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How the Toys Saved Christmas (1996)

La freccia azzurra (original title)
When Santa's helper Granny Rose falls ill and must take off a Christmas Eve, she recruits Mr. Grimm to help deliver all the toys. What no one but the toys knows is that Mr. Grimm plans to ... See full summary »


Enzo D'Alò

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dario Fo ... Scarafoni (voice)
Mary Tyler Moore ... Granny Rose (voice)
Lella Costa Lella Costa ... Befana (voice)
Tony Randall ... Mr. Grimm (voice)
Vittorio Amandola ... Capitano Mezza Barba (voice)
Neil Shee Neil Shee ... Santa (voice)
Pino Ammendola Pino Ammendola ... Pastello Blu / Pastello Verde (voice)
Walter Massey Walter Massey ... Mr. Tinker (voice)
Vittorio Battarra Vittorio Battarra ... Capostazione (voice)
Michael Caloz Michael Caloz ... Christopher (voice)
Sonja Ball Sonja Ball ... Jingles (voice)
Monica Bertolotti Monica Bertolotti ... Spicciola (voice)
Rodolfo Bianchi Rodolfo Bianchi ... Generale (voice)
Richard M Dumont ... Conductor / Skipper (voice)
Fabio Boccanera Fabio Boccanera ... Lesto (voice)


When Santa's helper Granny Rose falls ill and must take off a Christmas Eve, she recruits Mr. Grimm to help deliver all the toys. What no one but the toys knows is that Mr. Grimm plans to auction off the toys to the highest bidder! His plan means that the toys won't make it to the children who are their destinies. The toys decide to deliver themselves, and the story follows them as they struggle to avoid the heartless Mr. Grimm and to find their true homes. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »



Italian | English

Release Date:

5 December 1996 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

How the Toys Saved Christmas See more »

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Did You Know?


In 1997, the film was imported to the U.S. and released direct-to-video by Buena Vista Home Video, under the title "How the Toys Saved Christmas" (although, as shown in the previews, originally going to be titled "The Toys Who Saved Christmas"). The film featured Mary Tyler Moore as the voice for the Befana, who was named "Granny Rose", Tony Randall as Scarafoni (whose name suggest "scarafaggio" that means beetle), who was named "Mr. Grimm", and Michael Caloz as Francesco, who was named "Christopher Winter". The film also had some scenes from the original Italian release deleted or placed before other scenes, along with some music scores taken ou See more »


[Last lines before the ending song]
Santa: [Narrates] Very special, indeed! And they went on to bring happiness to children for years to come! Ho, ho, ho, ho!
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User Reviews

Brilliantly Charming European Cartoon
5 December 2003 | by richard.fuller1See all my reviews

Obviously I have seen the English dubbed version of this, or I should say the American dubbed version. All the other titles seem to be in reference to the toy train set, The Blue Arrow, but the American title of this movie was "How The Toys Saved Christmas."

Not complaining about the other Christmas classics, such as Rankin-Bass, toy tie-ins or movies with Jimmy Stewart, Natalie Wood or Peter Billingsley, but it was nice to watch a different story for a change.

I saw this movie on the WB network last year and recorded it for keeps.

It seems to be the story of a witch called Granny Rose (in the American version, Mary Tyler Moore does the voice) who helps Santa deliver toys at Christmas time. A stingy man called Mr. Grimm (Tony Randall) wants to keep the toys himself and sell them only to children who can afford them.

The toys flee in the night to get themselves to the children and it truly makes for one merry adventure.

It might remind one of Toy Story, but it seems more similar to the Island of Misfit Toys from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer for some reason.

But it is the assortment of toys themselves that are most memorable and enjoyable; a marching band, French soldiers, a pilot and his plane, crayons with little faces, a teddy bear, a duck on wheels, a toy dog, construction workers, Jingles the wizard, a cranky sea captain and his boat, and of course, the Blue Arrow and its crew.

When the train, pulling the boat, is almost hit by a train, the soldiers stand at attention with the little cannons, ready to meet the enemy and save the Blue Arrow. It all makes for very amusing story telling.

When the two dolls (who are bigger than all the action figure sized male figures and they must ride on top of the train instead of within) think they may be separated, or when the colored crayons find their home are absolute standouts.

Truly a marvelous story and very well done and animated. Shame it seems to be lost in the holiday shuffle.

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