HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
20th Century Women
Monster Trucks
Lookout, The
Black Belt
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Their Finest
Stella Cadente
Water Drops on Burning Rocks
Replace
Belladonna of Sadness
Aquarius
Erik the Conqueror
Baghead
Guns at Batasi
Gang Story, A
Magnificent Ambersons, The
Climber, The
It's a Big Country
Raw
Last Man Standing
Transfiguration, The
Alien Nation
Kajaki
Certain Fury
Life
Hundra
Wonder Woman
Francesca
Jimi Plays Berkeley
Berlin Syndrome
   
 
Newest Articles
Two Sides of Sellers: The Party vs The Optimists
Norse Code: The Vikings vs The Long Ships
Over the Moon - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 2
Alpha Males and Females - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 1
Animated Anxieties: From the Era of the Creepiest Cartoons
Manor On Movies--Clegg (1970)
Plans for Nigel: The Crunch... and Other Stories on DVD
Let's Get Harry: Repo Man and Paris, Texas
Shut Up, Crime! The Punisher at the Movies
Thunderbollocks: The Golden Age of Bond Rip-Offs
   
 
  Babes in Toyland Nursery CrimesBuy this film here.
Year: 1934
Director: Gus Meins, Charles Rogers
Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charlotte Henry, Felix Knight, Henry Brandon, Florence Roberts, Virginia Karns, Angelo Rossitto
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Fantasy
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: In Toyland, Stannie Dum (Stan Laurel) and Ollie Dee (Oliver Hardy) work in the toymaker's workshop, but get the sack when they make 100 6 foot high soldiers instead of 600 1 foot high soldiers for Santa. Meanwhile, their landlady's daughter, Little Bo Peep, is being forced to marry the evil Silas Barnaby in order for her mother to keep her house - how can Stannie and Ollie help?

You need to brush up on your nursery rhymes for this meticulously assembled fantasy, courtesy of the Hal Roach studios. It was written by Frank Butler and Nick Grinde (later to direct Boris Karloff horrors), and was basically a children's story turned into a vehicle for Laurel and Hardy, complete with operetta-style songs (although Stan and Ollie don't get a song themselves, for some reason).

Unfortunately Babes in Toyland is pretty low on classic L&H moments; there are a few funny lines ("Upset? I'm housebroken!") and situations (Stan tearfully contemplating a life spent married to Barnaby), but I think their humour works best in settings that are closer to real life, pitting them against overbearing bullies or domineering wives, rather than in the few operettas they made.

What makes this film memorable is the imagination and attention to detail shown throughout: try and spot all the traditional characters appearing, from Old King Cole and the Three Little Pigs to Tom Tom (the piper's son) and Simple Simon (complete with pieman). Although, wasn't it Old Mother Hubbard who lived in a shoe? Or was it L. Ron Hubbard?

Anyway, sheep-losing Little Bo Peep looks barely legal compared to the aged Barnaby, which brings us to another aspect of the film: its oddly unsettling quality, which is almost - but not quite - nightmarish at times. The inhabitants of Toyland live in fear of the Morlock-like Bogeymen from Bogeyland, who fail to keep their noses clean when they invade, with the intention of eating all the nice characters.

But for scares, these monsters are nothing compared to the live action version of Mickey Mouse (yes, really) who scurries around, winds up the cat (of Cat and the Fiddle fame) in pre-Tom and Jerry fashion, and is enough to give anyone the creeps. Babes in Toyland is a curiosity, then, but an absorbing one, never dull, and full of unexpected and bizarre touches. It's just not a great Laurel and Hardy comedy. Music by Victor Herbert and Frank Churchill.

Aka: March of the Wooden Soldiers
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6249 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Ian Phillips
Jensen Breck
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Shrimpton
  Vikki Sanderson
   

 

Last Updated: