This stop-motion animation takes a dark look into the war toys often given to children at Christmas time. Starting off as harmless objects, the toys quickly take on the gestures of real soldiers, mimicking the actions and penalties of a real war. This critical commentary on war and glamorized violence creates a real and frightening battle.
When Grant Munro made this brilliantly animated film, there was heated societal debate about war toys and their effect on children. When one looks at the film now, one can see its current relevance to a discussion about video games. We filmmakers always think our films are totally clear. But, in fact, viewers bring their own beliefs and history to the films they watch. Imagine Grant Munro’s dismay when he received the following letter: “I saw your film entitled ‘Toys’ on Channel 10, December 28, 1971. Where did you get those marvelous war toys? My children are now so disappointed in their Christmas presents. The gifts they received can’t compete with the great creations you employed. Please advise me of where you purchased these ingenious war toys. Birthdays are coming and I do want to get some.”Donald McWilliams
From the playlist: Norman McLaren: Hands-on Animation