It’s the ruthless, armed to the teeth, grotesquely macho Commando Elite versus the noble, cowardly, freakish Gorgonites in the third chapter of Dante’s war trilogy (after Matinee and The Second Civil War).
In this epic conflict between toys – some programmed to kill, others to run and hide – can be found all of Dante’s major themes, his politics and obsessions. With hints of Gulliver’s Travels and an army of mutant Barbie dolls straight out of Bride of Frankenstein, Small Soldiers is Dante’s most moving tribute to the endless powers of imagination. —MIFF
Joseph Dante Jr. was born on November 28, 1946 in Morristown, New Jersey, and raised in the nearby borough of Parisippany. His parents were professional golf players and his father wrote some books on the instructions of playing golf some of which included Four Magic Moves to Winning Golf, and Stop that Slice. After a bout with polio that nearly crippled him at age 7, he slowly recovered and decided to take up drawing rather than athletics as his parents did.
Dante studied at the Philadelphia College of Art after graduating from high school. As a teenager, he contributed to Castle of Frankenstein and Famous Monsters of Filmland magazines with various drawings, and upon graduation from he College of Art, he became a film critic for the Film Buletin newspaper for which he later became the managing editor. With a friend, named Jon Davidson, Dante cut together a series of movie clips and film trailers and edited them into his first short film which was titled The Movie Orgy (1968… read more
One of the most bizarre mainstream "family" films ever. Audacious and hilarious.
I can't believe what I miss as a child in that ending. The upstanding are as easily bought as anything else, the children can never see past their hormones, the conglomerate never runs into setbacks with enough capitalist arms-pedalling ingenuity and Gorgon (symbolizing a world to strive towards), despite being a beautiful thought, never exists and the pursuit of it almost certainly leads to tragedy/disillusionment.