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Tuesday, December 18 2018 @ 01:52 PM CST

Movie Mania # 17…Small Soldiers

Movie Mania

“You put munitions chips in toys?” Hello and welcome back to “Movie Mania”, exclusive to the awesome Pop Culture Network. Today I am going to be taking a look at Small Soldiers, a movie that is not exactly amazing but that is a lot of fun. Small Soldiers is the type of movie that was made for kids but that “kids at heart”, like myself, still enjoy. So kick back, relax and join me for a look at a movie about toys.

Small Soldiers was released in 1998 by DreamWorks Pictures and was directed by Joe Dante. It follows the story of Alan Abernathy who is a trouble making teenager living a somewhat isolated life. His father owns a very old-fashioned toy store and in an attempt to make his father’s store some money he gets a shipment of cool action figures from the local delivery man. The action figures were designed by Larry Benson and Irwin Wayfair with the purpose of being unlike any other toy on the market. These toys were given X1000 chips, a form of Artificial Intelligence, and before long, Alan finds himself in the middle of a toy war between the militaristic Commando Elites, military action figures, and the passive and peaceful Gorgonites, monster action figures.

The toys learn and adapt as they go along and the Commando Elites, led by Chip Hazard, become increasingly dangerous as they try to eliminate the Gorgonite toys led by Archer. Alan becomes fond of Archer and wants to save him and his Gorgonite companions from destruction which lead the Commando Elites to attack Alan. The Commandos use: knives, gas, flames and various other weaponry to attack Alan and the Gorgonites. Eventually, after strong reluctance in believing Alan, his parents and neighbors become involved in the toy war as well and together they must try to repeal the growing, both in physical number and intelligence, Commando Elites. Alan, with the help of his parents, neighbors and the toy creators eventually manages to overcome the Commando Elites and spare the Gorgonites. Alan also manages to get the attention of his next door neighbor love interest, Christy. Unfortunately, Alan’s house is destroyed in the chaos but the CEO of the toy company pays reparations and then acknowledges the potential the toys have for actual combat in the military. In the end, Alan releases the Gorgonites, who wish to find their “homeland”, down the river on a toy boat and bids his friend Archer goodbye.

Overall, Small Soldiers is a fun movie that is actually quite unique. The story was definitely designed for a young audience but I think that it is still pretty good, for what it is. The toys are really cool looking and the designs of and story behind the two toy factions is pretty interesting. This is a movie that I will stop and watch if I see that it is on, and like I said, I am a “kid at heart” so I enjoy it every time. There is actually a very impressive acting cast in this movie and that makes a very big difference in the overall quality of the movie. The hilarious Phil Hartman is great in this movie and Tommy Lee Jones did a fantastic job with the voice of Chip Hazard. If you never saw this movie, I would recommend it, especially if you are a toy collector. And if you haven’t seen it in a long time, I recommend that you watch it again, it will be sure to bring back some old memories.

Cast of Characters

Gregory Smith- Alan Abernathy

Frank Langella- Archer

Kirsten Dunst- Christy Fimple

Tommy Lee Jones- Chip Hazard

George Kennedy- Brick Bazooka

Jim Brown- Butch Meathook

Ernest Borgnine- Kip Killigan

Clint Walker- Nick Nitro

Bruce Dern- Link Static

Phil Hartman- Phil Fimple (*the film is dedicated to his memory*)

Denis Leary- Gil Mars

Kevin Dunn- Stuart Abernathy

Ann Magnuson- Irene Abernathy

Jay Mohr- Larry Benson

David Cross- Irwin Wayfair

Wendy Schaal- Marion Fimple

Jacob Smith- Timmy Fimple

Dick Miller- Joe

Robert Picardo- Ralph


That will do it for this “Movie Mania” article. Please look for new and exciting articles every Thursday, only on the Pop Culture Network. If you have any questions or comments please e-mail me at Nick@PopCultureNetwork.com. Also, be sure to check out our free forums at www.jointheforums.com and our store at www.shoppcn.com. Thank you for reading!

I’ll catch you guys next time!

-Nick Federico


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