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Babes in the Woods (1932)

Two Dutch children stumble on a clearing in the woods where gnomes are going about their business. The gnomes are friendly to the children. A witch comes and takes them away on her broom to... See full summary »

Director:

Burt Gillett (uncredited)
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Pinto Colvig ... Gnomes / Various (voice) (uncredited)
Lucille La Verne ... Witch (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

Two Dutch children stumble on a clearing in the woods where gnomes are going about their business. The gnomes are friendly to the children. A witch comes and takes them away on her broom to her gingerbread house, where she turns nasty on them, turning the boy into a spider, her yowling cat to stone, and tries to turn the girl into a rat when a gnome's arrow stops her. While the gnomes are fighting the witch, Hansel and Gretl free the other children who have been imprisoned and transformed by the witch. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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Plot Keywords:

1930s | gnome | witch | spider | rat | See All (48) »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First Silly Symphony to be released in color. See more »

Goofs

When the witch puts the girl in the trap door, the handle to open it is on the right side. But when the boy-turned-spider opens the door to free the girl, the handle is now on the left side. See more »

Connections

Version of Hansel and Gretel (1933) See more »

User Reviews

 
Babes in the Woods(1932) Review
14 November 2019 | by zebunkerSee all my reviews

One of the hallmarks of children's fairy tales is a wicked witch taking children, punishing them and society for moral and ethical issues. They can be looked at deeply or superficially, that's what makes a good fairy-tale. One thing modern kids stories starting in the 1990's has done is gutted the kids story genre into something so politically correct, tame and devoid of life that its a wonder society has not collapsed thus far.

What makes a great kids story is the same as what makes a great story for adults. The threat or danger needs to be there, your emotions go up and down. You win sometimes and you lose other-times, such as life. This short somehow displays that sentiment while still being charming, enduring and entertaining. The kids are left to their own devices to get passed the witch. The story is taken from a few other similar fairy-tales of which get really dark. This one still manages to be scary, but not gory or gruesome, which may affect the deeper meaning kids get from it. It would be interesting to hear what kids and parents thought of this film when it was released in the 1930's.

This is a fun short, that has a lot going on. The music is nice and the songs, but you suffer some listening to the scratchy vocals and often can't hear as sharp as you'd like. If only they could restore audio quality as they do with picture quality. This is an enjoyable short cartoon that's re-watchable, a nice edition to you Halloween lineup.

Best Scene: Turning Kids Into Animals

The end of the film the evil witch turns the boy into a spider and tries to turn the girl into a rat. The action picks up, the elves attack, there is excitement and danger at every turn ending in a thrilling conclusion.

Worst Scene: Opening Scene

The short opens by showing the old witch tree, essentially ruining the end of the film. The kids get lost in the woods somehow, there is a song playing but its almost too hard to hear the words the singer is telling us. I re-watched this segment with captions to see what she was singing.

Best Actor: The Witch

The witch steals the show, she is the only one that has voice lines. The elves make some noises and the kids, as far as I could remember dont say anything. Maybe because they are too in shock the whole time at what they are going through. The witch plays the classic witch style, kidnapping kids, being evil. Great fun.

Worst Actor: Too Many Elves

The kids find a village full of elves that all look the same, almost as if they are one character rather than individual people. The one that helps rescue the kids is nameless. It would've been nice to single out a few elves when the kids first come into town.

Improvements: The elves in the city all look and act the same, as if they are one being or clones. I would like to have seen the tone of the backgrounds get darker as the witch gets more and more evil. We have chase scenes where she's being pelted with harmless looking arrows for some reason and its a bright and colorful day. Color toning would go along way to make the witch seem darker and more evil without adding anything else. It would've been nice to give the two kids names and voices to better grab the audience into caring for them. The witch has a voice, so in some ways you want to cheer for her.

Hits

  • Great details in each scene.
  • Scary and exciting moments.
  • Nice pacing and ending.


Misses
  • Hard to hear some of the dialogue.
  • Two main kid characters look to simple in design.
  • Witches location too bright and colorful.


Final Grade: B


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 November 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Abenteuer im Zauberland See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Cinephone

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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