True Story: "The Brave Little Toaster" Scarred Me For Life
There are a lot of scary movies out there, but none have messed me up as much as The Brave Little Toaster. “What, really?” you might say, “that cartoon about anthropomorphic kitchen appliances? Isn’t that a kids movie?” To which I would reply, YES, and it’s a messed up kids movie that I wish I had waited until I was older to see.
The Brave Little Toaster might be intended for children, but it’s my personal belief that you should be at least eighteen years of age to view this film. That’s right, I think The Brave Little Toaster should be rated R. No one ever talks about this movie, so I’ve decided it’s time to shed some light on the most disturbing cartoon feature of all time.
This movie is filled with harrowing moments, but here are the top four that buried into my psyche and scarred me for life:
Kitchen appliances that come to life are upsetting enough, if you ask me, but then add the fact that they’ve been abandoned in the woods and you hit the point of profound, creepy, sadness. The Brave Little Toaster's IMDB synopsis reads: A toaster, a blanket, a lamp, a radio, and a vacuum cleaner journey to the city to find their master after being abandoned in their cabin in the woods. Yikes. Their master? So, these kitchen appliances are abandoned vassals with Stockholm syndrome... not suitable for my young psyche.
2. Depression and psychosis
When these kitchen appliances are abandoned, they become dejected and distraught. In retrospect, I realize they’ve been hit with a wave of depression. But not just any depression, a depression so severe it causes some symptoms of psychosis. In one scene, Blanky, the electric blanket, hallucinates that his “master” has returned for him. Just as they’re about to embrace, “master” dissolves into thin air and Blanky is left alone, still abandoned.
After almost drowning in a swamp, the appliances are “rescued” by the owner of a used appliance store, and find themselves in a junkyard with other old appliances. Toaster and his buddies watch as deformed and disfigured cars get crunched down to tiny cubes of metal while singing a song entitled “Worthless”. And the message? You guessed it: Toaster and company have to face the reality that nobody wants them and they are, therefore, worthless. The melody of this song paired with the junkyard visuals create a grim scene, reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”, that has haunted me for over two decades.
At one point in this twisted film, Toaster has a nightmare. He dreams that he is on fire. I am not exaggerating when I say that my reaction to this dream when I was four years old caused my mother to enter the field of child psychology. I am now twenty-five years old, and assumed that when I went to watch this scene today I would laugh at my childhood self for being so afraid. I was wrong. This scene of The Brave Little Toaster is not only the most disturbing scene of the movie, but possibly one of the most chilling scenes of any movie ever. I would describe it for you, but that would dilute the terror you are about to experience when you watch it here:
So yeah, imagine being an impressionable little kid and seeing THAT.
Interestingly enough, The Brave Little Toaster was created by the original members of Pixar Animation Studios, so you might say that it was the original “Toy Story”, which I also find to be disturbing. WHY did I have to pick this movie up off the Blockbuster shelves on that fateful day in 1994, exposing myself to such twisted darkness?
Look, I’m not saying The Brave Little Toaster should be banned (lol), I’m saying it should come with a warning. Maybe from now on it should be marketed as a movie for adults. As a movie for adults, I actually think this is a brilliant creation, it is the type of movie that, as an adult, I would be fascinated and intrigued by. Of course, that could just be because I watched The Brave Little Toaster at four years old and was effectively scarred for life.