A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Basic message of military-warrior culture and guns being bad, innocent childlike types being good. On that note, it's proposed that generals and Pentagon are basically big kids themselves; they just prefer playing with war toys instead of dolls and wind-up animals.
Positive Role Models
Young-at-heart adults like Leslie are good, compared to military men represented by Leland Zevo, who are exaggerated, armor-plated, destruction-crazed maniacs. Racial diversity in the troops.
Violence & Scariness
"Cartoon violence" shooting by robot tanks and other weapons, sometimes directed at humans, sometimes at other toys. Hand-to-hand scuffling. No blood.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A woman takes her top off (with her back to the camera) before "getting laid" with Leslie (no visuals, but their passionate sounds are overheard by a surveillance team). A woman in sexy lingerie reveals she's been sleeping with a father and son (but not at the same time). Assorted sexual double-entendres include a misunderstanding that a homosexual act happened.
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God's name in vain, "crap," "poop," "damn," "hell," "bastards," "S-O-B," "cock" and "penis."
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Products & Purchases
References to MTV, Disney, the American Tail movies, the Michelin Man, and a few real-life video-arcade console games.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
General Zevo gets drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, despite the title, Toys is not really a children's movie, though its unrealistic universe does play to a kid's POV. There is verbal sexual innuendo, and lead characters have a bedroom scene (nothing shown after the heroine starts taking off her bra). Swearing is at light PG-level. Plot involves the death and burial of an ailing father. Some of Leslie's favorite toys are imitation dog-doo, fake vomit, and other vulgar body-function novelties. Mid-90s jokes about Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf, Mother Theresa, and other topics might call for explanations. Political bias is pretty thick: childhood innocence and sweetness vs. a hostile military-industrial complex. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
On a visual-media level, Toys is breathtaking, a pastel- and primary-colored nursery-room world, with optical illusions and false-perspective shots borrowed from great surrealist painters. Even a shameless ad for MTV (Leslie and his crew fake the music-channel to fool guards) is so clever looking one almost doesn't mind. Almost. Sex gags, cussing, and the lack of child characters signify this is a more grownup toy story than Toy Story, but some teens might enjoy its vibe, visions, Robin Williams' energetic patter, and even the naivete of the politics.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.