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Not exactly bad, but lacks the magic of the original
"The Brave Little Toaster" was a film I saw many times in my childhood. It came out the year after I was born, but the two sequels it spawned came out much later, in the late 90's, and I didn't even know about them until years later, when I found them on IMDb. Just over a week ago, I watched the 1987 original again, for what I believe was my second viewing since the 90's. After that, I intended to finally watch the two direct-to-video sequels. Apparently, "The Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue" was released after the other sequel, "The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars", but takes place before it. For that reason, I decided to watch this one first. While I think it's better than some fans of the original do, it didn't surprise me when I saw that it was another inferior sequel.
The appliances' "master," Rob, is now a college student, studying to become a veterinarian, and is now nearing the end of his final semester. He still has his entire treasured collection of appliances from when he was a kid (Toaster, Blanky, Kirby, Lampy, and Radio), and keeps them (with the exception of the lamp) at the veterinary hospital where he treats animals. Rob is almost ready to graduate, as he is very close to finishing his thesis on the computer, when suddenly, he loses it all when the computer crashes and he hasn't saved any of it! It doesn't help when his relationship with his girlfriend, Chris, runs into trouble. Meanwhile, Mack, Rob's bitter lab assistant, is secretly working against him and planning to sell the animals to a testing laboratory! So, the appliances have another problem on their hands when they find out about this scheme, and now must also try to save their animal friends!
One reason why this "Brave Little Toaster" sequel is inferior to its predecessor is the plot, which isn't quite as interesting or adventurous as that of the original. The appliances stay in the same place for most of this film and don't go on the kind of epic journey they did before. The film also doesn't quite have the eerie feel to it that's part of what makes its predecessor so good. Some new characters are introduced here, such as the animals the appliances share a room with, and the master's evil lab assistant, Mack. There's at least one new character I didn't care much for, and that was Ratso, around the beginning, though I think he improves after that. I didn't find the songs in this sequel to be all that memorable, though I've only heard them once. I can't forget to mention the humour. I did laugh at times, but definitely not as much as I did when I last watched the original. For example, the Radio isn't as funny here. I guess he's not the same without Jon Lovitz providing his voice, though he still has his moments. Despite the flaws, this movie does have amusing gags, plus a bit of suspense and some mildly poignant moments, though none of it is consistent enough to make for a really good family film.
"The Brave Little Toaster" was released by Disney, but produced by Hyperion Pictures, so it isn't really a Disney flick. However, just like a number of theatrical animated Disney movies, it got the direct-to-video sequel treatment. I haven't seen all of Disney's direct-to-video sequels, but the ones I have seen have lead me to believe that most of them aren't really that good, and tend to show a significant drop in quality from their theatrical predecessors. Basically, that's also the case with this sequel to the barely theatrical 1987 Hyperion Pictures production. Some parts of this one are pretty good, and I found that it improves along the way, leading to a satisfying ending, but there's definitely something missing from the original. If you're a fan of the underrated 1987 movie, you might like to see "The Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue", but I guess there's a good chance you won't like it at all, and if that's not the case, you could easily end up thinking of it as a mixed blessing, like I do.
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