When you’re dating someone who was raised in a country different from the one in which you were raised, there are certain things you want to share with him or her.
Fundamental memories of childhood culture differ in ways you wouldn’t think about, and you try to share these things with them when they come up. For me, this started with The Brave Little Toaster.
What Michael (my Irish boyfriend) thought of the American classic (which I made him watch yesterday) is not important. The issue here is all the things that happened in The Brave Little Toaster that I didn’t notice when I was six!
1. A familiar story. Did you realize that this movie is Toy Story with appliances?! Or, more accurately, Toy Story is The Brave Little Toaster with toys. After all, the Toaster was chasing his master years before Woody was chasing after Andy.
Which brings us to:
2. The Master. How incredibly creepy is it that the cute cartoon appliances call the boy “Master”?
3. The jokes. When the toaster gives a speech after the air conditioner’s devastating dose of truth (i.e. “He’s not coming back for us!”), he climbs up on a box – a soap box. Or when Lampy sees the sun and says, “I wonder where his switch is.”
4. Master returns. The part where the master returns to the cabin with his girlfriend to get the appliances. Let’s be real, when I saw this in the 90’s, I was asleep by then. To be honest, the junkyard part was a little hazy, too.
5. The girlfriend. Master has a buxom girlfriend named Chris! That’s one part I definitely don’t remember.
6. The book. Did you know the Brave Little Toaster was a book first? I definitely didn’t. Truth.
7. Air conditioner. This one isn’t about things I didn’t remember. This one is about what I did remember correctly. The air conditioner. That dude is still scary!
8. He’s not that brave. Several times throughout the film, Michael asked why the toaster was deemed “brave” in the title. I was at a loss. He isn’t really brave until the very end, is he?
9. Limited theatrical viewing. Did you know the film was featured at Sundance (and didn’t win) but was released in very few movie theaters? It didn’t become a hit until we children of the 90’s began renting it like crazy. But it was destined to be a hit – many of the original Pixar guys were involved in this gem.
10. Blanky’s face. You know that whiney little yellow thing that carries the Master’s picture around? The one I most identified with as a child? He’s an electric blanket. His face is the dial. I definitely didn’t know that.