Imagine The Incredible Journey starring household appliances. That was the basic premise of sci-fi author Thomas M. Disch’s children’s tale, adapted into an animated feature by a group of former Disney employees.
Five appliance buddies-an electric blanket named Blanky, a lamp named Lampy, a vacuum named Kirby, a Radio, and a toaster nicknamed “Slots”-live in a forest cabin, patiently awaiting the return of their young master. After a dire warning from the expiring Air Conditioner, the appliances realize the master may never come back, so they decide to head out on their own, striking out for the city in a jerry-rigged vehicle powered by Kirby.
Their perilous journey takes them past rainstorms, quicksand, a menacing handyman and a giant magnet set to deliver them to the crushing jaws of an appliance junkyard. Relying on ingenuity and friendship, the team braves all obstacles, only to be faced with the possibility of being obsolete in a techno-mad world.
A serious parable of alienation and loneliness, the film was still a children’s movie, filled with daring escapes, comic episodes and a heartwarming ending. Two direct-to-video sequels followed, The Brave Little Toaster Goes To Mars (1998) and The Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue (1999).