More of a kids movie than I’d expected, after Looney Tunes was more of an adult movie than I’d expected. Has the kids-in-charge feeling of Explorers, but the kids are more horny, troubled teens than young dreamers. The movie, with its innocent toy creatures threatening a whole town and all its makeshift inventions, references its own debt to Gremlins by throwing the word “gizmo” around as David Cross’s computer password.
Sets up a fight between the military-chip-implanted Commando Elite (voiced by Tommy Lee Jones, Bruce Dern and the cast of The Dirty Dozen) and the peaceful alien Gorgonites (Frank Langella and the cast of Spinal Tap), joined by a frankensteined group of mutant barbies (Sarah Michelle Gellar and Christina Ricci).
Purple whirling Gorgonite reminds of the Tazmanian Devil and one of the Twilight Zone creatures:
I admit the barbies were my favorites:
Dick Miller, making his umpteenth Dante film appearance, plays the twinkle-eyed adult who connects with our young protagonist (and gives him the devil toys).
Robert Picardo doesn’t get mentioned enough in these pages. He’s appeared in nine Joe Dante movies, most memorably as the cowboy in Innerspace.
Apparently it got somewhat-screwed with its PG-13 rating but still made a tidy profit, and probably helped get Dante Looney Tunes: Back In Action, which probably killed his career for a few years. Dedicated to the great Phil Hartman, murdered a month and a half before its release.