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Great fun!
Infofreak30 June 2001
Who would have thought? A "family film" that doesn't suck! Small Soldiers, while not perfect, is still great fun. It's success is completely down to Joe Dante, a guy with an obvious love of classic b-grade, sf, horror and exploitation movies. It's no suprise he started his career with Roger Corman. Small Soldiers is basically a variation on his previous Gremlins ( cute, seemingly harmless, kiddie-friendly objects run amok) but I enjoyed it more.

You can always tell how smart a movie is by its supporting cast, and the presence of the legendary Dick Miller ( a Dante mascot), Phil Hartman, Dennis Leary, and Mr Show's David Cross, not to mention the terrific voice talent, emphasize just how cluey Small Soldiers is. And any movie with Bride Of Frankenstein references gets my thumbs up!

I hope Dante brings Dick Miller back to the big screen SOON! We need him!
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Hey now, negative reception?
Dragoneyed3634 July 2008
I had been aware of the gem, yes, gem, that is Small Soldiers ever since I was quite little. I had also always owned it, and had watched it on numerous occasions. Time went by without a watch for many, many years, as I lost interest in it for a awhile, and then later on, when I became more indulged in the film life, I saw it in my collection and decided it was time to freshen up on it. I popped it in and was ready to be overwhelmed with the memories of how great this film truly manages to hold up being over time.

I thought this movie was overall just a really great and enjoyable little film that even though it was just meant for entertainment, ended up being so lovable and cherished, much more than I thought I would love and cherish it. What was really that bad about it, folks? I have heard a lot of negativity directed at this film for being a weak Dreamworks animation with practically no depth or originality. Depth? Originality? You were honestly looking for those qualities with Small Soldiers? Maybe if you would lighten up on it, you'd enjoy it for the truly fun and enticing film it is. Some I bet were already even doubting it from the start, which that's no way to enter with a film as lighthearted and good-willed as Small Soldiers.

Most of the comedic antics were quite laughable, and that's laughable in the tasteful kind of way, especially the renovated Barbies and cowardliness of the Gorgonites. It completely entertains you, and it certainly keeps you interested through the whole movie with the fun characters and non-stop deliverance of toy warfare and excellent voice-overs. The fighting scenes were cool and amusing, and the script was pretty different and new, even though many think Dreamworks tries to silently and sneakily follow in the footsteps of previous Disney/Pixar films that are big hits, in this case, Toy Story.

I don't see why this movie has the rating it does, for I thought a lot more people would've liked it better than this, but I guess not everybody can spot a great film when they see one. If you haven't seen this movie yet, I completely recommend it, because it is a nice little movie that I am honored to own. It is getting too much harsh treatment. I had loads of fun watching it, always have, and I'm sure you will too, in the right mood. Plus, I love the usage of the song "Wannabe" at the right time in this film; forever a Spice Girl fan.
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Nostalgia at its best. Underrated and Forgotten.
I found this movie in my attic recently. When I was looking at the VHS, nostalgia instantly flew back into me. I remember the toys, I remember seeing this is theaters opening day, and I remember me and my friends playing our own version of "Small Soldiers" at our local park. Great memories...

I was SO baffled to see a 5.9 rating on IMDb. Why? This is a great family\action film. After seeing the rating and many negative reviews, I decided to watch it again on VHS.

Well, I liked it then, and I liked it now! Still, it was a good film. What I liked the most was the music and the special effects. The musical score was outstanding and so was the "War" remix. The CGI in the film amazes me on so many levels...I thought they were real!

Overall, if you like edgy family films, watch 'Small Solders'. I think you will enjoy it.
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A Solid Answer to Disney/Pixar's Toy Story
Cole Ann14 June 2011
Let's be honest, the concept of Small Soldiers(toys coming to life) came from Toy Story. However, DreamWorks came up with a MUCH different plot and the result is a great-and grossly underrated-family movie/action flick with top notch CGI.

I'm sure many say DreamWorks is a poor man's Disney/Pixar, and I agree, but this one movie in which DreamWorks shines. One might argue that the Commandos are glorified G.I. Joes, but I will gladly look past that because, c'mon, they're awesome.

Small Soldiers is a fine piece of entertainment and some of DreamWorks' best work to boot. I am begging you, don't pass it up. You won't regret giving it your time.
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Small Soldiers is good old fashioned, Tongue-in-cheek fun.
Tophee1 January 1999
Small Soldiers is good old fashioned, Tongue-in-cheek fun.

Regular movie watchers will see many of their favorite characters, all caricatured here together as either a Commando-Elite or a Gorgonite warrior.

The names of the characters, particularly the Commando-Elite, are extremely good, and worthy of an award of their own.

Although some of the animation is a little wooden, that just seemed to add to the whole flavour of the film.

As long as you don't have any pre-conceptions about this film, and ignore the hype, you are in for some highly entertaining fun. After all, who can watch a room full of bikini-clad barbie-dolls-with-attitude, "playing with their owner for a change", without breaking into a grin...

Favorite quote: "Lets see how you like being played with"
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Here's why it's good.
Lee Eisenberg2 December 2005
When "Small Soldiers" came out, it was right after back-to-back school shootings (plus the murder of Phil Hartman), so there was some controversy about having a movie where toys get violent. But this movie is actually quite good. You see, it's not some ridiculous, rah-rah military movie; it sides with the Gorgonites (the soldiers' adversaries), showing how - whether or not they win or lose - they always remain supportive of each other.

As for the cast members, this is a Joe Dante movie, so Dick Miller and Robert Picardo get supporting roles. In this case, they play a delivery man and clean room technician, respectively. Phil Hartman is probably the funniest cast member, playing the ultimate suburban consumer (he wants to remove his neighbor's tree to make room for a satellite dish). All in all, this is definitely a movie worth seeing. As far as I remember, Joe Dante always does a good job.
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Hey Chucky, eat this!!!
mariano_a-samengo28 September 2008
I know the summary doesn't have anything to do with this comment, but I thought it would be funny to start this review. "Small Soldiers", believe it or not, it's more valuable that it appears to be. Yes, it may be a flawed movie, but considering that it is a movie born in the heart of Hollywood studios and intended for small audiences (and not so small), "Small Soldiers" takes his chances to create successfully a political satire, a very dark one.

Joe Dante (a very underrated director) is a specialist in filtrating that kind of political message. And that's no wonder why decided to direct this movie. The best of all is that also works as a family flick, where the characters are likable enough to care about and it's really entertaining.

Anyway, I really like it.
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Far Better Than I Expected
Theo Robertson10 September 2003
Ah yes a Hollywood family film in the same vein as TOY STORY , so expect some highly patronizing , derivative drivel , or rather don`t because I found SMALL SOLDIERS to be a far better film than I expected . Much of this was down to the fact that the movie doesn`t talk down to its audience and the fact I didn`t have to put up with a myriad of scenes featuring bad CGI. Okay fair enough , it`s very obvious that`s a GI Joe doll trailing along on a bicycle but in the context of the story that`s exactly what it`s supposed to be . SMALL SOLDIERS also makes witty references to the likes of PATTON and THE TERMINATOR , ( See if you can spot them ) and what a charming creature Archer of the Gorgonites is . Gorgonites ! You`ve gotta love that name

I enjoyed this movie and despite it not being an all time classic I do recommend it as an entertaining family film
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Bizarre film, but still great fun!
LebowskiT10007 October 2002
I'm not really sure who this film is aimed at. At times it seems to be a child's movie and at other times it seems to be for adults. But nonetheless, I loved the film. I thought it was a fun story.

The special effects alone are worth watching the film. It's truly amazing how fluidly the toys move and life-like the little toys are. Also, I really liked the various Gorgonite characters, they all looked quite unique.

The cast is quite good too. Phil Hartman is quite funny in the film, as usual. Kirsten Dunst pulls off a great performance. The rest of the cast is quite good as well: Gregory Smith, Jay Mohr, David Cross, Denis Leary, and Kevin Dunn, to name a few. I really feel that actors in films like this don't get the credit they deserve, because they are acting against small little harmless platic or metal animatronic toys, or, in some cases, against nothing at all. So just keep that in mind when you're watching this film. The voice talents in this film are also quite good, with plenty of big names to go around including Tommy Lee Jones, Frank Langella, Ernest Borgnine, Jim Brown, Bruce Dern, George Kennedy, Clint Walker, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, and Christina Ricci.

This film is just a fun film, there's nothing terribly deep or mind-boggling about this film, just enjoy it for what it is. I wouldn't recommend this to everyone, but if you read the plot description and it sounds interesting, then by all means, check it out. If you do end up seeing the film, I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for reading,

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Gremlins meets Toy Story
DAVID SIM25 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
When Joe Dante first started directing, he made two above average B movies, Piranha and The Howling. Run through with Dante's enthusiasm for the horror/SF genre, they make numerous references and in-jokes to other films of the genre. Then in 1984, he had a huge hit with Gremlins, one of the finest comedies of the 80s.

But sadly, every other film he's made since has performed poorly at the box office. That's not to say he's a terrible director. I think he's one of the world's most underrated filmmakers, having produced gems like Matinée, The burbs, Explorers. And the marvellous TV series Eerie Indiana.

With Small Soldiers, Dante has sort of remade Gremlins, where another small all-American town comes under attack. But not from little monsters. From toys fitted with military microchips that go berserk. Small Soldiers never feels as satisfying as Gremlins. There was something tremendously entertaining in watching a sleepy, sugary wholesome town get torn to shreds by malicious monsters. But Small Soldiers is still entertaining, and just as subversive as you'd expect from Joe Dante.

Gil Mars (the fast-talking Denis Leary) is the conglomerate of Globotech Industries. Having just recently bought Hartland Play Systems, a toy company, he is looking to market toys that actually do what they do in the adverts. Toys that can walk, talk and even think for themselves. He gets his chance when two of his employees come up with the Commando Elite, soldier toys programmed to crush their enemies, the Gorgonites.

The leader of the Commando Elite, Major Chip Hazard (perfectly voiced by Tommy Lee Jones) is fitted with a special microchip that came from the Department of Defence. Along with the rest of his troops, they actually believe they're in a real war, and when they're shipped to the town of Winslow Corners with the Gorgonites, led by the passive Archer (a dignified performance by Frank Langella) all hell breaks loose!

The Gorgonites end up in the care of Alan Abernathy, a delinquent with a reputation for being a troublemaker. With the help of his next door neighbour Christy (Kirsten Dunst), they get caught up in the war between the Commando Elite and the Gorgonites, which leads to full-scale warfare within Alan's home.

Small Soldiers was criticised for being too violent for a kids film. I'm not sure if such a thing is possible in this day and age of desensitisation. And while it is violent on a comic level, the humour is never as dark as Gremlins. That film was occasionally disturbing, but Small Soldiers never crosses the line into outright bloodshed.

There is quite an eclectic list of actors providing the voice-work. Tommy Lee Jones has the perfect voice for Major Chip Hazard, who has down pat what it takes to be a drill instructor. The rest of the Commando Elite are provided by the Dirty Dozen, and make a motley crew of hardasses.

Frank Langella makes Archer into a very likable character, and his friendship with Alan is handled well without being too mawkish. An added treat is the Gorgonites are voiced by Spinal Tap, making Small Soldiers one of the best voiced animated films ever made.

But as entertaining as the film is, it never reaches the anarchic heights of Gremlins. It seems too watered down. Except for one scene that is inspired in its subversiveness. Christy is held hostage by a group of Barbie-like dolls that have been malformed, twisted and altered beyond recognition until they become insane freaks drafted into the Commando Elite. Voiced wonderfully by Sarah Michelle Gellar and Christina Ricci, that scene will stay with you long after the film is over.

Dante also makes some very funny satirical observations over the toy industry and corporate politics, from the Stepford-like receptionists who work for Globotech, to the way they frown upon educational toys.

But in some ways, although Small Soldiers never gets as chaotic as Gremlins, it borrows a little too heavily from it. There are scenes lifted right from it. Like a kitchen scene where Archer is nearly put in a disposal, bursting through garage doors, even the soldiers being wiped out leaving only Major Chip Hazard alive. Dante puts a new spin on the events, but it does show a slight lack of imagination on his part.

The human cast are capably played by some good actors, including some from Dante's stock company, like Dick Miller and Robert Picardo, and a final performance from the late Phil Hartman. There are also numerous references to other war movies. So look out for affectionate nods to Patton, Platoon, Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now.

It's doubtful Small Soldiers will be remembered in 20 years like Gremlins. But it's still above average entertainment, the special effects work is superb, and it's interesting to watch films like Toy Story with their gentle ideals be subverted in whole new directions to create a film like Small Soldiers.
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Affectionately made and with a lot of charm
Leofwine_draca6 August 2014
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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good archetypal satire
Scott Andrew Hutchins10 August 1998
The characters were not well developed because of the archetypal nature of the story, which was simple and insightful, with a lot of action and no real brutality. Filled with parodies and even musical quotes from other films, this film has a plot similar to _Gremlins_ with the greater feel of its sequel with its archetypal powerhouse of a Daniel Clamp (that is, sans Clamp's failings). Dante makes the film comical and thought-provoking, with main characters who seem like we are supposed to see ourselves in their place, rather than learn about who they are. There is wonderful use of a boat motif leading to an ending straight out of _The Gods Must Be Crazy_, with its power and charm. Despite this, Dante realized he was doing somewhat of a retread, hence all of the gremlin jokes. Dante had a better portrait of younger teenagers with _Explorers_ for those who miss the character development, which really only seems lacking after the film is over.
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The Good & Bad Of 'Small Soldiers'
ccthemovieman-19 August 2006
BAD NEWS - Typical Hollywood family in that the film features stupid parents, annoying teens who are too worldly for their age and think they get no respect from their parents. Also, there are the usual anti-military messages and anti- Republican cheap shots. The story has The Commandos (military, which means bad guys, of course) against the Gorgonites (peaceful, different-looking creatures.)

GOOD NEWS - A very clever animated-live action computer animated film (at least for 1998) in which the toys come to life and look real. Once the action starts, it's a very interesting story with fun special-effects, some good, funny dialog and some neat references to past films. Sometimes it's tough to catch them all.
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Let me tell you a story.............
ILoveASeriousMan17 April 2010
When I first saw the trailer to this film and little clips from it. I was dead excited. Never before had I hyped up seeing a film so long before it's release.

I was just a kid. I loved Edward Scissorhands and I saw that when my mother brought it home never seeing anything of it before and adored it(I still do) I saw the trailer to the nightmare before Xmas and it scared the hell out of me, and has since become a classic in my heart This film was the film of my childhood, it was everything I wanted in a movie and it was if it was made entirely for me (i'm sure other people went through that) For most people that was Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star wars: A New Hope/Empire Strikes back. Or some film that a lot of people hold as one of the greatest classics of all time I was never and never will be a Star Wars person. I'm a Small Soldiers person (the only probably?) I have seen this film more times than any other film in my life. I don't know how many but come the day I die I'm sure at least one hundred....not joking In that way it may be my favorite film of all time.

It made such an impression on me I wanted to start committing crimes like Alan Abernathy because that might lead me to meet such cool friends as the gorgonites. Something I didn't have a lot of down on the lifestyle block here in New Zealand (a place I'm very grateful to live and love) I imagined a sequel, I played with my own toys pretending they could do the same. I wrote stories about the small soldiers and got as many of the action figures as I could. I attempted making a movie with a friend with my toy 'beast wars' coming to life.

Whenever I feel like watching it, I always watch it the next day or soon after. It never gets old, it really never will It'll get called weird by people, a reviewer from my beloved empire magazine called it 'Gremlins with toys, but not as dark or funny' It remains a film that I love yet does not have the same enthusiasm shared by people all around the world like.....oh there's about one hundred of 'em Last Year I saw it on the shelf of the DVD store and bought it, telling myself if you don't get it now you might not find it again in your life It's the kind of movie people my age saw as kids and kinda remember whenever I bring it up to them, it doesn't have the classic status I wish it did, but maybe in a way that gives it a security.

A lot of people who do know it, including a different writer in empire called it one of the most underrated kids movies of all time, better than nothing I suppose The truth is I have seen more artistic, meaningful, profound, original films in my life, the best being the one I returned as a member on the IMDb to spread my love with just by what my Username is (not hard to notice) But I'll never forget this film, I'll always get all teary-eyed when the boat sails off at the end, and so in a way yeah that's right people It is my favorite film of all time and if you watch and enjoy know you're doing a Kiwi proud
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Small Soldiers
blazing_suns29 October 2011
I loved this movie! It was my second favorite film as a kid right next to Toy Story. Big Action. Big Fun. Big Movie!

Small Soldiers is one huge adventure. Meet the Commando Elite-toy action figures with an attitude. They've escaped from their boxes along with the Gorgonites, kindhearted but unusual-looking creatures. Now teenager Alan Abernathy gets enlisted to help the Gorgonites and rescue the girl of his dreams before the whole town is turned upside down.

This movie also led to an awesome action figure line.

If you like, you can further discuss this film at or
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These toys are terminators!! Watch out, Arnold!!
Neil Doyle14 April 2002
These action toys are never at a loss for a sharp quip or a fast jab and keep things humming merrily along in a film the kiddies should love. The toy soldiers steal the film from the adults--not too much of a chore since the main roles are strictly nondescript. But once the toys start to show some sign of life, the film moves along at a fast clip with some funny references to other films--notably Franz Waxman's "Bride of Frankenstein" music used for a portion where one of the Commandos cries: "It's alive! It's alive!"

Gregory Smith as the trouble-making teen and Kirsten Dunst as his girl-friend are pleasing enough. Phil Hartman has an inauspicious supporting role as her father. But it's the voice talent of Tommy Lee Jones as Major Chip Hazard and Frank Langella as Archer (leader of the Gorgonites) that provide the most entertaining moments as they give life to the toy figures.

If you can suspend your disbelief long enough to absorb the silly premise of the story, you'll have a good time. Kids will probably be fascinated by the lifelike figures and adults might find it all highly amusing despite the silliness of the basic plot.

All the production values and special effects are first class. Some scary fun and some clever lines all the way through. Not bad. And kudos to Jerry Goldsmith for a lively and pleasing background score. Once they punch their way out of their wrappings, these toys are terminators!!
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Sappy mayhem
RNMorton31 October 2003
Since it's Small Soldiers Week on TBS I thought I'd stop by and toss in my two cents. Likeable cast gets caught in cross-fire between lunatic toy commandos (led by Jones) and friendly if goofy toy Gorgonites (led by Langella). Wierd combination of sap and mayhem with a cute finale. Has alot in common with Dante's earlier Gremlins, although the over-the-top violence is easier for me to stomach in this one. 8/10
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Love this movie
dinalschickel5 July 2006
We had digital cable and Small Soldiers was one of the free movies we had for the month. My 3 year old son watched it everyday. We no longer have digital cable and he asks to watch it multiple times during the day. He gets upset when he can not watch it. I was shopping the other day and came across the movie on DVD. I got so excited that he can now watch it again. I sit down with him and never get tired of it! The movie is great and my son will sit down and watch it from beginning to end without moving and when it is over he will watch it again. I do recommend this movie for parents of younger children as well as older children. This movie does not have harsh language or sexual connotations. Get it and watch it.
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Clever references but not as good as Toy Story
bob the moo4 January 2002
A toy manufacturer uses military surplus microchips in his latest range of toys - the commandoes and the Gorgons. When a batch of prototypes are activated in a small town the commandoes begin to take military action against the peace loving Gorgons, much to the detriment of the residents who find themselves stuck in the middle.

This fared poorly due to inevitable comparisons to Toy Story. However this has a much meaner feel that makes it more suitable for older children and adults. The plot is quite clever at turns, I honestly thought that the soldiers were the good guys and it was quite a mind switch to see the "monsters" be the more intelligent while the soldiers are the real monsters. In the background you can see that the film has something to say about combat, but it doesn't manage to say it very well. The story's main selling point is the amount of cinema references that are in it - the casts of the Dirty Dozen and Spinal Tap provide voices, Apocalypse Now's helicopter scene, Patton etc. However these are clever rather than funny and have the down side of distracting from the film, you find yourself spotting references and voices rather than getting into the story.

The cast are pretty good - the kids aren't too annoying and the adult cast are filled out with quality like Dick Miller, Phil Hartman and a great cameo by Dennis Leary. The voices are where the real strength is - Tommy Lee Jones leads some of the Dirty Dozen as the commandos while Sarah Michelle Gellar and Christine Ricci provide Wendy doll voices. The Gorgons are played by Spinal Tap, but are mostly uninteresting characters with the exception of the comedian style one. Frank Langella is the best voice actor in the role of Archer and gives a real area of seriousness and respectability to what is essentially a hunk of plastic. For once this is a role where Langella's woodenness actually works to his advantage.

Overall this is nowhere near as good, funny or clever as Toy Story. But it's entertaining enough to hold the interest and it does have some clever moments.
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Not for the kiddies - Not for grownups
gbheron29 February 2000
Reviewers and commenters bitched about the movie's inappropriate level of violence for the wee ones. So true, but that's not what sinks this movie. It's that the rest of the movie, outside of the violence is very much pitched to the level of little kids. I mean the plot and characterizations are cardboard simple. The good are very good; politically correct, caring, tree hugging and goofy. The bad are very bad; warlike, martini drinking, tree cutting corporate baddies. And of course the plot is simple; the bad do bad things, but the in the end the good give them their comeuppance. The problem for the kiddies is that this comeuppance is the toy version of the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. If DreamWorks had cut out the toy violence and kept their mindless characters and story they might have made some money on this stinker. Grownups avoid.
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Needs to Be Re-Evaluated
gavin694216 May 2016
When missile technology is used to enhance toy action figures, the toys soon begin to take their battle programming too seriously.

On making the film, director Joe Dante recalled "Originally I was told to make an edgy picture for teenagers, but 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 and explosions." There does seem to be some confusion on what the film was supposed to be or even what it is now. I avoided the film for years, thinking it was just a bunch of talking toys. Then director Jeff Burr (whom I admire) said to give it another chance, so I decided to give it a go and found it to be much more than just toys and actually a rather interesting and intelligent film.

And, to be fair, even if it was just the toys... the effects are pretty darn good. I don't know if it's animation or what, but it looks really good, far better than most other things of the time period (late 1990s).
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Saw this as a kid.
lisafordeay3 May 2016
Small Soldiers tells the tale of a young boy who buys a new toy(voiced by Tommy Lee Jones) that comes to life as it has a special chip that brings the new toys to life. So its up to the young boy and his female friend(played by a very young Kristen Dunst)to stop them before mayhem occurs.

I seen this a very long time ago as a kid and it wasn't that bad its sort of a film you would add in your guilty pleasure movies list. The plot is OK but it sorta rips off Toy Story actually the whole film is like watching Toy Story all over again.

If you never seen it then give it a shot.

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Very cool
joannaraspberry23 May 2015
Excellent story line, true it kind of stole the whole 'toys come to life' thing from toy story but since when did toy story ever have these kind of toys?! The acting was great, effects were good, had characters you cared about, the story wasn't too complicated topped off with a very good soundtrack that fitted the moment perfectly, this film has the full package. I first saw the film when I was about 7 and have loved it ever since. The characters are memorable and all have different things to bring to the film. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun action/adventure film to watch with children, just make sure they are okay with watching the kind of stuff in it!
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Entertaining film for older youngsters
Neil Welch7 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
A couple of toy developers have the bright idea of putting military computer chips in a new line of toys. Unfortunately, the toy soldiers in question thus become motivated to annihilate a rival range of toys and, if humans get in the way, that's just too bad.

Director Joe Dante recycles the plot of his Gremlins movies, only with action figures instead of Mogwais and Gremlins, and the results are much the same - a thoroughly entertaining movie filled with masses of entry-level mayhem. The toys are well designed and brilliantly voiced by a voice cast which is far more star-studded than the solid and reliable, but low-key, human cast.

It is perhaps a little violent and intense for the youngest of viewers, but otherwise it is a solidly entertaining family movie.
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Great idea that needs better execution
SnoopyStyle17 October 2014
GloboTech Industries is a giant defense industry and consumer conglomerate which acquires the little Heartland toy company. Irwin Wayfair (David Cross) and Larry Benson (Jay Mohr) are two designers who come up with two new lines of toys called Commando Elite and Gorgonites. GloboTech CEO Gil Mars (Denis Leary) wants to make the most advanced toys ever and Larry uses an overly powerful government military microchip. Alan Abernathy (Gregory Smith) is new in town working at the family toy store after getting kicked out of two schools. They get a delivery of the new GloboTech toys. Christy Fimple (Kirsten Dunst) is his next door neighbor with a little brother Timmy (Jacob Smith). Gorgonite emissary Archer befriends Alan. Commando Elite Chip Hazard leads his squad to destroy the Gorgonites.

The idea is great. It doesn't need the exposition of the military-corporate conglomerate. It just needs the toys, the kids, and havoc in a small town. The toy company is a waste of time. It just needs the military showing up at the end to clean things up. Cross and Mohr add nothing to this. It would be even better if they concentrated solely on the kids fighting the toys.
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