Small Soldiers is a 1998 live-action/CGI science fiction war comedy film directed by Joe Dante, who also directed Gremlins and its 1990 sequel.

Why It Rocks:

  1. Archer and Alan are great protagonists.
  2. The CGI effects are really cool, for the feat of its time.
  3. Great acting for the humans (particularly Gregory Smith, David Cross and Denis Leary) and voice acting for the toy soldiers.
  4. Although it's been done before, it's actually nice to see a movie about toy soldiers being in front of the humans for a change.
  5. Several hilarious moments.
  6. Awesome action sequences.
  7. Great soundtrack by the late Jerry Goldsmith, including War by Edwin Starr.
  8. Phil Hartman’s character was hilarious, especially for his final role before he died the same year the movie was made.
  9. Pretty good dialogue.
  10. A couple of nice references to Dante’s own Gremlins.
  11. It does not really patronise kids and is enjoyable for adults as well, even if it is recommended for older kids.

Bad Qualities

  1. Sometimes, the story gets predictable and can be easily compared to Toy Story. On that topic, the idea of toys coming alive has kind of been done before, but not bad enough.
  2. There is a controversy about a Burger King commercial promoting the movie despite being rated PG-13.
  3. While the CGI looks awesome for the time of its release and all, it otherwise has not exactly aged the best.
  4. The Commando Elite's intimidating nature can be too unsettling for children.
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