Eccentric toymaker Kenneth Zevo (Donald O'Connor) last wish is that his brother takes over the running of the business. The brother is Lieutenant General Leland Zevo (Sir Michael Gambon), and is out of touch with toymaking, and out of touch with reality too. The business should really have been given to Leslie (Robin Williams), who was much more like his toymaking father. When the General starts making weapons instead of toys, Leslie decides to take action.Written by
Much of the look drew its inspiration from surrealist painter René Magritte. This is most obvious in the break in scene where Leslie Zevo (Robin Williams) and Alsatia Zevo (Joan Cusack) pretend they're doing a music video featuring raining men in the background. See more »
When General Zevo is in the arcade playing "Tank Gunner" you notice that his score bounces. It's at -2400 at the point where he only shoots UN Trucks (each truck is -1000 points) and in the next seen he's at 1600 points, down to 400, then up to 3600, then down to -6000, then -3400, and finally -7000. See more »
It's hard to think of a movie that divides its audience as deeply as "Toys" does. Few people will say this movie is "fair." Instead, people often call it the best movie ever made or the worst... and they mean it!
Even its severest critics grudgingly admit that it's visually stunning and has perhaps the best soundtrack of the decade ("Happy Worker" is a classic, and "At the Closing of the Year" is, in my opinion, the best Christmas song written in the past 30 years). It's clearly Oscar-worthy in the categories of music and set design.
Most people who've seen it agree that Joan Cusack's quirky characterization is wonderful and that the vignettes provided Robin Williams with a springboard for some of the best ad libs of his career. And the story, a whimsical fable of innocence versus corruption, is as unlikely to give offense as any you can name. So, you'd expect the movie's critics to say "I didn't care for it," instead of "Everyone associated with this movie should be ashamed!"
When I like something and others don't, I hesitate to say they don't "get it," but in the case of "Toys," it really is true. It's no coincidence that many visual references to the work of Rene Magritte keep popping up. "Toys" is a surrealist movie, and like any work of surrealism, it has a simple veneer over a more sophisticated message, one that defies explanation and works on the level of a dream. This movie is more "Mulholland Drive" than "Willie Wonka."
Whether you will like this movie depends entirely on how your mind works. Poets will probably love it. Engineers will probably hate it.
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