Those adorably anthropomorphic household appliances are back for more misadventures in THE BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER GOES TO MARS, a cute, but lightweight, straight-to-video animated sequel to the more accomplished THE BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER (1987).
Toaster (voice of Deanna Oliver), Radio (voice of Roger Kabler), Blanky (voice of Eric Lloyd), Lampy (voice of Tim Stack), and Kirby the vacuum cleaner (voice of Thurl Ravenscroft) make a vow to protect their master's new baby, Robbie (voice of Russ Taylor). However, an old Hearing Aid (voice of
Fyvush Finkel) which was left in a drawer by the house's previous owner, receives messages from outer space and is about to be beamed up to Mars when Robbie crawls in the way of the beam and is accidentally transported to the red planet. Using plans from a Wittgenstein the Supercomputer (voice of
Brian Doyle-Murray), the appliances utilize a Microwave Oven (voice of Wayne Knight), some microwave popcorn, a Calculator (voice of Stephen Tobolowsky), and Fanny the fan (voice of Carol Channing) to fly to Mars.
On Mars, the appliances find Robbie but encounter an army of refrigerators and other militant appliances that rebelled against their manufacturer and fled to Mars, and have built a missile to destroy Earth. Toaster challenges the appliances's Supreme Commander (voice of Alan King) to an election
and defeats it, then deactivates the missile. They all head back to Earth, along with Tinselina, a Christmas Tree Angel (voice of Kath Soucie) that sacrifices its organic hair and dress to use as fuel so that they can fly back. Robbie is returned to his crib before his parents wake up, and when he
learns how to walk, he rescues Tinselina from a trash can and his parents put it on top of their tree.
THE BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER was a charmingly old-fashioned and nicely animated fable about growing up and leaving behind childhood possessions and memories, and the visually identical sequel is entertaining enough for kids, but lacks the thematic poignancy that made the original such a pleasant
surprise. The additional characters are amusing, particularly the Yiddish-accented hearing aid and the wisecracking microwave, but there are simply too many of them, including a "cameo" by Farrah Fawcett as, yup, a talking faucet. There are a number of clever touches designed to appeal to adults,
such as the voyage to Mars where the appliances encounter lost balloons floating in space who sing about their past lives (a hippie balloon from the Woodstock concert, a cowgirl from a Buffalo Bill Wild West shows, etc.), but the silly new songs can't compare to those of Van Dyke Parks's in the
original. The story, based on a novella by noted sci-fi author Thomas M. Disch, is also quite complicated for a kid's cartoon, exhibiting signs of suppressed intellectual elements struggling to break through, as in the bizarre subplot involving Albert Einstein, who is revealed to have been Hearing
Aid's former owner, and his Unified Field Theory! Additionally, whether Disney realizes it or not, there is an obvious capitalism vs. communism subtext, manifested in the commander's speeches to his "oppressed" workers, whom he tells "you have no master but yourselves."
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- Released: 1998
- Rating: G
- Review: Those adorably anthropomorphic household appliances are back for more misadventures in THE BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER GOES TO MARS, a cute, but lightweight, straight-to-video animated sequel to the more accomplished THE BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER (1987). Toaster (voi… (more)