Synopsis

While Walt Disney's 1961 filmization of Victor Herbert's Babes in Toyland pales in comparison to the 1934 movie version starring Laurel & Hardy, the Disney film is an unqualified classic when compared to the ill-starred 1986 TV version. Adapted for television by playwright Paul Zindel, the 1986 film stars Drew Barrymore as Lisa Piper, a contemporary girl whisked off Wizard of Oz fashion to Toyland. Here her friends and family from the "real" world are reincarnated as villainous Barnaby (Richard Mulligan), Old Mother Hubbard (Eileen Brennan), Jack-Be-Nimble (Keanu Reeves) et. al. Only "March of the Toys" and "Toyland" have been retained from the original Victor Herbert score; the rest of the songs were specially written for this adaptation by Leslie Bricusse-and, suffice to say, these were hardly classics. Irreparably damaging this version was its 180-minute length-over twice as long as the Laurel & Hardy version, and not even half as good. Filmed in Munich, Babes in Toyland was first telecast December 19, 1986. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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