The Brave Little Toaster from Print to Film: Obsolescent Appliances and Capitalist Allegories

Abstract

In The Brave Little Toaster (1980), a tale of household appliances confronting and resisting obsolescence, Thomas M. Disch warns audiences against mistaking his anthropomorphic creations for images of themselves. It proves impossible nonetheless for those who read this comic fable or who see the later animated film adapted from it to avoid this temptation, for both works are allegories of the plight of industrial labour under late-twentieth-century capitalism. But while Disch’s narrative emphasises the importance of the solidarity among workers, the Disney Studio’s cinematic version instead teaches young viewers to trust their ‘masters’—a dangerous lesson in passivity.

Keywords

animation, film, fantasy, allegory, Disch, Brave Little Toaster

How to Cite

Stetz, M., (2012) “The Brave Little Toaster from Print to Film: Obsolescent Appliances and Capitalist Allegories”, Opticon1826 14, p.21-26.

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Margaret Stetz (University of Delaware)

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