Critics Consensus

Like a colorfully overengineered gewgaw on the shelf, Toys might look like fun, but its seemingly limitless possibilities lead mainly to confusion and disappointment.



Total Count: 27


Audience Score

User Ratings: 56,871
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Movie Info

Barry Levinson directed this cautionary fantasy fable--a triumph of production design--concerning the clash between benevolent, funny toys and malevolent, violent war toys and video games. Donald O'Connor is the kindly, gentle Kenneth Zevo, founder of Zevo Toys. The workers love him and the love they feel for Zevo comes through in the lovingly cute toys they produce. His son Leslie (Robin Williams) is an eccentric inventor who concentrates on coming up with different styles of plastic vomit and over-sized ears. His addle-headed daughter Alsatia (Joan Cusack) enjoys trying out all of Leslie's inventions. But their innocent, idyllic existence is soon to be shattered. Kenneth is dying and he is reluctant to bequeath the factory to the immature hands of Leslie and Alsatia. He finally decides to pass on his factory to his three-star general brother (Michael Gambon), reasoning that the general will run the factory efficiently and prod Leslie and Alsatia into adulthood. When Kenneth dies, the general and his army surplus son Patrick (LL Cool J) immediately turn Zevo Toys into an oppressive fascistic environment. The general also stops production of the innocent Zevo products and forces the workers to manufacture violent interactive video games and sadistic war toys. Leslie must rouse himself out of his over-long childhood to preserve the tradition of Zevo Toys. Although Toys did not fare well at the box office, it features a stunning combination of production design by Ferdinando Scarfiotti and art direction by Edward Richardson.


Robin Williams
as Leslie Zevo
Michael Gambon
as Gen. Zevo
Joan Cusack
as Alsatia Zevo
Robin Wright
as Gwen Tyler
LL Cool J
as Patrick Zevo
Donald O'Connor
as Kenneth Zevo
Arthur Malet
as Owen Owens
Jack Warden
as Old Gen. Zevo
Debi Mazar
as Debbie
Wendy Melvoin
as Choir Soloist
Shelly Desai
as Shimera
Blake Clark
as Hogenstern
Roldan Nill Williams
as Factory Worker
Art Metrano
as Guard at Desk
Kate Benton
as Researcher
Steve Park
as Researcher
Julie Hayden
as Researcher
Yeardley Smith
as Researcher
Martha Faulkner
as Mary, the Housekeeper
Alex Bookston
as Minister
Stephen Park
as Researcher
Brooks Mondae
as Guard in General's Office
Julie Haydon
as Researcher
Sam Levinson
as War Room Player
Kevin West
as Technician
Jonathan McGarry
as Stupid Egghead
Jacque Lynn Colton
as Woman in Supermarket
Felton Anderson III
as Child of the World Choir
Jenny Canales
as Child of the World Choir
Amy Arwen Gibbins
as Child of the World Choir
Michaela Herbon
as Child of the World Choir
Nicholas Herbon
as Child of the World Choir
Benjamin Hernandez
as Child of the World Choir
Sarah M. LeFever
as Child of the World Choir
Eric W. Miller
as Child of the World Choir
Jeffrey R. Miller
as Child of the World Choir
Kristy E. Miller
as Child of the World Choir
Tashequa J. Peterson
as Child of the World Choir
Heather Rogers
as Child of the World Choir
Denise J. Saucedo
as Child of the World Choir
Lisette Yvonne Saucedo
as Child of the World Choir
Summer Simaan
as Child of the World Choir
Jimmy Spooner
as Child of the World Choir
Sarah Yee
as Child of the World Choir
Lisel Brunson
as Factory Worker
Delores Finch
as Factory Worker
Lisa Fink
as Factory Worker
Jerry Goldman
as Factory Worker
Gerald McKinnie
as Factory Worker
Dolores E. Sebrasky
as Factory Worker
John Stevens
as Factory Worker
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Critic Reviews for Toys

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (19)

Audience Reviews for Toys

  • Jul 28, 2012
    Getting down to the nitty gritty of the plot this is basically a blend of imagination taken from 'Willy Wonka', 'War Games' and strangely enough a few Charles Band movies I reckon. Maybe even some 'Pinocchio' and classic children's fairytales. All it involves is a surreal toy company run by some surreal people that make charming little toys (the kind of endearing little handmade stocking fillers) which is overtaken by the former owners brother and promptly used to make war toys. Its almost like a fairytale really, the nice old toy maker dies and leaves his company to his war obsessed naughty brother who abuses the gift. I'm sure as you all know by now this film is certainly not short on visual fantasy elements. The creativity in the film is really quite stunning and deserves much credit for design and construction. Some gorgeous sets with unusually fantastic colour schemes and backdrops. The toy factory is made to be as bizarre and wondrous as possible which leads to my comparison with 'Willy Wonka' and his marvellous chocolate factory. The later sequences in the plot remind you of 'War Games' in the fact all the toys end up going to computer controlled war with each other much like Charles Band and his dolls/puppets battling each other (visually). This is where the film gets too ridiculous and truly loses its suspension of disbelief. Until that point its a quirky fun pleasant ride with Williams up to his usual zany antics. Williams and Cusack fit this Dali-ish world perfectly really, that's not to say their performances are exactly great, more annoying to be honest, but could you see anyone else doing this craziness?. Gambon actually does well as the war crazed brother with a stiff upper lip. Drunk with power over the company and his war toys his fall is surprisingly fun to watch, silly but the fact he's a great British actor makes it worth while. LL Cool J...epic miscast. Everything about this film is plain weird right down to the location for the toy factory. Its a little uncomfortable in places really, unsure if that was done on purpose or not. There are nice ideas here and it could of been a really good children's bedtime story type fable but its overly long with not much going on. Its lavish but rather dull, plus its a bit jumbled and gets carried away with the surrealism.
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 03, 2011
    Toys was a colorful, strange, peculiarly done movie. I sort of liked it. It's a seemingly simple story involving a toy company taken over by a weapons manufacturer. It's not really that simple because the family involved with the toy company includes two people who've never known anything other than toy land. Robin Williams' character is naive, but quick to figure things out when evidence of deception is blatant enough. The cast was phenomenal. Robin Williams, Joan Cusack, Robin Wright Penn, LL Cool J and Michael Gambon were all great. It's a fun film that is worth watching. If you don't like the first 15 minutes, change the channel. It won't become any more appealing.
    Jason C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 06, 2010
    I really liked this movie when I first saw it, but seeing it again later, I thought it looked silly. The basic themes and the story are really good, though, and Williams gives a good performance too.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Oct 01, 2009
    I surprised myself by watching this whole thing through. It was so boring that it took me a day and a half to get through it. Whenever it bored me too much, I pressed pause and did something else. I really liked Joan Cusack in this one. She is so adorable. The only good thing about this movie was maybe the visual spectable. There were great costumes and props but there was something sadly lacking in the storyline. Can't quite put my finger on it, though.
    Dannielle A Super Reviewer

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