This past summer's biggest tearjerker and best overall movie of 2010 was the third installment of Pixar's beloved toys-come-to-life series, 'Toy Story 3.'
Eleven years later, Andy is now a teenager, and is, by societal norms, too old to play with his toys. Once Woody, Buzz and the gang realize thy're about to be put out to pasture, they scramble to find their way back home. It's a heartwarming tale about growing up and the inanimate objects that win your heart along the way.
Which is why we think that if you enjoyed 'Toy Story 3,' then you'll probably like -- or already love -- a little 1987 film called 'The Brave Little Toaster.'
'The Brave Little Toaster' is an animated movie set in a universe where household appliances have the ability to move and speak, but pretend to be lifeless when humans are around, just like the toys in 'Toy Story.'
The film focuses on five appliances -- a plucky toaster, a silly desk lamp, an cute electric blanket, a funny tube radio and a grumpy vacuum cleaner -- who go on a quest for their original owner, a young "master" named Rob.
On their journey, the group, led by the titular toaster, faces harrowing adventures almost too scary for children, including nearly drowning in quicksand, getting lost in a dark forest and a tense moment where it seems like they're all going to fall off a cliff.
There's even a scene that is not unlike the trash-dump fire-pit scene in 'Toy Story 3' that some parents felt was too intense and scary for young eyes. (And older ones too -- I was definitely scared!)
'The Brave Little Toaster' has a trash compactor scene in which it seems like the appliances are going to be crushed into cubes of garbage.
But 'The Brave Little Toaster,' like 'Toy Story 3,' is also heartwarming. Both Andy from 'Toy Story 3' and Rob from 'The Brave Little Toaster' are young boys who've grown into college-aged teens. They are both viewed as "responsible" for their inanimate objects that love them.
In 'Toy Story 3,' the toys, led by a cowboy named Woody (Tom Hanks), realize they have to let Andy grow up and go to college on his own. They are, in the end, [SPOILER ALERT] handed down to another loving youngster. In 'The Brave Little Toaster,' all the appliances are brought back into Rob's loving home, repaired and taken with him to college.
Aside from their similar plots, the two films also share giving their characters distinct celebrity voices -- Jon Lovitz and Phil Hartman in 'The Brave Little Toaster,' and the aforementioned Hanks and Tim Allen in 'Toy Story 3.'
'The Brave Little Toaster' became a cult classic for those who grew up with it. Even if its characters aren't quite as indelible as 'Toy Story''s Woody and Buzz Lightyear, it certainly has memorable scenes, like the blanket getting stuck in a tree, a group of frogs' tongues sticking to the toaster's shiny surface and the clean-up sing-along to Little Richard's 'Tooty Fruity.'
If you're looking for a children's movie that was 'Toy Story' before Pixar even dreamed of toys coming to life, then definitely check out 'Brave Little Toaster.'