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.
by Paul Brenner synopsis