Small Soldiers (lost deleted scenes from action comedy film; 1998)
Small Soldiers is an action comedy film released on July 10th, 1998, by director Joe Dante, who is best known for directing Gremlins. The plot concerns prototype figures from a 'military vs aliens'-themed toyline who have accidentally gained sentience and take their fight to the human world.
Originally, the film was designed as an R-rated dark satire, in keeping with Dante's signature approach. At the last minute the producers determined it had more appeal as a PG-13 action-comedy. As a result many scenes were cut from the film in a (not-entirely-successful) effort to switch focus.
As Dante recalled it:
"I was told to make an edgy picture for teenagers, but when the sponsor tie-ins came in the new mandate was to soften it up as a kiddie movie. Too late, as it turned out, and there are elements of both approaches in there. Just before release, it was purged of a lot of action and explosions."
While a few deleted scenes have since been released as DVD extras, the most violent ones remain lost save for brief glimpses in very early trailers and TV spots.
These include a shot of Commando Butch Meathook causing the Abernathy house to explode, seen in several trailers; the ruins of the house can still be seen in the background of the finished film near the end, as Stuart Abernathy complains to Gil Mars. Also fully lost is a scene of the Commandos scaling human legs with grappling hooks.
Reference[edit | edit source]
- The Den of Geek interview with Joe Dante that mentions Small Soldiers' development. Retrieved 28 Feb '20