Disney’s Forgotten 1980s Fantasy Movie Needs Saving

By Robert Scucci | Published

Years before Pixar made its cinematic debut with 1995’s Toy Story, there was a film that boasted a very similar premise involving inanimate objects that came to life when nobody else was around. We’re talking, of course, about 1987’s The Brave Little Toaster. The reason the two films are so similar is that original members from Pixar Animation Studios were involved with the project, which is why The Brave Little Toaster functions as a rough prototype of the modern animated classic that we still admire today.

The Brave Little Toaster Helped Launch Pixar

But as time marches forward, the sad reality we have to face is that The Brave Little Toaster isn’t available for streaming despite the fact that its inferior and ill-fated sequels are getting all of the attention on Disney+. The sequels, however, fail to deliver the whimsical magic that the original film is celebrated for, so we need to talk about the film that started it all so it doesn’t become a forgotten relic of the past.

A Tale Of Household Appliances

The Brave Little Toaster focuses primarily on five household appliances – a radio, a lamp named Lampy, an electric blanket named Blanky, a vacuum named Kirby, and the brave titular toaster- who reside at an abandoned cottage. The family that used to visit the cottage every summer, along with their son Rob, haven’t shown up in years, which leads the appliances to believe that they’ve been abandoned. Their concerns are confirmed when they learn that the cottage is about to be sold.

Surprise Cameo

The group of appliances decide that they need to break out of the cottage and find their masters after the window-mounted air conditioner (portrayed by Phil Hartman doing his best Jack Nicholson impersonation) has a manic mental breakdown and explodes where he sits. Before his gruesome death, he tells the appliances that they’ve been left in the cottage to die, and they don’t take his words lightly. The Brave Little Toaster and his companions gather their belongings and head to the forest using Kirby, who is rigged to a battery and an office chair, as their primary means of transportation.

A Dark Kids Movie

The best way to describe the second and third acts of The Brave Little Toaster is a technological nightmare in which each appliance is pushed to its electrical and physical limits as they traverse waterfalls, get held hostage in a chop-shop where appliances are gutted alive, and scrapped for parts, and even end up in a junkyard facing certain death. While the personified appliances certainly take a beating during their travels, they never lose their sense of optimism and work together to locate their master, Rob.

Nightmare Clown

Despite the general sense of positivity found in The Brave Little Toaster, each appliance’s trials and tribulations during the journey will make your stomach turn. If this article serves its purpose in unlocking your repressed memories of watching this film as a child, then you know all too well that Toaster’s nightmare involving a menacing pyromaniac clown wielding a fork and fire hose before whispering “run” through smoke-filled teeth isn’t something you were mentally prepared for as a child.

The Film Needs Saving Today

brave little toaster

The Brave Little Toaster never really stood a chance on the theatrical front, as it had a very limited release. But when it made its rounds on the home video circuit, it quickly became a fan favorite, garnering a massive cult following and a 77 percent critical score against an 81 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Though you can’t watch this animated masterpiece that was way ahead of its time on streaming, there are physical copies in circulation that you should definitely get your hands on.