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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Satire > Candy > Consumerism > Giants & Toys (Fantoma)

Giants & Toys (1958)


Picture: C     Audio: C     Extras: C     Film: B+



If it’s one thing that society appreciates, it’s a beautiful person.  What society appreciates more is a beautiful person that has aspirations, goals, a sense of humor, and common interests.  Yasuzo Masumura’s Giants and Toys, as strange and candy coated as it is, hits this mark right on the nose as it is the story of the right girl being found to be a spokeswoman for a candy company that lands her the duty of being the Katie Holmes of the week.  Everybody wants to know about her – what she eats, who she dates, who she sleeps with, but never really on what she sells.  At one point of the film, one of the executives for the caramel company stands up in the middle of a meeting and says that he’s not interested in getting famous people as spokespersons because the public is looking more towards the famous person than the product he or she is selling.  That’s a bold statement and a good point. When you see Catherine Zeta Jones on TV selling a cell phone, do you want to buy the phone?  Or see Zorro swing down and give her a kiss?


The story is simple enough.  A caramel candy company finds itself in a bit of a mess when their sales are dropping – they need a plan.  At first, they list off every reason you could think of.  Giving away animals, having contests, then they realize what they need to somebody pretty to sell their products.  They go on a search and find a dirt poor cute little girl who instantly becomes the next thing.  She’s on the news, in magazines, on the radio – everyone is talking about her.  Soon, the lives of the executives start to change when more money and popularity are coming their way.  It’s the Simone of the 1950s but without an aging Al Pacino and well…. good.


Giants and Toys is more intelligent than it lets on to be.  It is packaged like some cheesy ridiculous film with girls wearing large glass bubbles on their heads and sporting ridiculous outfits and laser guns.  I didn’t know what to expect when I got this film.  The story of a low class girl getting overnight fame was not what I was expecting.  The film is a pleasant surprise.  It’s funny, witty, shot pretty well, and that girl is…. well… pretty lovable.  I’d buy her caramel candies.


The sound and video on this disc is average.  The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 aspect ratio on this disc is a bit above average, but not enough to rate it higher and the colors aren’t as vibrant as they should be.  They are more muted and show that the film print used here has suffered from aging.  There is a decent Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono track that is just shows it age often.


The extras on this disc are a bit lingering as well – original theatrical trailer, Yasuzo Masumura Biography and Filmography, and a photo and still gallery.  In short, Giants and Toys is a fun film but this disc is just average over and over again.  Perhaps a better edition will be released at a later time.  Check it out if you enjoy fun social commentaries, the film is more intelligent then it leads on to be and makes some interesting points throughout.



-   Jamie Lockhart


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