HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Flag Day
Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster
Nest, The
Martin Eden
Halloween Kills
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
Klaus
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Candyman
Power of the Dog, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
   
 
  Babes in Toyland Nursery Crimes
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, FantasyBuy from Amazon
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 8472 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
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: