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Plot: 15-year-old Alan Abernathy, the son of a toy store owner, tries out some new action figures: The Commando Elite vs. 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. Runtime: 108 mins Release Date: 09 Jul 1998
A Solid Answer to Disney/Pixar's Toy Story (by catarinaloss)
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. <more>
I am begging you, don't pass it up. You won't regret giving it your time.
Let me tell you a story............. (by ILoveASeriousMan)
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 <more>
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
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 <more>
younger children as well as older children. This movie does not have harsh language or sexual connotations. Get it and watch it.
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 <more>
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.
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 <more>
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.
Bizarre film, but still great fun! (by LebowskiT1000)
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: <more>
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,-Chris
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 <more>
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.
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 <more>
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.
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 <more>
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.