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Small Soldiers (1998) Poster

Trivia

The movie is set in fictional Winslow Corners, Ohio, and the producers tried hard to represent northeast Ohio accurately. Alan rides his bike past a newsstand selling "The Plain Dealer", a Cleveland newspaper. When he leaves his phone number on the Globotech voice mail system, his area code is 330, used in the Akron area. The Heartland delivery truck appears to have 1990s-style Ohio license plates.
Jump to: Spoilers (1)
The murder of Phil Hartman before the premiere caused some minor changes before release.
The film features music by Led Zeppelin, a band notoriously strict about how their music is used in films, games, and other media.
The music being played during the scene where they turn the "Gwendy" dolls into soldiers is the theme music from Bride of Frankenstein (1935).
Joe Dante originally wanted the cast of Predator (1987) to voice the Commando Elite. Arnold Schwarzenegger would voice Chip Hazard, Shane Black would voice Kip Killagin, Carl Weathers would voice Butch Meathook, Jesse Ventura would voice Brick Bazooka, Sonny Landham would voice Nick Nitro and Bill Duke would voice Link Static.
Stan Winston, and his special effects crew, met with Hasbro to better understand how toys work.
Burger King agreed to market the film with its kids meals, before it was rated PG-13. The film was released soon after Oregon teen Kip Kinkel killed his parents, then went on a shooting rampage at Thurston High School in Springfield, killing two students and wounding 25. The Kip Killigan action figure was not distributed in Oregon.
Richard Jaeckel, who was originally cast to play the voice of Link Static, died during principal photography.
WILHELM SCREAM: When Brick Bazooka is firing at Alan's bike to attack Archer, and ends up getting chewed up by the tire spokes and chain, Brick lets out a Wilhelm scream as he flies away. A Commando Elite soldier emits the same scream, as he breaks apart from the EMP on Stuart Abernathy's chest.
The original promotional artwork featured Chip Hazard pointing a gun sideways at the viewer. The artwork was altered, removing the gun, so Chip appears to be reaching out instead. The original, unaltered artwork appears in the movie as a store display. It was later used for the home video cover.
The skull on Alan's desk is a Gremlin skull. Gremlins (1984) and Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) were also directed by Joe Dante.
The scene where Chip Hazard addresses his troops and appears in front of the large American flag is a nod to the opening of the film Patton (1970). The music heard is also from that film, written by Jerry Goldsmith (who also wrote the score for this film).
The Gorgonites were strongly influenced by the "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" toy franchise by Mattel.
Irwin (David Cross) tells Larry (Jay Mohr) that he was given the computer password "Gizmo", a reference to Gremlins (1984), also directed by Joe Dante.
After Nick Nitro shuts down, Chip Hazard says, "His battery has run out, but his memory will keep going, and going, and going." It's a reference to Energizer battery's marketing slogan, "It keeps, going, and going, and going."
The piranha next to Alan's computer is a reference to Piranha (1978), also directed by Joe Dante.
The old horror movie that the Gorgonites come across on the television, after accidentally switching channels from wrestling, is The Crawling Eye (1958).
Joseph Mazzello was the original choice to play Alan Abernathy.
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The Commando Elite were strongly influenced by the "G.I. Joe" toy franchise by Hasbro.
The head of Globotech is named Gil Mars. Mars was the Roman god of war.
The vehicles that the Commando Elite construct, and that they used to attack and chase Alan and Christie, and attack the Fimple house, are heavily influenced by the vehicles from the Mad Max movies.
There were actually five members from The Dirty Dozen (1967): Ernest Borgnine, Jim Brown, Clint Walker, George Kennedy, and Dick Miller (he had a uncredited bit as an MP at the hanging). There would have been a sixth member originally doing the voice of Link Static, Richard Jaeckel, but he passed away during principal photography. As for Charles Bronson, he refused to lend his voice to one of the soldiers.
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When Alan is looking for the Gorgonites in the trash, a keychain of Gizmo from Gremlins (1984) can be seen to the right of Ocula.
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In Alan's room there is a visible poster for, at that time, underground bands REO Speed Dealer (later known as Speed Dealer) and Honky.
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A book of the film, "Small Soldiers: Top-Secret Dossier: From The Files of Irwin Wayfair" by Irwin Mayfair and published by Puffin Books, was Wayfair's private journal, which gave an insight into what went wrong at Heartland Play Systems. It exposed company secrets and highly classified interoffice memos and revealed where the Gorgonites actually came from, and blueprints of the Commando Elite's vehicles.
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Nick Nitro resembles Vernon Wells and his character Wez from The Road Warrior (1981). Wells played Bennett in the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Commando (1985), which was about a retired soldier who set out to rescue his kidnapped daughter.
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Frank Langella (Archer) and Kevin Dunn (Stuart Abernathy) previously co-starred in Dave (1993).
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Kirsten Dunst (Christy Fimple) and Phil Hartman (Phil Fimple) previously co-starred in Kiki's Delivery Service (1989).
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When the Commando Elite are trying to get Archer to reveal where the Gorgonites are, Major Chip Hazard says, "We have ways of making you talk". This was also said by Sid in Toy Story (1995), which was also about toys that come to life.
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Brad getting his jeans set on fire by Butch Meathook with a flamethrower, causing him to fall down the stairs, mirrored a similar scene in Bottom: Dough (1995), which in a scene, Richie (Rik Mayall) falls down the stairs when his jeans are set on fire with a blowtorch by Eddie (Adrian Edmondson).
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In a previous trivia it is said that the gorgonites was inspired by the Masters of the universe-action dolls. Frank Langella who does the voice of Archer played the role as Skeletor in the movie Masters of the universe.
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When the Commando Elite use the mousetrap to catapult sleeping pills into the drinks, it's code named Operation Sandman. This is a reference to the sandman, the creature who helps people sleep.
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Final film (voice-over) of Clint Walker.
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On making the movie director Joe Dante recalled "originally I was told to make an edgy picture for teenagers, or when the sponsor tie-ins came in the new mandate was to soften it up as a Kiddie movie. Too late as it turned out, and there are elements of both approaches in there just before release it was purged of a lot of action explosions."
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On the film special effects, Director Joe Dante stated "we we're planning to use a lot of Stan Winston's puppets he had made some very elaborate puppets that could do a lot of things, but in practice we found it was much simpler and cheaper to let the CGI people do the work after we shot the scenes, so I would say it's one-third puppetry and the rest CGI even though the original idea was to do mostly puppetry".
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Kirstin Dunst appeared in Spider-Man (2002) and Dennis Leary appears in The Amazing Spider-Man(2012) which are both movies about the web slinging superhero Spider-Man.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Irwin's password is Gizmo. There is a Gizmo figurine in the dumpster with the Gorgonites.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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