The expressive faces of children are cut into shots of toys in a shop window, the toys are animated, one by one, first the dolls and animals, then the toys of war. A bloody battle results. A powerful portrayal of the contrasts of innocence and war, fantasy and reality. (video animation/8minutes)
When the kids in the film see the toy soldiers in the display, the film presents them as a glamourous bunch with light music highlight how cool they are. However, when these toys come to life, the music suddenly stops and the whole atmosphere becomes foreboding as these soldiers go through the motions of their roles.
When the fighting erupts, the violence displayed is horrific as it is run with rapid cuts and stark lighting. Nothing is untouched, there are scenes of explosions, hurled bodies, death spasms, soldiers being bayoneted and incessant gunfire. All of it is contributing to a terrifying mess of imagery and sound that is all carefully calculated to deglamorize war.
All of this culminates with the sequence of one surviving soldier inspecting the area with all its sickening plastic carnage that seems so authentic in an abstract manner. Then the soldier is discovered and is hit with a flame throwing with a death scream. You will be chilled to the bone, even if they are dolls.
To this day, I cannot see 12" inch figures without those lingering images, which is the precise point of the filmmakers who intended to show what the real purpose of soldiers and war.
Year:1966 duration: 8 min Director: Grant Munro Producer: Grant Munro