The Brave Little Toaster Movie Poster Image

The Brave Little Toaster



Appliances make a suspenseful, incredible journey.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Review Date: May 20, 2003
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1987
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Friends of the appliance genre band together to overcome dark and scary obstacles; good-natured grumbling about one another's faults doesn't get in the way of them sticking together through thick and thin. Nice message too about the value of the tried and true over constantly needing newer, better things.

Violence & scariness

More dark and threatening imagery than you would expect. Even though the violence is directed at household appliances, kids may be troubled as the appliances are dropped into waterfalls, sucked into quicksand, disarticulated, and chased by a malicious supermagnet at a dump.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

One scene shows a billboard with the TDK logo; since it's the only placement in the entire movie it does jump out.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is the rare instance of a non-pet or child-based animated film. Appliances that are imbued with likable personalities and voices struggle with feelings of abandonment and obsolescence, and decide to set out into the city to find their master, the young boy who used to visit the summer cottage where they've been left. The movie has some funny moments but feels more like a journey film than a comedy, as the friends face and overcome some genuinely disturbing challenges. Appliances are dropped into waterfalls, sucked into quicksand, disarticulated, and chased by a malicious supermagnet at a dump.

What's the story?

Abandoned by the little boy they refer to as "the master" (voiced by Timothy Day), small cottage appliances work together to track him down in the big city. Along the way, they face unfriendly terrain, greedy repair-shop parts hunters, and jealous city appliances.

Is it any good?


Disney's THE BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER, which was written by sci-fi writer Thomas M. Disch, makes the audience root for the appliances and their plucky determination. It also opens the door to a dialogue about the disposable culture in which we live, where appliances can be dumped in favor of a newer model even when they work just fine. The animation seems a bit dated and grainy, but it somehow acts to reinforce the notion that the appliances are out of pace with their city competitors.

Visual comedy is at a minimum, though the scenes of the appliances considering different transportation modes (pogo sticks, refrigerators on wheels) are funny. Most of the humor comes from the smartly written dialogue and Radio (Jon Lovitz) runs away with all the good lines, as when he tells shorted-out Kirby to recover by making "even carpet sweeping motions!" Another nice touch is the appliances who seem to be channeling Hollywood celebrities, like the air conditioner who sounds suspiciously like Jack Nicholson. Children younger than 5 might enjoy the story but be frightened by the strong imagery -- even if it's just appliances being hurt, they're appliances the audience grows to care about.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the friends worked together to travel from the country cottage to the city; What obstacles did they overcome? How did each of their skills -- Kirby's strength, Radio's navigational abilities -- contribute to them finding the master? What are some good things about using older items instead of buying new -- from an economic, environmental, and/or emotional standpoint?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 10, 1987
DVD release date:September 2, 2003
Cast:Deanna Oliver, Jon Lovitz, Phil Hartman
Director:Jerry Rees
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:NR
MPAA explanation:not rated

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Adult Written byCSM Screen Name... November 6, 2009


When I was around 6, my mother left me in the nursery while she went shopping at the grocery store, and the babysitter let us watch this movie. I was TRAUMATIZED when I saw it. It gave me nightmares for weeks. These scenes include the air conditioner blowing up, the lamp getting struck by lightning, the infamous clown scene (which made me cry), and the scene where the cars were being smashed by the compactor. The scene with the compactor was the worst. About 8 cars are crushed into little tiny cubes that looked like bouillion cubes. Moreover, the cars are singing about death on the way to the compactor, and there is this big magnet picking them up that has these menacing eyes. Also, the compactor has these really menacing teeth that repeatedly open and close as the cars are being brought to it. This scene was entirely inappropriate for a children's film, as the cars are anthropomorphic in nature and you grow to care for them just before their lives are cut tragically short (I'm 22 years old and I still get tears in my eyes when I think about it. Maybe I'm just too sensitive). Anyway, I say all of that to tell parents not to let little children see this movie. At an older age they may be able to handle it, but why would they want to? There are so many better cartoons out there.
Teen, 15 years old Written bycud May 16, 2009

Uh.. I watched it when I was little but I"m not sure that all kids should.

This movie has a dark edge that can leave even adults moderately disturbed. One thing the common sense review didn't mention was the language. I think it's pretty bad for a young kid's movie: I know I noticed the number of times they said "stupid" and "idiot" and "shut up" when I was a little kid, because I wasn't allowed to say that.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old July 21, 2013

You can never be too old for this classic, but you could be too young.

Some scary scenes that could disturb people, but I love it. When you feel silly watching it, try to get a copy of the original book, by Thomas M. Disch!
What other families should know
Too much violence


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