Thursday, November 8, 2012

Things we didn't expect.

I have always enjoyed being scared. I don't say scared in a jump scare, you-know-this-is-about-to-happen kind of way. I'm referring to the fundamental emotion of fear. The fear that results in your heart rate spiking, the beads of sweat slowly pulling themselves from your skin, the fantastic, guttural feeling of something inherently and ultimately evil is right there, right there in your soul and you didn't give it permission.

With that being said I think child hood is the obvious choice for a beginning, specifically:

                     The Brave Little Toaster

The TOTAL opposite of what you thought I was going to say, right?

The Brave Little Toaster is by all rights a wonderful, heart-warming, adventure filled family film on the surface (and with respect, throughout). It has a very healthy and likable conglomeration of characters ranging from a timid blanket to a grumpy vacuum.Nothing out of the ordinary. 

Now, as young laddie filled with a wonderful imagination the premise of the is film is perfect. 5 household appliances are abandoned in a cabin home. Spending their time with chores and waiting for their former owner (master) to return and reclaim them. When they suddenly decide to stop waiting and find their master adventures ensue. Tell me how a kid couldn't love this idea? It's clever, it appeals to innocence,love,loyalty,friendship it appeals to all positive life guidelines possible. In no way does it ever suggest a darker and scarier skin.

From the absolute beginning of the credits there are clues. A heavy sense of loneliness and depression accompany the visuals to the opening sequence. With a slow, foreboding theme the opening is not what you would expect. It's short-lived enough and opens up to the Radio cutting on and playing what sounds like a morning radio broadcast. Good so far...Someone yells for him to be quite and we quickly realize that the radio is cognitive as are 4 other appliances.

Everyone precedes to wake up and say "Hello", as you do. Cue opening number. Now I should mention how FANTASTIC I feel the soundtrack to this movie is. The perfectly timed musical numbers and the immense tone they help set is awesome. I LOVE IT. Back to what I was saying. As the end of the first amazing song is coming to an end the blanket appears to freeze and begin intently listening. The toaster hushes everyone in curiosity. As the toaster looks expectantly up at the blanket, the blanket whispers the words "A caaar."

Now folks this is the beginning of the end for me. The beginning of the insanely creepy vibe this movie gives off. Just in the simple whisper of "A caar" you can feel the hope backed by a deep sense of loneliness and longing. In response to his comment everyone springs into action and starts stacking themselves to get into the attic, presumably to check for a vehicle. A car approaches and then passes by. The sense of happiness and flamboyance previously instilled with song is now shattered with hopelessness.After all of this an argument beings concerning how pointless it is for them to wait for the master..blah blah blah.
Ultimately deciding to venture out into the world to find him.

I have spent this unnecessary amount of time building the beginning of this film (which honestly is innocent enough) to try and help convey my emotion as a child unable to really process how obsessed the appliances are or how fearlessly devoted they turn out to be.From here on this movie is nothing to me but instance after instance of insanely frightening imagery. 
Such as this:

and this:

maybe this:

I would argue that this is not just a fun family filled adventure and instead a fun family filled terror. These are only a small bit of the animation. Of the imagery and emotion used throughout the movie. It also gets a little depressing:

Don't get me wrong I ABSOLUTELY ADORE this film. It was well received by critics in 1987 and remains well received by me. I'm not attempting to label this as a horror film but my reaction to it as a child was similar to that of an average slasher. I jumped and cried out, closed my eyes and held my breath at certain parts.At the end of it all though it is a wonderfully delightful film. I highly recommend it to anyone. It instilled in me the fear I described in the beginning. For that I label The Brave Little Toaster an unknown terror.

Don't worry. It works out: 

but not until after this:

and thiiiiiiiiiiis:

I think I made my point.

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HorRoar! by Mitch Kelley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.