Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1990s Small Soldiers (1998)

Small Soldiers (1998)

Action Man-type figures fitted with deadly microprocessors go on menacing manoeuvres in this Gremlins-meets-Toy Story war fantasy from director Joe Dante, which takes a long time setting up its simple premise but is worth the wait.

When an overeager toy designer installs state-of-the-art military microchips into a line of action figures, the result is a battle royal between the testosterone-dripping soldiers of Commando Elite – led by Major Chip Hazard (voiced by Tommy Lee Jones) – and the peaceful mutant Gorgonites – led by Archer (voiced by Frank Langella).

The problem is that the battleground is the suburban household of young Alan Abernathy (Gregory Smith), the teen son of a small-town Ohio toy store owner.

The movie’s slick professionalism and technical brilliance keep the awkward mixture of mirth and mayhem from becoming too uncomfortable an experience.

Crafty nods to classic war films such as Patton (1970), the creepy Gwendy doll sequence and the GI Joes being voiced by the likes of Tommy Lee Jones, Ernest Borgnine and Bruce Dern also help maintain the interest for adults as well as youngsters.

Yet this mix of technology-run-amok and children’s nightmare sometimes takes belief a bridge too far.

Christy Fimple
Kirsten Dunst
Alan Abernathy
Gregory Smith
Gil Mars
Denis Leary
Major Chip Hazard
Tommy Lee Jones
Frank Langella
Kip Killagin
Ernest Borgnine
Butch Meathook
Jim Brown
Link Static
Bruce Dern
Brick Bazooka
George Kennedy
Nick Nitro
Clint Walker
Christopher Guest
Michael McKean
Harry Shearer
Jim Cummings
Gwendy doll
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Gwendy doll
Christina Ricci
Phil Fimple
Phil Hartman
Larry Benson
Jay Mohr
Irene Abernathy
Ann Magnuson
Irwin Wayfair
David Cross
Stuart Abernathy
Kevin Dunn
Marion Fimple
Wendy Schaal
Dick Miller

Joe Dante