A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars is a 1998 movie in which the titular toaster and his appliance friends must go to Mars to rescue the newborn baby of their owners after he's accidentally beamed away. When the newborn baby arrives, a character asks where babies come from, which could inspire questioning that some parents might not be ready to answer. The appliances encounter an army of angry appliances that have built a missile to destroy Earth. The look of this movie is virtually the same as the original Brave Little Toaster, but the story is a bit more childish. Its true target audience is preschoolers -- they'll enjoy the cute talking appliance characters the most. Grade-school kids may be attracted by the sci-fi/adventure elements, while older kids and tweens probably won't be interested.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
The gang of animated household appliances are back in THE BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER GOES TO MARS. When their master's new baby, Robbie, is mysteriously beamed into the cosmos, Toaster, Radio, Blanky, Lampy, and Kirby the vacuum cleaner utilize a laundry basket, a microwave oven, a calculator, a fan, and some microwave popcorn to fly to Mars to retrieve the baby. On Mars, the appliances find Robbie but encounter an army of angry appliances that have built a missile to destroy Earth. Toaster manages to deactivate the missile, and they all head back to Earth, along with a Christmas Tree Angel. Robbie is returned to his crib before his parents wake up. When he learns how to walk, he rescues the Christmas Tree Angel from a trash can so his parents can put it on top of their tree.
Is it any good?
Though visually similar (if less accomplished), this sequel is aimed more directly at children than was its big-screen predecessor. The original Brave Little Toaster contained intellectual, emotional, and symbolic elements designed for older viewers as well. The story of this movie, based on a novella by sci-fi author Thomas M. Disch, contains aspects that point to historical and political satire (including a subplot involving Albert Einstein and a capitalism-vs.-socialism subtext), but everything has been simplified and homogenized for kiddie consumption.
This is a straight cartoon for kids, and on that level, it's perfectly pleasant. There is something intrinsically amusing about seeing household appliances come to life, and the original appliance characters are as cute as ever. New characters add to the fun, and the celebrity voice cast includes Wayne Knight, Carol Channing, Alan King, DeForest Kelley, and Farrah Fawcett as -- what else -- a talking faucet.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what their appliances would do if they came to life. Where would they go? What adventures would they have?
How does the Brave Little Toaster act like a hero when he and his friends are on Mars?
How does the movie discuss the history of Martian exploration and concepts such as "planned obsolescence"?
- In theaters: January 1, 1998
- On DVD or streaming: March 2, 2004
- Cast: Deanna Oliver, Thurl Ravenscroft, Timothy Stack
- Director: Robert Ramirez
- Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Music and Sing-Along, Robots, Space and Aliens
- Run time: 72 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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