IMDb > Babes in Toyland (1986) (TV) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
Babes in Toyland
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Reviews & Ratings for
Babes in Toyland (TV) More at IMDbPro »

Write review
Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Page 1 of 5:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [Next]
Index 43 reviews in total 

28 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Endearing and Fun

9/10
Author: lsprin2 from United States
10 May 2006

I'm awfully surprised that this movie has received such low ratings! I never saw the original "Babes in Toyland," so I can't say one way or the other whether this film is guilty of desecrating some legacy, as suggested by other comments. I first saw the movie when I was about 4 years old, and I loved every minute of it. I thought that Troller was horrifically frightening, that Barnaby was the very embodiment of evil, and that Keanu Reeves was the most handsome and heroic protagonist in television history. I was literally on the edge of my brightly-colored plastic seat as Jack Nimble Jr. was hauled to jail by the giant teddy bear police, and was thoroughly emotionally invested in Drew Barrymore's journey to believe in Santa and Christmas and whatever. Fifteen years later, I still love the movie! Yes, it's ridiculously campy and poorly acted, but that's what makes "Babes in Toyland" so enjoyable. It isn't supposed to be serious, and it wasn't created to be some enduring theatrical masterpiece. It's a made-for-TV movie featuring the same guy who starred in the "Bill and Ted" films. I got the video in a McDonald's Happy Meal. What did you expect? "Babes in Toyland" still brings back fond memories, mostly because I remember the strong emotions that the movie evoked for me as a little girl. It makes the movie even more hilarious to watch now. If you want to see a cinematic work of art, why are you watching a low-budget TV movie from 1986? If you want a silly, fun, and entertaining holiday movie, by all means, watch on.

Was the above review useful to you?

5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Original vs the VHS/DVD's

7/10
Author: angecardoza from United States
9 November 2010

I have always loved this movie however why did they decide to take a made for TV movie and edit it? The original had so many songs in it and I loved those. Most of the time you edit to make it into time frame on TV...not cut to put on video after been on TV...

Does anyone else remember the original, the song between Jack and Mary or Lisa singing before going in to the Forrest?

I think this needs to be re-released in its original form!

We bought the VHS a while back and saw the edits, I decided to watch on Netflix online and there has been other times when it just seems that something is missing, a skip or something so you know there is stuff missing.

Was the above review useful to you?

7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Mary Contrary, you don't love this man

7/10
Author: Rainbow2002 from Montgomery, Alabama
13 June 2002

Drew Barrymore gives a bodacious performance in Babes In Toyland. As also do Jill Schoelen, Keanu Reeves, and Pat Morita. Richard Mulligan is convincing as Barnabie and pulls it off terrific. The good/evil chemistry between him and Drew will leave the viewer in awe. This amazing fantasy movie has it all. Just ignore the pathetic critics and enjoy. 7 out of 10.

Was the above review useful to you?

9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Enjoyable in its context as a TV Christmas movie!

8/10
Author: Stella_Maris from United States
14 December 2005

First off, this is a TV Christmas movie. Most of us realize that at Christmas, tons of silly TV movies for the season come out. So, if you watch it with higher expectations, you probably would be disappointed. Having said that, if you like to watch fun, silly Christmas movies, then there's a better chance that this is a movie for you! There's some romance, some conflict, singing, and a lot of toys! This makes it a good choice to watch with the family...this is one of our favorite ridiculous Christmas movies to watch. So, to anyone else out there whose family enjoys watching the silly Christmas movies, consider checking this one out!

Was the above review useful to you?

20 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Truly pathetic

1/10
Author: Albert Sanchez Moreno from United States
24 July 1999

This third film version of Victor Herbert's beloved operetta is an illuminating example of the lengths TV executives will go to in manhandling a beloved work, just for the sake of manufacturing "family entertainment", and with no regard at all for the integrity of the work. To be fair,none of the three film versions have followed the 1903 operetta as closely as, say, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical films have followed their stage originals, and the original Glen MacDonough lyrics, full of "thee"s and "thou"s, are outdated even by the standards of the 1940's. But even in Laurel and Hardy's old version, one could still see respect for the material.Laurel and Hardy, of course, were hilariously allowed to do whatever they wanted, but in that version, five of the Victor Herbert songs, with their original lyrics, were kept in, and performed beautifully, and the fairy-tale atmosphere was magnificently retained. Disney's 1961 version rewrote all the lyrics and changed some of the tempos in the songs (including, most sacrilegously, "Toyland", changed from a slow ballad to a happy, upbeat march). However, it still featured a convincing enough fantasy atmosphere,and what were then state-of-the art effects for the toy soldiers (set to a nearly full-length and beautifully played "March of the Toys"), as well as more of Herbert's music than was included in the L&H version, so it was good enough.

But this third version is truly, truly amazing in its awfulness. It has no air of fantasy or magic whatsoever. It looks as if it had been filmed in a cheap theme park for very young children, rather than in a dazzling fantasy setting. The toy soldiers are simply men in costumes,not digitally animated,or stop-motion animated (as was done in the previous two versions). The acting is on the level of a kiddie school play, with Drew Barrymore at her most syrupy sweet. The Toyland story has been incongruously combined with a modern 1986 setting and turned into a dream (they don't even try to follow the original 1903 plot,but that really doesn't matter---the 1903 story was lousy to begin with).

But worst of all of the decisions, the one which belongs in the Hall of Infamy, is the decision to retain only the two best-known songs from the original score ("Toyland",and "March of the Toys") and replace them with new songs by Leslie Bricusse! This is the man who murdered the 1967 "Doctor Dolittle" and the 1969 "Goodbye,Mr. Chips" by providing them with perhaps the two worst scores written for a 1960's film musical. His songs (NOT the ones he wrote with his former partner,the late Anthony Newley) have become synonymous with bad movie musicals. The results in this film are truly excruciating-especially in comparison with the Victor Herbert-Glen MacDonough original score.

See this only if you're either curious or a movie-musical masochist.

Was the above review useful to you?

13 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

WHAT?!?! Bad movie this SO NOT is!

9/10
Author: Binkyboo13 from United States
7 November 2005

I don't know how people can say that this is a terrible movie. Although I cannot say this is a the greatest movie, it's still a fun, sweet, Christmas family movie for all. Sure it's cheezy and a little bit wizard of oz-ish, but who care. It's a low budget made for TV movie, so you shouldn't be expecting the best sets and special effects. Can't a movie just be fun anymore. Do we always have to think about it too much. Just watch the movie and enjoy the Christmas togetherness and fun nursery rhymes from your childhood. Drew Barrymore, Keanu Reeves, and Pat Morita, as well as the rest of the cast, do a great job. I feel like going to CINCINNATI now. Watch this movie! I dare you.

Was the above review useful to you?

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

It has its moments...

4/10
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
1 March 2014

This version of Babes in Toyland is not quite as bad as it has been cited to be, but it is not really a good film(personal opinion of course, admittedly I did actually like it somewhat as a child) and it is easy to see why it was panned. Babes in Toyland is not without its moments. March of the Toys is actually a good song and deserved a better film or a better version of Babes in Toyland, the song is also nicely staged if not as memorably and inventively as in the Disney film(a decent film if one of the lesser Disney live-action musicals). The incidental score is appropriately whimsical too. Richard Mulligan is a lot of fun as the villain Barnaby, he has great comic timing(but it has been put to better use elsewhere) and he is a convincing threat too. Pat Morita is warm and kindly as the toymaker, Gooey Gress is adorable and the one-eyed bird is well done and frightening. The songs on the whole are not great with some very gooey lyrics, most of them are forgettable and the Cincinnatti song is like nails on a blackboard. Most of the production values look as though they've been done on the cheap too, that's even for a television film, the sets on the most part are garish and of theme park or re-used quality. The costumes are outrageous and like stuffed animals, with Barnaby's black feathery costume making him look like a giant crow. The special effects were clever in the Disney film, here they were sub-par especially the race cars.

The acting apart from Mulligan and Morita doesn't work. Eileen Brennan does a decent job with what she has, the problem is that she doesn't have much to do, so no matter how much she puts into it it wasn't worth the bother if the film wasn't going to use her talents well. Drew Barrymore, a promising child actress and has done a lot of great stuff(Grey Gardens and Ever After: A Cinderella Story), has some moments of cute charm but others where she was too syrupy, so it was more an uneven performance than a bad one. Keanu Reeves in an early role is handsome but very wooden with line delivery that is suggestive of him reading from a cue card. The script is uninspired, and the story- admittedly one of the weaker points of the Disney film and the operetta- has very little charm or wonder, partly because of the mix of real life and Toyland(and the whole only a dream premise), themes that seem rather mean-spirited for a fantasy/holiday film and also the unimaginatively staged musical numbers. It also comes across as far too stagy in a theatrical way, is at times ploddingly paced and can be overly cutesy and corny. Clive Donner's direction throughout is unimaginative and bland, it's sad to see a director who did such a great job with one of the best versions of A Christmas Carol two years previously directs with seemingly little interest or enthusiasm. Babes in Toyland has its moments(one really good song and two good performances especially) and has some curiosity value for Barrymore and Reeves early in their careers but overall it doesn't have a whole lot going for it. Stick with the Laurel/Hardy and Disney films instead. 4/10 Bethany Cox

Was the above review useful to you?

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

What a mess!

Author: DesertHedgehog from USA
25 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm reviewing this movie based on its own merits. I'm not comparing it to any older productions.

The sets are hideous. Imagine the most boring and spartan buildings you can picture painted various shades of pink and purple, and you've got Toyland. Even the giant shoe the old woman used to live in manages to be boring.

The characters (most of whom are flat and dull) seem to spend most of their time running around and getting nothing of value done. For example, Jack gets thrown into jail, gets broken out of jail, and promptly gets himself trapped by the villain. Ample screen time is spent showing the characters running around town in kiddie cars instead of advancing the plot.

The movie hands out promises like it's Christmas and breaks every one of them. For example, George Porgie says that Barnaby occasionally rolls his bowling-ball-shaped house into town. You'd expect that to be foreshadowing for the film's climax, right? Nope, it never happens. Lisa attempts to play matchmaker between Barnaby and Mrs. Hubbard, something you'd expect to pay off SOMEHOW by the end of the film. It doesn't, unless you count a cheap joke to be a payoff. The Dark Forest is mentioned several times, leading you to think the characters might end up having to go into it, but in fact, they never leave town. The Toymaker hints that Barnaby could be redeemed... but in the end, he just gets banished to the forest.

A particularly ridiculous aspect was how Lisa, who frequently complains that she's "not a child," must learn to use her imagination again and "believe." However, up until the end of the film there is no real indication that Lisa isn't imaginative; whenever she insists that she's no longer a child she is clearly doing so because she does not want to be perceived as incompetent or incapable based on the fact that she's 11. Bucking against ageism and refusing to use one's imagination are not the same thing, which this film unfortunately implies.

As far as charming holiday specials go, this movie is not one of them.

Was the above review useful to you?

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

So So Bad it is good...

7/10
Author: av-35 from United States
31 December 2006

I cannot believe I have never heard or seen this movie. I was getting married in 1986 and I guess this just passed me by! Tonight for the first time, I am watching this movie on TV with my nine year old. He loves it! I on the other hand am feigning interest while I'm amazed and entertained by the bad acting, tacky costumes cheap wooden toys and really bad sets!

My 9 year old LOVES the whole thing. The weird little beat up cars and leftover stuff they must of used from a closed amusement park. This looks like a episode of Puff N Stuff on a lower budget. I can certainly see how all the people who truly love this movie must of loved it when it first came out. Lets just say, if I didn't have a 9 year old, I would of clicked right by. :)

Was the above review useful to you?

6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

God Awful

3/10
Author: leasley from Texas, USA
21 December 2003

I had the displeasure of watching this movie(becasue nothing else was on tv,on a Saturday) for the first time just days before Christmas last year.I couldn't believe how lame it was.Even for a children's movie.You know its bad when even kids watching the movie with you comment on how stupid it is.Was this suppose to be a comedy?The jokes kept coming from the mouths of viewers in my living room all thru out the viewing.

Was the above review useful to you?


Page 1 of 5:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [Next]

Add another review


Related Links

Plot summary Ratings Awards
External reviews Parents Guide Plot keywords
Main details Your user reviews Your vote history