Despite its innocuous-sounding premise, The Brave Little Toaster is infamously regarded as one of the darkest animated family films of the 80s, as these examples can attest to.
- Some of the best examples include the air conditioner's blow out (and his dead corpse sitting in the dark in the back of the room for the majority of the film afterward), Toaster's nightmare, the deeply unnerving and upsetting flower scene, the tinkerer's shop, the junkyard, the various Family Unfriendly Deaths, etc.
- A literal Fridge Horror moment: When the appliances decide to leave the house they try various methods of travelling, including Kirby pulling them along in a fridge. Later on in the film we see a fridge that's alive like the the appliances. But the one in the house wasn't animated at all...the appliances were literally riding on the corpse of a dead fridge!
- Borderlining on Fridge Horror as well; when one closely observes the movie after childhood, it will become frighteningly noticeable how many suicides/attempted suicides there are in it - Kirby swallowing his cord; the Air Conditioner making himself blow out; Lampy almost killing himself via electrocution; the one green car willingly driving onto the rack heading for the crusher; the flower losing all will to live and shows strong implication to not survive long past its scene; and of course Toaster sacrificing him/herself to save his/her Master.
- The Air Conditioner scene.
- Think about the Air Conditioner for a moment. This is a character that is wedged in a wall, and has spent his entire life watching as the kid (or rather, The Master) would play and interact with the other appliances. His 'function' was just to sit there and watch something he couldn't have. He flat-out STATES this as he short-circuits in a scene that can easily be seen as a bitter man committing suicide in a fit of rage.
- He doesn't just die. He rages himself to death, spewing sparks and flames while he slowly flies apart.
- Compounding the scene is that Kirby doesn't care about his death, simply stating he was a jerk, anyway. That's cold.
- If it makes you feel any better, the Air Conditioner does get better near the end when The Master fixes him.
- The Monster Clown in Toaster's dream is particularly notable; just thinking about that clown and his Slasher Smile sends shivers down the spine.
- The scene where Blanky is lost in the dark, stormy forest all night, and then the battery is going out, and even though the battery gets recharged, we are led to believe that Lampy died in the process of said recharging! (Though granted, we are able to breathe sighs of relief, when it's revealed that he survived, apart from a broken bulb and a cough.)
- Lampy being struck by lightning. It shouldn't happen to such a nice cartoon character!
- The way that this scene is led into by Toaster getting violently electrocuted in her nightmare.
- The terrifying part when everybody is near doomed, sinking down the quicksand.
- First off, Blanky very eerily says 'I'm not scared...' while he sinks even though he has every purpose to be scared, then you have Radio slowly realizing: "Well... That wraps up our broadcast for today... And actually, for forever... We'll sign off with a suitable tune!"
- The only way they're all saved is thanks to the shopkeeper just so happening to see and lift Radio's very tiny antenna.
- This scene is freaky enough to a kid (and a Parental Bonus for an adult who knows what happens when a vacuum cleaner runs over a cord), but then you realize that this is essentially the equivalent of someone swallowing their tongue during an epileptic fit. Geez, this was a dark movie...
- The worst part is when a blender is dismembered by the goofy shopkeeper who laughs as he does it. This is played exactly as if it's getting brutally murdered (which on the level the audience is watching it really is), dripping fluids and all.
- When the shopkeeper takes the main group into his workshop, Blanky is very unnerved at the sight of his tools for dismemberment/etc. This is particularly disturbing for Blanky to see because he's literally voiced by an 8 year old and is thus the most childlike.
- "It's a B-Movie". Menacing, deformed appliances, the little plaintive part in the middle ("There goes the sun"), and the spooky shadow puppets. Heck, there's even an Eye Scream with the portable fan thing.
Look at me, I mean, really! Barf, barf, barf. I'm a can opener, a lamp, and a shaver. Oh god, I'm a mish-mash!
- The lyrics are downright creepy as well:
"There goes the sun
Here comes the night
Somebody turn on the light
Somebody tell me that fate has been kind
You can't go out
you are out of your mind!
- The oven basically eats and vomits the main characters in the middle of the song.
- Also, the fan lifting the appliances into the shadows at the end.
- The Mish-Mash◊, which has been driven insane by the deformed and mutilated condition she's in.
- She then flops down, either unconscious or dead, and gets lifted away by a bunch of cords.
- The lyrics are downright creepy as well:
- The magnet. Oh, God, the magnet.
- An angry creature from above chasing you wherever you hide? And you CAN'T MOVE? 100% Paranoia Fuel.
- Making this scene even worse is when you really get into the idea of a "Junkyard". In this movie, it becomes a disturbingly grotesque mass grave...
- How about Rob's near-demise? Seeing the cars get crushed one by one is bad enough, but when a human is there, someone we can physically relate to, that's even worse!
- The worst part about that whole magnet scene was the fact that even when he's picking up cars, the magnet has eyes (if hostile, glaring ones) that humanizes it. However, when it crosses the line into actively homicidal in trying to kill Rob, its eyes disappear, erasing any humanity in it and rendering it more frighteningly alien.
- The part where the group ALMOST thinks Rob is coming to get them, thus leaving themselves inanimate and totally vulnerable to the magnet. They escape, but it's VERY narrowly.
- Notice how the rest of the scene is then tinted blood-red. Subtle, no, but damn if it doesn't make the whole thing more intense.
- The song "Worthless" is packed full of Nightmare Fuel that would probably only apply to older people watching the film, since the catchy but fairly complex (for a kids' movie) lyrics are riddled with oblique hints of aging, death, and suicide. Seriously, try imagining humans singing that song and see where your mind takes you.
- The compactor is more-or-less eating the cars.
- This line may be the most chilling in the entire song, and that's saying quite a lot:
I took a man to a graveyard
I beg your pardon, it's quite hard enough
Just living with the stuff I have learned.
- This can hit kind of hard to anyone who has had depression:
I just can't
I just can't
I just can't seem to get started
Don't have the heart
To live in the fast lane
All that has past and gone.
- The car that sings about how she once took a Texan to a wedding. The lyrics state that 'he kept forgetting, his loneliness letting his thoughts turn to home and we turned' revealing that they crashed on the way to the wedding. This is immediately followed by a car declaring that he took a man to a graveyard ending with those two cars going into the compactor together. It's not hard to believe that the Texan who crashed on his way to the wedding was the same man who got taken to the graveyard.
- The yellow Packard Woody (the surfer van) looks salvagable...why is it in the junkyard? Look at the board strapped to it—there's a huge chunk bitten out of it, right where a person's head and right shoulder would be (while laying down and paddling, which is reportedly when most shark attacks on surfers happen). The previous owner may have died, which could explain what a 40s-era van is doing in a junkyard during a movie implied to take place in the early 80s; it languished for years and was simply forgotten about and discarded because no one cared enough about it.
- And don't forget the one car who, after singing part of his verse about how his life has amounted to nothing, jumps onto the conveyor belt of his own volition. The people who wrote this must have been going through some seriously tough times. Supposedly, the writers intended to show that car sacrificing itself for another vehicle, but it ended up looking like a suicidal move.
- Even the above-mentioned magnet looks taken-aback at the sight of a car intentionally driving onto the conveyor-belt to go to the crusher.
- Among the cars at the junk yard is a schoolbus with nothing more than a broken window and a damaged eye or headlight. Might he have been damaged while transporting children?
- One of the cars is trying desperately to escape the conveyor belt by turning his wheel.
- at least two of the cars cars say "I must confess" as the magnet picks them up and drops them onto the conveyor belt to be crushed. Lines include:"I must confess one more dusty road would be just a road too long." "I must confess I'm impressed how I did and I wonder how close that I came."
- The toaster's Heroic Sacrifice, and decidedly Family Unfriendly Disney Death via graphic mutilation in the inner workings of the trash compactor!
- In addition to this happening, at the exact same time Rob is almost getting crushed with all the other appliances with him and EVERYTHING IS TINTED RED.
- And at the height of this incredibly intense scene, Rob begins SCREAMING HIS LUNGS OUT knowing that he's about to be slowly crushed to death. All the Toaster can do before his Heroic Sacrifice is watch in frozen terror. The look on the Toaster's face is exactly what you'd expect someone to look like when they're about to watch a loved one be killed in a horrible way. Jeez, this movie is warped...
- And Radio's in To The Rescue. He basically removed his own heart.
- The appliances going into the woods as the sun sets. We hear animals sounds as they travel through. And startled by an owl flying by. Later when they decided to rest, the bushes suddenly shook, startling the appliances who hear a growl (either from an animal or the approaching storm).