6.1/10
83,366
149 user 97 critic

Small Soldiers (1998)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Comedy | 10 July 1998 (USA)
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When missile technology is used to enhance toy action figures, the toys soon begin to take their battle programming too seriously.

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2,632 ( 217)
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Irwin Wayfair
... Larry Benson
Alexandra Wilson ... Ms. Kegel
... Gil Mars
... Alan Abernathy
... Joe
... Christy Fimple
... Timmy Fimple
Jonathan Bouck ... Brad (as Jonathan David Bouck)
... Stuart Abernathy
... Irene Abernathy
... Marion Fimple
... Phil Fimple
... Satellite Dish Installer
... Ralph, Clean Room Technician
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Storyline

Fifteen-year-old Alan Abernathy, the son of a toy store owner, tries out some new action figures: The Commando Elite versus The Gorgonites. But three months ago, a toy company believes it is onto something when it employs the latest government military technology in a series of action figures, enabling them to talk. They underestimate the power of the special micro chips they've employed, however, as the two opposing sides of the toy line start thinking for themselves and engaging in real combat! The Commando Elite vow to wipe out the Gorgonites in a suburban neighborhood. Alan, his neighbor Christy Fimple, (on whom he has a massive crush) with the help of the kind Gorgonites, must protect his home and family from the Commandos. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Big Movie Small Soldiers See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some menacing action/violence and brief drug references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

10 July 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Commando Elite  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,047,592, 12 July 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$54,682,547

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$71,282,547
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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." See more »

Goofs

Christy appeared to have curly hair in the hostage video the commandos forced her to do, only to have relatively straight hair only minutes later when Alan found her bound and gagged in her bedroom. She was tied up during that entire span of time, meaning she couldn't have been able to fix it. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Irwin Wayfair: He's here! He's early! He's not supposed to be here now. He said... okay, here's the copy of... check.
Larry Benson: Pretty exciting, huh?
Irwin Wayfair: I don't know. I think it's kinda sad, I mean you know Heartland Toys has a long tradition of bringing joy to kids, ya know? Gil Mars isn't going to care about any of that. He's just gonna care about profits. I think it sucks.
Larry Benson: Welcome to Earth, Irwin. You may not be familiar with our company, but this is pretty much the way things work down here in the real ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

At the end, there's a short clip of 'Phil Hartman' and the legend "For Phil". See more »

Connections

References The Dirty Dozen (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Tom Sawyer
Written by Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart & Pye Dubois
Performed by Rush
Remixed by DJ Z-Trip
Courtesy of Mercury Records/Anthem Entertainment
By arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Affectionately made and with a lot of charm
6 August 2014 | by See all my reviews

SMALL SOLDIERS is, essentially, Joe Dante's third GREMLINS film, except that the antagonists aren't gremlins this time around but instead normal, plastic toys who have been brought to life via military technology. It's along the same lines as TOY STORY, which came out at around the same time, but I think the Dante movie has the edge; it's live action, for a start, and the special effects used to animate the soldiers are remarkable.

The film goes for a light action-adventure template with plenty of laughs thrown into the mix along the way. Like GREMLINS, there's a lot of small-scale stuff going on here, like fireworks being used as weapons and characters encountering the dangers of garbage disposal units. It's a kid's film, with child actors in the lead roles, but one of those ones that adults are sure to enjoy too.

Cast-wise, we're handed decent turns from Gregory Smith (before he won popular attention with EVERWOOD) and Kirsten Dunst (just before she graduated to adult roles in SPIDER-MAN). Elsewhere, we get Denis Leary chewing the scenery as the slimy corporate villain, and Dante lucky charm Dick Miller as an unlucky delivery driver. Best of all are the voice actors hired for the soldiers; they're led by Tommy Lee Jones but boast plenty of veteran talent, including Ernest Borgnine and Frank Langella. Overall, Dante gets the tone just right, leaving this a highly enjoyable family adventure.


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