Want personalized picks that fit your family?

Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.

Get age-based picks

The Brave Little Toaster

Movie review by
Nancy Davis Kho, Common Sense Media
The Brave Little Toaster Movie Poster Image
Appliances make a suspenseful, incredible journey.
  • NR
  • 1987
  • 90 minutes
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 21 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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

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

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
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 TRAUMATIZ... Continue reading
Adult Written byResuEman September 27, 2015

Traumatising. Just avoid it.

I have found a review written by someone, who claimed that this movie traumatised him and made him feel compasion for inanimate objects - possibly higher than f... Continue reading
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... Continue reading
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'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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate