The first time I saw Toys, I was too young to understand any of it. I was just distracted by all the funny toys and the bright colours. Hell, I didn't even know who that 'funny man' was.
Years later I came across the DVD for this movie and bought it right away. Upon watching the movie again, after such a long time, it became quite clear that even though it looks like a movie for children, it's really not that simple.
The story of a military man taking over the company and utilizing it for his own purposes (Training children with video games and building aggressive toys) rather than using the toy company for what it was meant to do is basically a metaphor that's used in countless other movies, namely 'War is bad'. But even with it's cheesy message it gets the point across.
The revolution of the dinky, fumbling wind-up toys is adorable to say the least. It's the traditional overcoming of the underdog, portrayed by a couple of pleasantly disturbed people and some toys, but it never stops entertaining.
Pleasantly disturbed is exactly the term to describe Robin Williams, which is why he exceeds in his role as kooky toy builder Zevo. He plays his part with the childish glee we expect from him and interacts with the bright surroundings as if he has always lived there.
This is of course in perfect contrast with the role of Lt. Zevo, played by Michael Gambon, who is the ultimate soldier and wishes nothing but death and destruction by any means necessary.
A special mention has to go to Joan Cusack, who plays the mildly retarded sister, Alsatia Zevo. Although she is mostly known for parts where she plays a high-strung persona (School of Rock, for instance), she really takes it to another level in Toys by playing a balls-out crazy person.
All in all it may not be the best move ever made, but it's adorable and a lot of fun to watch if you're a fan of Robin Williams's older work or if you just like toys battling it out amongst each other. Sure, you can watch Small Soldiers for that, but why settle for special effects when you can get real tin toys?