Dueling Dubs: The film was dubbed in Czech twice. The first was made in 1992 for VHS. Aside from making Lampy a female, the non-human characters all had electronic-sounding voices and all the songs were given bland spoken translations. The 2004 DVD dub makes a significant improvement over the 1st.
It was also dubbed into Brazilian Portuguese twice; the first in 1989 and the second in 2009. Like the Czech version, the 1st dub made Lampy a female.
The movie also had two dubs each in Icelandic and Japanese.
It also had two Dutch dubs; once in 1995 for VHS and again in 2005 for DVD.
The film also received three Russian dubs. The first was a Voiceover Translation and made for VHS in the Soviet Union, while the second two (from the Russian dubbing companies EA and OPT) are fully dubbed. The 1st was done in the late 90s, while the 2nd dub was done in 2000. The 2nd dub is the most common out of the three (and is also one of the few international dubs to have the Toaster voiced by a male actor, instead of a female). However, this is considered to be a slightly poor dub: while most of the movie's dubbing job is okay, the songs (with the exception of "City of Light", which remained entirely in English) vary between a mix of dubbing a few lines, using a Voiceover Translation, and leaving some parts in English. However, in the 1st dub (the rarest and hardest to find), the songs are given fully dubbed and given accuarate translations.
The film was supposed to have a proper theatrical release, and was the first animated film ever at Sundance, where it received rave reviews. It was destined to be a box office film for the Summer of 1987 when Disney bought the film, and intended to use it for their newly created Disney Channel. It was buried by the channel, and made it ineligible for Oscar nominations such as Best Original Score or Best Song. It then hobbled around the festival circuit, unable to find a distributor (thanks, Disney!), but it never found an audience til it was released on VHS, uncut and un-Bowdlerised. Lasseter remembers being thoroughly angry at the film's lack of a theatrical release.
In the documentary 'The Pixar Story', Lasseter states that this movie was intended to use some early form of computer animation, but because executives at the time could not see the purpose (if it neither "made things faster or cheaper"), it was shelved. Furthermore, Lasseter was promptly let go afterwards, which let to his hiring later at Pixar.
In a version made for Polish television, the entire forest scene, a crucial one in terms of character development, is edited out of the film; it just cuts straight to the waterfall scene. Apparently the scene was thought to be too scary by Polish executives, and so that left a huge gaping hole in the storyline, and that version's Lampy with no explanation as to how she burned her bulb out.
For some reason, they also omitted the scene where she tries to think of ways they could try and get out of the house to find the Master.
Phil Hartman is the air conditioner and the hanging lamp in the hardware store from hell. It's kind of hard to tell it's Hartman, too, since for each character he does an impersonation (Jack Nicholson and Peter Lorre, respectively).
In Goes to Mars, the song 'I See a New You' was supposed to have been sung by the Toaster. It wasn't.
If viewers are to be believed, it wasn't even meant for Toaster - it was supposed to be Chris who was singing it. Since neither Toaster nor Chris were shown onscreen singing that song, it left quite a few viewers confused.
Jim Cummings subs for Alan King as the Supreme Commander in "Goes to Mars"' "Fight Right" song.
Playing Against Type: Character actor Thurl "Tony The Tiger" Ravenscroft, who usually did very jokey performances, plays Kirby, the most pessimistic of the main five characters.
Technology Marches On: The computers, telephones, etc. that brag about their features now sound horribly dated a decade-and-a-half later. Yet the main characters who are demeaned as 'outdated' would still all be fairly useful today.
The Other Darrin: Jon Lovitz didn't return for the sequels, so Roger Kabler became the voice for Radio. Same thing with Blanky's VA, Timothy E. Day, who got replaced with Eric Lloyd. Rob went from Wayne Kaatz to Chris Young, and Chris changes from Colette Savage to Jessica Tuck. Only Toaster, Lampy, and Kirby's actors came back for the DT Vs.
Unintentional Period Piece: Mostly averted in the first movie; however, several of the Cutting-Edge Appliances featured at Rob's apartment probably wouldn't be considered quite as cutting-edge nowadays in the years since the film's release, though this doesn't necessarily hold true for all of them.
What Could Have Been: Imagine if John Lasseter had been able to make this film as the first(?) to combine hand-drawn elements and CGI? Sadly, the idea was deemed not cost-effective enough and the tech wasn't quite there yet.