The Other Toy Stories (feat. Shelley Kramer)
In 1995, Toy Story set the gold … well, polyurethane standard for toys springing to life in film. But it’s not an uncommon concept. From Ted to Annabelle, it’s not hard to see what’s cute, creepy, or ironically crass about playthings suddenly speaking in adult voices.
On this week’s show, we watch and review three Toy Tales (they’re off-brand toy stories), including Child’s Play (1988), Small Soldiers (1998), and The Indian In The Cupboard (1995). At the 22-minute mark, Noah swings by the Play Kids toy store in his Brooklyn neighborhood to ask owner Shelley Kramer about the undying fantasy of toys coming alive and whether she thinks that’s ever happened in her store.
As for the films, we begin with Child’s Play, the first installment in the endless, bloody, nonsensical-even-for-this-premise travails of Chucky the possessed doll. At 29 minutes, we try to get in step with Small Soldiers, the colorful suburban combat film that’s part-commercial and part-satire. (It’s on Netflix currently.) At 46 minutes, we watch The Indian In The Cupboard for the first time since we were tots, and while it’s not quite as racially insensitive as we feared, it makes up for it with a creeping, unexplained sense of childhood alienation.
We encourage you to learn more about Play Kids here, and visit them in Brooklyn at 668A Flatbush Avenue.
our favorite movies
Be Reel is a movie reviewing & reappraising podcast hosted by Chance Solem-Pfeifer and Noah Ballard.
Each time out, we select three movies based around a genre and call up guests ranging from submarine captains to Oscar winners. Then, we rate the movies, weighing both technical quality and entertainment.
Noah and Chance are old friends who mostly respect each other’s opinions. Even though Chance is a fool and a traitor. Find their show presented at ThePlaylist.Net and follow them on Twitter for the latest on Noah’s literary agenting and Chance’s work in the Portland arts scene.