6.3/10
2,863
34 user 20 critic

Babes in Toyland (1961)

Approved | | Comedy, Family, Fantasy | 14 December 1961 (USA)
Clip
0:59 | Clip

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Tom the Piper's Son is about to marry Mary Quite Contrary. On the eve of their wedding, evil miser Barnaby hires two henchmen to drown Tom and steal Mary's sheep, cared for by Little Bo ... See full summary »

Director:

Jack Donohue

Writers:

Victor Herbert (operetta), Glen MacDonough (operetta) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Babes in Toyland (TV Movie 1986)
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A young girl wakes up in the realm of Toyland, where she teams up with her family and friends to overthrow the evil villain named, Barnaby.

Director: Clive Donner
Stars: Drew Barrymore, Richard Mulligan, Eileen Brennan
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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
Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Virginia Karns
Comedy | Family | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A college professor invents an anti-gravity substance which a corrupt businessman wants for himself.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Nancy Olson, Keenan Wynn
Family | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Midvale College is in fear of losing its college football team. The players have grades lower than the norm. Judge Holmesby, the team's biggest fan, is at a loss for what to do. Enter ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Tommy Kirk, Annette Funicello, Leon Ames
Pollyanna (1960)
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A young girl comes to an embittered town and confronts its attitude with her determination to see the best in life.

Director: David Swift
Stars: Jane Wyman, Hayley Mills, Richard Egan
Comedy | Sci-Fi | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

When Professor Brainard experiments further on Flubber derivatives, he gets in trouble and only his students can help.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Nancy Olson, Keenan Wynn
Family | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A teenage boy is cursed with periodically turning into an sheepdog.

Director: Charles Barton
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Jean Hagen, Tommy Kirk
Comedy | Crime | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After a kidnapped bank teller uses a neighbor's wandering cat to send an SOS, the FBI assigns a cat-allergic agent to the case.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Hayley Mills, Dean Jones, Dorothy Provine
Family | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Merlin Jones, a precocious and intelligent high-school boy, experiments with hypnosis and creates a mind-reading machine. However, his experiments land him in deep trouble with the law.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Tommy Kirk, Annette Funicello, Leon Ames
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Thomasina the cat brings a family together, through her mysterious death and reappearance.

Director: Don Chaffey
Stars: Patrick McGoohan, Susan Hampshire, Laurence Naismith
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 19th century England, young Mary Grant and her brother, Robert, embark on a dangerous quest to find their missing father, a sea captain who vanished somewhere along the Chilean coast.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Hayley Mills, Maurice Chevalier, George Sanders
Comedy | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A happy and unbelievably lucky young Irish immigrant, John Lawless, lands a job as the butler of an unconventional millionaire, Biddle. His daughter, Cordelia Drexel Biddle, tires of the ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Tokar
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Tommy Steele, Greer Garson
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ray Bolger ... Barnaby
Tommy Sands ... Tom Piper
Annette Funicello ... Mary Contrary (as Annette)
Ed Wynn ... Toymaker
Tommy Kirk ... Grumio
Kevin Corcoran ... Boy Blue
Henry Calvin Henry Calvin ... Gonzorgo
Gene Sheldon Gene Sheldon ... Roderigo
Mary McCarty ... Mother Goose
Ann Jillian ... Bo Peep
Brian Corcoran Brian Corcoran ... Willie Winkie
Edit

Storyline

Tom the Piper's Son is about to marry Mary Quite Contrary. On the eve of their wedding, evil miser Barnaby hires two henchmen to drown Tom and steal Mary's sheep, cared for by Little Bo Peep, thus depriving Mary and the children she lives with of their livelihood, forcing her to marry Barnaby. The sheep are stolen, but Gonzorgo and Roderigo, Barnaby's henchmen, double-cross him by selling Tom to a band of gypsies instead, leaving Tom with the opportunity to escape and make his way with Mary, Bo-Peep, and other Mother Goose characters to Toyland. Written by Albert Sanchez Moreno <a.moreno@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's Bright! It's Wonderful! A Musical Holiday of Fun for Everyone! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 December 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Carnaval en el bosque See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$10,218,316
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Walt Disney Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This Walt Disney classic has two Original Mouseketeers appearing in the cast. Mouseketeer Annette Funicello and (uncredited) Mouseketeer Eileen Diamond. See more »

Goofs

When Gonzorgo and Rodrigo are trying to hide from Barnaby after he discovers they sold Tom to the gypsies, he throws both of them over a hedge and on the ground. When they fall on the grass, it's obvious that it's artificial turf, because it moves with them. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sylvester: Hello, everybody. My name is Sylvester, Sylvester J. Goose. My friends call me Syl, or sometimes silly.
[chuckles]
Sylvester: At this time, it is with unmitigated pleasure...
Mother Goose: [behind curtain] Sylvester, talk faster.
Sylvester: "Talk faster"? You're lucky to find a goose who can talk at all! As I was saying, it is my pleasure to present your hostess for this occasion, weighing one hundred and eighty nine pounds...
Mother Goose: Sylvester!
Sylvester: Hmph! I present the one and only Mother Goose.
[Mother Goose enters]
Mother Goose: Thank you, ...
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

Floretta
Music by Victor Herbert
Music adapted by George Bruns
New Lyrics by Mel Leven
Sung by Tommy Sands and chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Fine if you take your cognac with water...

I used to think 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' was the very worst experience a parent could inflict on a child. I was wrong. There is also this Disney atrocity to contend with.

When Victor Herbert produced his 'Babes in Toyland' on Broadway in 1903, it followed on the steps of the preceding stage extravaganza, 'The Wizard of Oz', which it outdid in magnificence, costliness (its shipwreck scene outdid 'The Wizard's cyclone, its Toyland outdid the other's Emerald City, etc.), imagination and original melodies. It was eventually followed by another Victor Herbert Christmas spectacle, 'Little Nemo in Slumberland' (1908), which surpassed them all in spectacular stage effects, number of participants and box office. This was a magic time when sentimental Irish Catholic New-Yorkers genuinely believed that when they went to heaven, they would hear Victor Herbert's tunes sung by angel choirs until the end of time.

Unfortunately, all of Herbert's operettas would have been totally forgotten today if it hadn't been for the awful Hollywood Laurel and Hardy vehicle of the thirties ("Babes in Toyland", 1934, a.k.a. "Laurel and Hardy in Toyland", "March of the Wooden Soldiers", "Revenge Is Sweet" and "Wooden Soldiers"), which preserved its spirit of pantomime and most of its storyline but sacrificed its music by relegating the whole score (except for five songs) to a very scratchy and noisy background on the soundtrack.

Then came Disney. This film (available on DVD) is nothing more than an elaborate episode of the Mickey Mouse Club. The story has been changed around for no reason: the only remaining common element through all the different versions is that there is a villain in Mother Goose Land named Barnaby Barnacle, who wears a tall black top hat and a long moustache, has two funny acolytes in crime and is out to prevent a happy ending for the other younger cast members. The original songs have been simplified, modernized, 'disneyfied', 'cutified', 'Lawrence-Welked' and bowdlerized almost out of existence, probably because they would have been considered too 'difficult' for the intended nose-picking kiddie audience. This is very ironic since it contributed to 'Babes' downfall at the box office and served as a lesson to Disney who did everything in his power, subsequently, with 'Mary Poppins' to provide a great score, first-class singers, great orchestration, and a nostalgic feel closer to traditional turn-of-the century entertainments.

The only reason I am not harsher on Disney's story treatment is that it was followed in 1986 by an even worse live action treacly TV version and in 1997 by the definitely dismal animated one (MGM).

'I Can't Do the Sum', whose main musical idea was that a group of schoolchildren, perplexed by a mathematical problem verging on the absurd, would punctuate their singing by scratching their chalk rhythmically on their chalkboards is now without chalkboard sounds - and logic. The forest lullaby is without its mystery and comfort. The title song, the very inspiring 'Toyland', is not even given a proper (choral) rendition but is instead screeched by a group of untalented children walking through the forest as if on their way to the washrooms of an amusement park to regurgitate their candy floss.

Even 'The March of the Wooden Soldiers' (which has managed to survive on its own as a beloved orchestral Christmas favourite in America and a Boston Pops staple) is not even given the dignity of a proper Christian burial but truncated and drowned under a cacophony of sound effects and pie-in-the-face-type slapstick.

There is nothing to salvage this mess, not even the wholehearted effort of its cast, with a special tip of the hat to Tommy Sands in a Gypsy scene (in drag) somewhat reminiscent of Stanley Donen's 'The Pirate' (1948).

The only way to hear Victor Herbert's original score today - along with Glen MacDonough's original lyrics - is to hunt for a 2002 Universal CD reprising a 1944 mono studio recording of 11 of the original numbers (still heavily truncated) and the vinyl Readers' Digest 'Treasury of Operettas' 9-LP boxset, which contains 8 numbers, in very impressive 'Cyclophonic' stereo. Conductor Keith Brion also came out with a CD of extensive dreamy orchestral extracts from this operetta (including ballets and scene changes and an extended Overture). There doesn't seem to exist a recording of the entire score which comprises, apparently, dozens of different numbers.


7 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 34 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed