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Babes in Toyland (1934)

Passed | | Comedy, Family, Fantasy | 14 December 1934 (USA)
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Opposing the evil Barnaby, Ollie Dee and Stanley Dum try and fail to pay-off Mother Peep's mortgage and mislead his attempts to marry Little Bo. Enraged, Barnaby's boogeymen are set on Toyland.

Directors:

Gus Meins, Charley Rogers (as Charles Rogers)

Writers:

Frank Butler (screen play), Nick Grinde (screen play)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Virginia Karns Virginia Karns ... Mother Goose
Charlotte Henry ... Bo-Peep
Felix Knight Felix Knight ... Tom-Tom
Florence Roberts ... Widow Peep
Henry Brandon ... Barnaby (as Henry Kleinbach)
Stan Laurel ... Stannie Dum
Oliver Hardy ... Ollie Dee
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Storyline

Ollie Dee and Stanley Dum try to borrow money from their employer, the toymaker, to pay off the mortgage on Mother Peep's shoe and keep it and Little Bo Peep from the clutches of the evil Barnaby. When that fails, they trick Barnaby into marrying Stanley Dum instead of Bo Peep. Enraged, Barnaby unleashes the bogeymen from their caverns to destroy Toyland. Written by Paul Penna <tterrace@wco.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

1 and 1/2 hours of laughter!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 December 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

March of the Wooden Soldiers See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release) (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hal Roach signed Henry Brandon to play Barnaby after seeing him play the evil old Lawyer Cribbs in the long-running Los Angeles stage melodrama "The Drunkard". Roach wasn't aware that Brandon was only twenty-one years old at the time, and demanded to know where the old man was when Brandon appeared at his office. Heavy makeup made Brandon credible as the old Barnaby, a role he repeated in the Our Gang short Our Gang Follies of 1938 (1937). See more »

Goofs

The wooden soldier, brought out as a demonstration model by Stan and Ollie, blinks in one shot. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Chief of Police: Come, come, children. On your way to school.
See more »

Crazy Credits

(main title of re-release version) March of the Wooden Soldiers formerly Babes in Toyland See more »


Soundtracks

Never Mind, Bo Peep
(1903) (uncredited)
Music by Victor Herbert
Lyrics by Glen MacDonough
Sung by Felix Knight, Johnny Downs, Jean Darling, Virginia Karns, Charlotte Henry and Chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bring on the Wooden Soldiers!
9 December 2013 | by DJ ZurnSee all my reviews

There are many films based on Victor Herbert's famous operetta, Babes in Toyland. There's the 1961 Disney film with Ray Bolger, there's the 1997 animated film, there's the 1980s TV film with Drew Barrymore, but the one I'm going to look at today is the 1934 Hal Roach Studios film starring the legendary comedy duo, Laurel and Hardy. I've I had to spill the truth, I'd say that this is my third favorite film of all time. It's up there with The Wizard of Oz and in my opinion, it should get a lot more recognition. For 1934, it's a wonder what they were able to accomplish with the hour and a half long film, not just with the special and practical effects, but with the pure spectacle and enchantment. This is a magical film, a film that grabs me and sucks me into it's realm every time I set eyes to it. It's got spectacular songs, brilliant set designs, a monkey in a Mickey Mouse costume and wondrous stop motion effects that rival that of King Kong. If I were to recommend it, I'd say see it in color, which is usually the version that airs on television anyway. The color, in my opinion, makes everything pop more and makes the fantasy land of Toyland seem more enchanted, more storybook like. It's like you are right there, experiencing the film's events with Stannie Dumb and Ollie Dee and routing for the Wooden Soldiers as they kick Bogeyman rump.

Laurel and Hardy are at their finest in this film and it's obvious this dim witted duo were one of the many inspirations for Star Wars' R2-D2 and C-3P0. They're always getting into trouble, getting dunked in a pool of water and getting fired from their job after a wooden soldier reigns havoc in the toy factory. Felix Knight, who portrays Tom-Tom Piper is a fantastic singer and Henry Brandon, who was just 21 years old at the time pulls off a menacing and wicked Silas Barnaby. And those Bogeyman, hoggish and haggard monstrosities are the most terrifying adversaries ever put to film. When I was a kid, these ghoulish, grotesque abominations were one of the elements of this film that made my jaw drop to the floor. I ran to the closet and grabbed my plush stuffed bunny rabbit and hoped the Bogeymen would go away.

Luckily, the Wooden Soldiers arrive to take out the villainous creatures and Barnaby as well. The Wooden Soldier March makes me feel brave and triumphant, like I can take on any peril and come out on top. These soldiers kick the living tar out of the Bogeymen and in one scene, a wooden soldier looses his head as he chases a Bogeyman into a house. In the very end, Barnaby and the Bogeymen are banished, everybody cheers and Ollie Dee gets a butt full of sharp darts launched from a cannon. What a rather macabre ending to an otherwise marvelous and magical motion picture. This is the pinnacle Thanksgiving movie for me and while there are many versions of the operetta in existence, this will always be the definitive version for me. Laurel and Hardy are grand, the look of the film is grand and this film just screams childhood. It takes me back to the carefree, innocent days of youth.

Bring on the Wooden Soldiers!


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