Sunday, July 10, 2011

The first Transformers was a remake of Small Soldiers

A boy, lost in suburbia, gets mixed up in a rivalry between two groups of inanimate objects. The boy helps the good-guys win and in the end wins the affection of the girl of his dreams. While yes, this plot could describe most movies directed towards the male 13-18 demographic, there are two movies in particular I want to talk about. To me, 2007's Transformers and 1998's Small Soldiers are the same basic movie.

Bear with me, dear reader.


Comparing basic plot points, both movies are basically identical. Both involve two lines of toys battling it out. While yes, a car is a much bigger toy than an action figure, a car is basically and adult's toy. Grown men and children are both passionate and protective over their toys. And the fact that Transformers is based off of a toy line helps my argument further. While Transformers has Autobots and Decepticons, Small Soldiers has Commando Elite and Gorgonites. Basically, Transformers is just Small Soldiers on a much larger scale.

The Autobot logo has a five-head.

It is true that the Transformers franchise has been around since the 80s, but remember that I'm not talking about the franchise itself but just the first movie. Both movies involve awkward teenagers thrust into action by inanimate objects. And getting the girl in the end helps a lot too. And while I've always had a crush on Kirsten Dunst since her Spider-Man days, it's hard not to leer at Megan Fox's, now iconic, engine checking.

[Insert dip-stick joke here]

Probably the most interesting reason for the comparison, to me, is Kevin Dunn. Dunn plays the bumbling father in both movies. And the roles are pretty much interchangeable. Now yes, there are only so many ways to play a frazzled father, but to me this is the main link to both movies. Transformers may very well be a hidden remake to the modest 1998 hit. Or maybe even a quasi-sequel. Maybe Dunn's character secretly had two families.

It's always the people you least expect.

Really, in the end, I just want more people to know about Small Soldiers. Because I remember enjoying it as a kid. It's like Transformers enough to be noteworthy. Small Soldiers is even, arguably, better than Transformers. Both are dumb popcorn movies but Small Soldiers has more heart. Transformers is just a big car commercial. And Small Soldiers was Phil Hartman's last film. That's reason enough to check it out.

6 comments:

  1. dude the transformers movies is based off of everything transformers the show,the toys everything its a freakin coincidence that these two movies seem alike and a car is not an adults toy you wanna know what it is? nvm it doesnt need to be said small soldiers and transformers are NOTHING!! alike believe me ive seen both many many times.

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    1. Dude they are incredibly similar. I googled "small soldiers transformers" while i was watching small soldiers on netflix because I saw the connection!

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    2. I have to go with the author on this one, and the anonymous reply from August 9th. Too many similarities. My personal thought here is that the creator(s) of "Small Toys" was looking for a way to fit a Transformers type story line without copyright infringements and that movie is what they came up with. Also, it's important to note that both the Transformers toys, when first branded as such, and the Transformers cartoon serial were both released in 1984. The "Transformer" toys prior to 1984 were not actually Transformers. They were in fact Japanese toys known as Diaclone and Microman toys. Those were manufactured from approximately 1980 until 1984 when Hasbro purchased the molds and licensing for those toys and re-branded them for simultaneous release as a marketing strategy. Therefore in this case it's hard to argue what was first, the "chicken" or the "egg." Even some dialogue in the movies was similar, including the mother in both movies being convinced their "sons" were on drugs.

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    3. "a car is not an adults toy" Wow. Speaking as a 45 year old man, I have to tell you that in the minds of the majority of men, at least those in the US, Mexico and Canada, as well as most of Europe, that's PRECISELY what their cars are. The more expensive the car, the more of a toy it is. Between customization, "modding" as youngsters call it these days (Hot Rodding back in my day) and "tricking out" I've never seen such toys. My '71 Olds Cutlass Supreme with a 454 CI Oldsmobile powerplant, a TH400 tranny with a Hole-shot slapshift, dual 3" exhaust, twin 4 barrel carbs and all leather interior was DEFINITELY an adult's toy. No, granted, the mom&pop mobile minivan is NOT an adult toy, it's just a means of transportation. I'd love to know what you were going to finish your sentence with. My guess is you are one of those that think automobiles are somehow phallic in nature. Now THAT is a falsehood.

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    4. ...you're not very perceptive, are you? And you're probably also very literal-minded, right? You probably also see no connection between Avatar and the story of John Smith and Pocahontas.

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