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Toyland (2007)

Spielzeugland (original title)
TV-PG | | Short, Drama, War | 2008 (USA)
A German mother lies to her son about where the Nazis are sending their Jewish neighbors.
Won 1 Oscar. Another 22 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Julia Jäger Julia Jäger ... Marianne Meißner
Cedric Eich Cedric Eich ... Heinrich Meißner
Tamay Bulut Özvatan Tamay Bulut Özvatan ... David Silberstein
Torsten Michaelis Torsten Michaelis ... Herr Silbertein
Claudia Hübschmann Claudia Hübschmann ... Frau Silberstein
David Bunners ... SS-Obersturmführer Falke (as David C. Bunners)
Gregor Weber Gregor Weber ... SS-Mann Werner
Jürgen Trott Jürgen Trott ... Schutzpolizist
Klaus-Jürgen Steinmann Klaus-Jürgen Steinmann ... Blockwart
Heike Reichenwallner Heike Reichenwallner ... Nachbarin
Matthias Paul Matthias Paul ... Gestapo Mann


On a winter morning, a mother goes to waken her son Heinrich; his bed is empty. She leaves her flat to find him. The neighbors' door, with a Star of David painted on it, is ajar, the furnishings in disarray, the family gone. She asks passersby, runs to the police then on to the rail yard. Flashbacks show that Heinrich and the neighbors' son Paul are six years old and best friends. Paul's family's deportation is expected soon; Heinrich's mother tells her son that they're going to Toyland. Heinrich wants to go with them, has a bag packed, and listens for their departure. His mother realizes he's joined them, and her resolve becomes more urgent. Will she arrive in time to save Heinrich? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Drama | War


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This short film is available as a bonus on the Film Movement DVD of Storm (2009). See more »


[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

User Reviews

A sensitive portrait of the WW2
9 July 2018 | by EnustikSee all my reviews

Toyland discusses a theme that has been discussed several times on different films: the Second World War. However, what makes this short film special is the sensibility of this portrait. Instead of showing the explicit violence of the war, it touches the audience by showing two kids - a German and a Jewish, who are best friends and are going to be separated because the Jewish boy's family is going to be sent to a concentration camp. In order to avoid shocking the young German boy, her mother says that his friend is going with his family to Toyland. The depiction of the effect of war through the eyes of kids is not something new: in a completely different tone, Janos Szasz has done the same in his adaptation of The Notebook, a novel written by Ágota Kristof; and The boy in the Striped Pyjamas has a similar story. However, even if the theme is not new, Toyland is still a surprisingly intense short film. It mixes scenes of the mother looking for her son after the Germans had taken the Jewish to the concentration camps and flashbacks of what happened before this - how close the two kids were and how the German boy decided to follow his friend to Toyland. And the plot twist at the end makes the story even more dramatic. Second World War is a sensitive topic, and it is amazing when we find a director that was able to portray it in such a touching way.

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Release Date:

2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Toyland See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mephisto Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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