Today we’re going to talk about a movie that was certainly not on my radar! I didn’t know what to expect from Babes in Toyland and certainly ended up surprised.
The Plot (according to Rotten Tomatoes):
Mary Contrary (Annette) is set to marry Tom Piper (Tommy Sands) when he is kidnapped by Roderigo (Gene Sheldon) and Gonzorgo (Henry Calvin), two goons working for the evil Barnaby (Ray Bolger). Barnaby wants to marry Mary for her inheritance. Instead of killing Tom as instructed, Roderigo and Gonzorgo sell him to Gypsies, which allows Tom to rescue Mary. Soon afterward, Tom and Mary encounter the odd Toymaker (Ed Wynn), who becomes a pawn in Barnaby’s new scheme.
We’re gonna file this under “what the heck did I just watch”. This acid trip of a movie was not what I expected. It was nauseatingly colorful, sweet, and cheerful, not to forget very loud because of an annoying number of songs. Don’t misunderstand me, I have no problem with a film full of music if it is well done. However, here not a single song was decent or even catchy. Honestly, every time somebody started to sing, I just desperately wanted it to be over.
The opening sequences must be one of the longest I have ever seen. Was it necessary? No. Was it entertaining? Remotely. The bits that I assume were entertaining back in the day when the film come up now look rather cheap simply because it can be done so much better today. The story was weird, to say the least, and the movie was just dragging on. You know, this might work as 30 minutes (max) episode of a show but as a whole feature film, it was not enough to sustain my interest.
The story was just plain weird, also because I’m not quite sure who the intended audience is. I mean, obviously, it has to be little children, judging from the characters, the colors, and some of the jokes that were so freaking terrible it hurt my soul. Then again, the movie essentially begins with a very shady dude hiring two thugs to *murder* somebody. And one of them seems to like killing a lot. There is death in other kids’ movies but how this was presented was just plain irritating. I just straight-up hated the whole plot and it didn’t help that literally all of the characters were so insanely annoying that it’s simply impossible to care for any of them.
What I’ll give them is that some of the effects must have been quite nice back in the day and at least it looks like it was a good time while filming for the cast. Other than that there are no redeeming features to this movie. It was a bit like a train wreck, I just couldn’t look away. Despite how much I disliked it, I couldn’t stop watching simply because it was so freaking weird, and I needed to know where this was gonna go. Babes in Toyland is certainly an assault on eyes and ears I will never ever watch again.
Did you watch the film? Let me know in the comments!