The Brave Little Toaster

The Brave Little Toaster

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The Brave Little Toaster is a 1987 animated family comedy film produced by Hyperion Pictures[1] and The Kushner-Locke Company,[2] directed by Jerry Rees[3] and based on the children novel of the same name[4] by Thomas M. Disch.[5] The film is set in a world where household appliances and other electronics come to life, pretending to be lifeless in the presence of humans. The story focuses on five appliances, a toaster, a desk lamp, an electric blanket, a radio and a vacuum go on a quest to search for their original owner.


On August 1980, Thomas M. Disch published the story for the first time in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (shown below, left), It was later published as a book in May 1986 as _ The Brave Little Toaster: A Bedtime Story for Small Appliances_ (shown below, right).


Two years after its appearance in the publication Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine, in 1982, Disch sold the rights to Disney to make a film. John Lasseter wanted to make the film with traditionally animated characters with computer-generate (CG) backgrounds; however, the CG backgrounds were too expensive, and Disney rejected their version.[6]

The development was then transferred to Hyperion Pictures, a studio created from by the former Disney employees Thomas L. Wilhite and Willard Carroll, who took the production along with them. Jerry Rees, co-writer of the screenplay along with Joe Ranft, was chosen to direct the film. The budget of the film was 2.3 million dollars.


Toaster is the leader of a gang of appliances consisting of a radio, a lamp named "Lampy," a blanket named "Blanky" and a vacuum cleaner named "Kirby," who belong to their "master," a young boy named Rob. They wait every day at Rob's cottage for his return with an increasing sense of abandonment, which causes Blanky to hallucinate about finally seeing Rob coming back. On the second day of July, the appliances are devastated to learn that a real estate broker is selling the house. Not wanting to accept the fact that the Master would abandon them, Toaster decides that the group should head out and find Rob. The appliances connect a car battery to an office chair pulled by Kirby and set out into the world, following Radio's signal broadcast from the city where Rob has moved to.

On their journey, the appliances encounter numerous harrowing adventures where they learn to work together. Shortly after stopping to rest within a forest, a nightmare where Rob and Toaster get tortured by an evil smirking clown dressed as a firefighter followed by a violent storm during nightfall wakes Toaster and the others with the storm blowing Blanky up into the trees, and Lampy risks his life by using himself as a lightning rod in an attempt to recharge the group's dead battery. After recovering Blanky the next morning, they try to cross a waterfall, but during an attempt to cross it, everyone falls in except for Kirby, who dives after them and rescues them, and the appliances wash up into the middle of a swamp. After losing both the chair and the battery, the group resorts to pulling a disabled Kirby through the swamp. After losing their balance and almost drowning in a mud hole, they are rescued by Elmo St. Peters, an owner of a spare parts shop, where they get scared by a group of partially dismantled or disfigured appliances, who have lost hope and are at risk of being disassembled or sold, almost in a prison-like motif. When Radio is removed from a shelf and about to have his radio tubes extracted, the appliances frighten St. Peters by pretending to be a ghost and flee to the city, while most of the worn-out appliances flee the store and return to their masters' homes.

Rob, who is now living in a modern apartment as a young adult and is about to depart for college, leaves with his girlfriend Chris to return to the cottage and retrieve the appliances to take with him. After secretly witnessing this, Rob's newer appliances in the apartment become resentful. When the appliances arrive at Rob's apartment, the newer appliances explain that they are "on the cutting edge of technology". After answering Toaster and the other four appliances their question of what they mean by singing their song to them, they kick them into the apartment's dumpster from the window, where they are shortly transported to Ernie's Disposal, which is a junkyard. Thinking that the cottage has been broken and trashed and his original appliances were stolen, Rob and Chris return to his apartment, where a T.V., who is another appliance owned by Rob, broadcasts false advertisements to encourage him and Chris to go to Ernie's Disposal to find Toaster and the other four appliances and bring them back.

At the junkyard, the appliances are tormented by a maniacal crusher with its henchman, an evil tower crane with an electromagnet that picks up junk and places them on its conveyor belt that leads to the crusher. When they discover that Rob is in the junkyard, they are encouraged that he still needs them after all, and then, they attempt to foil the magnet in order to allow Rob to find them. After being foiled numerous times, the magnet decides to pick up Rob as well as his appliances, and drops them on the conveyor belt. Toaster makes a heroic sacrifice by jumping into the crusher's gears to disable it just in time to prevent it from killing Rob and destroying his appliances. Rob survives and returns to the apartment with all of the five appliances in tow, including a mangled Toaster. And then, Rob repairs Toaster and takes the five appliances with him to college, along with Chris.


The film premiered in July 13th, 1987 at the Los Angeles International Animation Celebration. The following year, it was shown at the 1988 Sundance Film Festival. The film received a limited theatrical release and gained 2.3 million dollars. The film premiered on The Disney Channel on February 27, 1988.

The Brave Little Toaster has garnered a 75% rating on the reviews website Rotten Tomatoes. The Washington Post called it "a kid's film made without condescension," while the staff of Halliwell's Film Guide called it an "odd fantasy of pots and pans with no more than adequate animation". The film received an Emmy nomination for Best Animated Program in 1988.


One year later of the premise, in 1988, Thomas M. Disch write the sequel of the novel called The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars[7] (shown below, left).

In May 19th 1998, Robert C. Ramirez directed a Direct-to-video sequel based on the novel with mixed reviews (shown below, right).

Rob and his girlfriend Chris have married and now have a baby son named Robbie who plays with Toaster, Blanky, Lampy, Radio, and Kirby just like his father did when he was little. The appliances make it their prime directive to make sure nothing happens to Robbie to which they refer to as the Little Master. That night the Hearing Aid, who was left in the junk drawer by his former owner, Albert Einstein, sneaks out and goes to the window and gets in contact with someone from space telling them that tomorrow night he'll be ready. Toaster who has secretly followed Hearing Aid listens from behind the door and tells the others the next day about Hearing Aid and decide to keep an eye on him but as night falls they fall asleep on the job. Hearing Aid sneaks out again and goes to the window and gets in contact to the aliens which they call Robbie, who decided to be getting himself.

Robbie is the first to appear at the window and while the appliances fight off Hearing Aid, Robbie gets transported into space. The appliances learn that Robbie has been transported to the planet Mars and Hearing Aid said he was supposed to get transported to Mars and volunteers to accompany the gang to go to Mars and rescue the Little Master. The gang contact their old college buddy Wittgenstein through the computer and he gives them the equipment they need they need to get an overhead fan named Fanny to fly, a laundry basket to travel in, a microwave oven and microwave popcorn with cheddar cheese flavoring to help them fly. After getting all the stuff they need the appliances head off to Mars and on the way they're encountered by singing balloons. Once they get to Mars the appliances are greeted by numerous big and small machines, including Viking I the Satellite, Tinselina the ACAM and the Wonder Luxe Appliances who had built a rocket ship and landed on Mars after their owners on Earth threw them out.

The appliances show that they have Robbie as their special prisoner and plan to destroy Earth after being hurt for being thrown out. Toaster tries to talk them out of it but is put in an Election with the leader, the Supreme Commander, who is Hearing Aid's twin brother controlling the Giant Refrigerator as his disguise, but when Robbie touches him, he learns that not all humans are bad and decides not to destroy Earth after all. That night Hearing Aid is reunited with the thing who he got in contact with who is the Supreme Commander revealing his real self. The next day the appliances along with Hearing Aid's brother and Tinselina depart to leave to go back home to Earth but as they are about to fly off Hearing Aid's brother forgot to stop the Missile and he and Toaster rush back to the Missile and stop it just before it is about to destroy Earth. Toaster at first is happy because they managed to stop the Missile but is also sad because he thinks that he and Hearing Aid's brother are getting left on Mars but the gang manages to come back and rescues them and head for home. As soon as they get home Robbie walks into his room to his parents who think that he learned it in the night. Soon it's Christmas and Robbie says his first word which is "Toaster!" And he brings in Toaster, Radio, Blanky, Lampy, and Kirby to which Chris turns to Rob and says, "Like father, like son." While Chris and Rob leave the room for a little while the gang comes alive and celebrates Christmas with Robbie and look up at Tinselina who Rob and Chris put up on the top of the tree.

In 1999, Ramirez released another Direct-to-video sequel without being based on any novel called The Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue.[8] The film takes place between the first and second movie.

Rob McGoarty is working in a veterinary clinic where he tends to injured animals. One night, while working on a thesis, his computer accidentally crashes due to being caused by a terrible computer virus from an old TLW-728 prototype supercomputer named Wittgenstein. The appliances, along with the rat Ratso who found Wittgenstein, then seek to help Rob by finding Wittgenstein to reverse the effects of his computer virus, hence recovering the master's thesis. Meanwhile, in a dual plot of the film, Mack, Rob's lab assistant, plots to sell the injured animals Rob had been tending to as part of his courses to a place called "Tartarus Laboratories", the same place that Sebastian, an old monkey Rob is tending to, was sent to when he was just a baby. When the appliances find Wittgenstein, they discover him abandoned, all alone and run-down and broken in the basement due to being infected by a computer virus, the same one that affected Rob's dorm room computer and the one in the vet clinic's lab when Wittgenstein try to contact them earlier. The miserable supercomputer reveals that he is living on one rare vacuum tube, named the "WFC 11-12-55". The name of the tube is a reference to the producer and screenwriter, Willard F. Carroll (WFC), and his birthdate, November 12, 1955 (11-12-55). The appliances learn that unless they find a replacement quickly, Wittgenstein's tube will blow and lead to his apparent death.

In an attempt to revive Wittgenstein to his superior state, Radio and Ratso go to the college's storage building to find the hard-to-find WFC 11-12-55 tube. When they come back with the last apparent tube for miles, however, Radio and Ratso (after an argument with the tube) accidentally break it, and it seems that all hope is lost. Wittgenstein does his best with all his might, but the virus causes him to blow his remaining tube with a big explosion and apparently "is a goner". Ratso then blames Radio, and guilt-ridden over condemning the animals to their doom at Tartarus Laboratories, Radio gives up his own tube which turns out to be the very rare tube they had been looking for, thus killing himself. Knowing that they were given a final chance to save the animals, the appliances replace the tube in the nick of time. With the boosted power of the new tube, Wittgenstein wakes up, miraculously regenerates the other smashed tubes connected to himself, and destroys the computer viruses within him, allowing him to be completely revived to as good as new. By the end of the film, the appliances restore Rob's thesis and stop Mack from selling the injured animals and have him arrested with some help from Wittgenstein, Rob and his girlfriend Chris (later referred to as "The Mistress"), two guard dogs, and the police. After discovering the appliances in the truck, they assume that Mac had also planned to sell Rob's stuff as well, although Rob is surprised that Radio isn't here. Later, they discover Wittgenstein in the basement along with Radio. Later, Radio's tube is replaced with a new one Chris found in Nome, Alaska (hence his revival), Wittgenstein is sold to a museum and will be modernized with current technology, Rob proposes to Chris, and all is well.

Unproduced CG Film

On February 27th, 2006, the official website of Hyperion Pictures posted a image about a possible fourth film in Computer-animation (show below).[9] However, the film was never made.

Jerry Rees Interview

On September 19th, 2010, Jerry Rees, director of the original film, along with Deanna Oliver, who voiced Toaster in the films, talked about a possible sequel in CGI (show below).

Waterman Entertainment Remake

On September 12th, 2012, TheWrap reported that Waterman Entertainment, who has executive produced films like Casper and Stuart Little, are working on a computer animated/live-action hybrid remake of The Brave Little Toaster with an iPhone.[10] However, the remake was never made.

Rees Reddit Posts

One day later, In September 13th, Jerry Rees son, Ian Rees, made a Reddit post in the subreddit /r/movies with the username of Euphorial0 talking about Waterman's remake where it gathered upwards of 868 points (93% upvoted) and 146 comments (show below).[11]

Waterman Entertainment has acquired the rights to The Brave Little Toaster and have failed to give any credit to the writer & director of the original film, Jerry Rees. I am his son and I can't stand to see the pain that this news is causing him. (selfmovies) 5 years ago by * (last edited 5 years ago) Euphorialo I need to start this by saying that I am quite emotionally involved in this issue because Jerry Rees is my father. He was looking pretty down today because he just discovered that Waterman Entertainment acquired the rights to the film that he wrote and directed. From what I gathered, Waterman Entertainment only listed Joe Ranft as the writer of the film and claimed that John Lasseter was the creative genius behind its origins. These are ridiculous claims. Joe Ranft was given co-writer credit because he helped out with a few scenes and dialogue here and there and he and my dad were good friends. Like any good friend would, my father decided to credit him as a writer since he lent a hand. He was under no obligation to do so. Also, John Lasseter was originally supposed to work on the film, but. he didn't. My father had plans for a sequel to the film that was totally going to do the original justice. The story was beautifully written and had all the emotion of the first. It was also going to be live action/CGI. The problem was that there was suddenly a mystery bidder for the rights to the film... who? Well, it turned out to be WATERMAN ENTERTAINMENT. These are the guys who made the damn CHIPMUNK films They stripped the possibility of a genuine sequel away from my father and decided to make a quick buck off of a remake. Not only this, but they have not mentioned my father's name anywhere. They have not contacted him and nobody spoke a word to him about working on the film even though it was his awesome brain that fleshed out the original short children's book into the epic childhood hit that many came to love The point of this post is to simply spread awareness around that WATERMAN ENTERTAINMENT has done something that will really hurt many people's childhoods. They are like little immature bullies that grab something really cool away from a child and say it is theirs My father, Jerry, put so much heart into that film and has been working on an equally heart-filled sequel for a long time that CANNOT be made now because his ideas were BOUGHT away from him. I'm hoping that he can somehow, at least, get involved with this remake so that we don't watch out childhood movie get shot in the face with a missile. Please, feel free to spread the truth around 146 comments share save hide give gold report crosspost

Six days later, In September 19th, Jerry Rees made a post in the subreddit /r/IAmA/ where it gathered upwards of 2,575 points (95% upvoted) and 2160 comments (show below).[12]

I'm Jerry Rees, Director of "The Brave Little Toaster" - ask me anything DIRECTOR/CREW submitted 5 years ago by JerryRees Hi, I'm Jerry Rees, Director and Co-Writer of "The Brave Little Toaster". Proof it's me: Me doing Toaster: More of me doing Toaster: Several years ago, fans who had grown up with the film started getting in touch with me. It was an awesome surprise to hear from the college crowd, who liked BLT as kids, then rediscovered it in their teens Various Producers started seeing potential in doing something fresh with the property. Thankfully, Tom Wilhite suggested to that if anyone was going to revive it, they should turn to the Director of the original the only one of the three that stood the test of time. I truly appreciated it In 2009 I started developing a new story. Not a remake, but a proper sequel picking up right where the original left off. True to the spirit of the original, but comfortably nested in the present. And, my dream was to do a live-action CGI mix. Not because John Lasseter, a good friend, had hoped to do it in CGI, but because I was doing CGI long before all of that, as a Computer Graphics Choreographer on the original TRON. The TRON stuff had turned John and lots of other folks onto the potential of CGI Me on TRON: Some of my TRON Stuff: So I work the sequel story, and sink into the familiar characters, mixed with new characters and layers of substance and silliness A snag happens as it turns out people apparently holding the rights didn't. Bankruptcy, Reorganized Debtor entities and cease & desist notes abound Industry Big Names became my allies, encouraging me to continue with the creative endeavor, helping to sort out the legal knot. Months pass. I'm told to get ready to announce to the fans we're almost there! The bankruptcy group suddenly says a "mystery entity" outbid and walked away. The Industry Big Names say "Don't worry, whoever it is will get in touch with you. You were Writer/Director on the original!" But they don't get in touch. The current announcement of a remake in fact attempts to delete my role from the original entirely. Can't do that. Sorry, history is history. What they did is totally legal. Anyone can buy anything and do to it what they will. But I cared about the original film and its characters dearly, and helped nurture them to life as the fans know them. I believe I could have brought them alive again in a genuine way that is beyond the understanding and capability of people simply making "product". I had planned to invite as many of the Original Team as would be willing to jump in again. Amazing people I had planned to invite the twenty-somethings in the industry, who had grown up with the film to join in And I had planned to use a web portal to allow fans from anywhere in the world to participate actually trying their hand at animating, doing designs, throwing in storyboard ideas, etc It was a time for all of us to make Toaster together. By the way, I called the sequel "BLT, homemade." Okay, guess that's enough preamble Ask me anything Good evening all it's now past 2am and I'l be calling it a night. I plan to do a couple more sessions tomorrow for sure. I'll let you know when I'm here. Your questions and comments were fantastic! Thanks a million, and see you tomorrow, Jerry: 2573 2160 comments share save hide give gold report crosspost


The Brave Little Toaster gained a little fandom in Internet. Spawning Fan arts, OCs, Cosplays and Fanfiction, most notably on DeviantArt and Tumblr. The film also gained various Wikias. [13][14]

Nache ASTER 09 09

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in reply to Z_2

I'd also like to note that that Worthless video has one of the most horrifying comment sections I've ever seen. All speculation on what makes the specific cars singing 'Worthless' and what faults they have that brought them there, as blind as can be to the true point of that song. It's NOT their fault, it's not anything about them, one of the best moments of symbolism is the wedding limo and the hearse going together because it's all the same: it doesn't matter WHAT you did, society decided it doesn't need you anymore so you're worthless and it's time to rot in the trash until death comes.


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