my favorite movie in the world! 🙂

    Btw, these are just my thoughts on this topic. I respect that you feel different. I don’t want you to think that I’m being rude or anything.

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    1. I can really see that, though, because Toaster and his friends start out vulnerable, lost, and afraid of the world, and by the end of the movie they’ve all discovered just how capable and heroic they can really be when they have to be. Plus, they bond over the course of the movie and become kinder and more loyal to each other. In spite of everything scary that goes on, they manage to overcome challenges and thrive. Which really is a pretty uplifting message!

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