Babes in Toyland (1986 film)

Babes in Toyland is a 1986 American Christmas musical television film directed by Clive Donner, and stars Drew Barrymore, Richard Mulligan, Eileen Brennan and Keanu Reeves. Based on the operetta of the same title by Victor Herbert and Glen MacDonough, this version features a new score by Leslie Bricusse along with select portions of Herbert's score.

Babes in Toyland
International theatrical release poster
GenreAdventure
Family
Fantasy
Musical
Romance
Written byGlen MacDonough
Paul Zindel
Directed byClive Donner
StarringDrew Barrymore
Richard Mulligan
Eileen Brennan
Keanu Reeves
Jill Schoelen
Googy Gress
Pat Morita
Theme music composerLeslie Bricusse
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Production
Executive producer(s)Bill Finnegan
Patricia Finnegan
Sheldon Pinchuk
Producer(s)Tony Ford
Neil T. Maffeo
Anthony Spinner (supervising producer)
Production location(s)Munich, Germany
CinematographyArthur Ibbetson
Editor(s)David Saxon
Running time145 minutes
Production company(s)Orion Television
The Finnegan/Pinchuk Company
Bavaria Atelier Gmbh
DistributorNBC
Orion Television
Release
Original networkNBC
Picture formatColor
Audio formatDolby
Original releaseDecember 19, 1986 (1986-12-19)

Shot on location in Munich, West Germany in summer 1986,[1] it was broadcast on NBC on December 19, 1986 and released on VHS in 1991. The film was shortened to 94 minutes for overseas theatrical release; it is this version that received a worldwide home media release, leaving the original 145-minute cut unreleased.

Plot

Lisa Piper (Drew Barrymore), an eleven-year-old girl from Cincinnati, Ohio, takes care of her siblings and cooks for her family. She has no time for toys, and refuses to be treated as a child. During a blizzard on Christmas Eve, Lisa is transported to Toyland. She arrives just before Mary Contrary (Jill Schoelen) is to be wedded to the unpleasant Barnaby Barnacle (Richard Mulligan), although Mary loves Barnaby's nephew, Jack Nimble (Keanu Reeves). Lisa stops the wedding and, with her new friends, finds out that Barnaby plans to take over Toyland. Lisa, Mary, Jack, and Georgie Porgie (Googy Gress) go to the kindly Toymaster (Pat Morita) for help, but he can only help them if Lisa really believes in toys. Barnaby confronts them and the Toymaster, finally showing his true colors, and steals a flask containing distilled evil that the Toymaster had been collecting, before leaving Lisa and company to be eaten by Trollog, a vulture-like monster with a single enchanted eye that Barnaby uses to spy on his enemies. They escape by blinding Trollog with paint and locking him in a chest, but are captured and imprisoned one by one in Barnaby's hidden fortress.

Barnaby reveals that he had been creating an army of trolls to take over Toyland, and then attempts to corrupt his captives into being his servants with the contents of the flask, stating he would replace Trollog with Lisa and make Mary his Troll Princess. However, Lisa proves to be immune to the evil, and manages to reverse the effects on her friends. After escaping from Barnaby's stronghold, they return to the Toymaster. When Barnaby unleashes his army of trolls upon Toyland, Lisa's newfound belief animates an army of life-sized toy soldiers that the Toymaster had created, and they drive Barnaby into the Forest of the Night. Having lost control of his creatures and having failed at making Lisa his new Trollog, Barnaby is then banished from Toyland. Jack and Mary are then married. Lisa is taken home by the Toymaster - who is revealed to be Santa Claus - in a sleigh with wooden reindeer. They travel across the Milky Way until she wakes up at home, as though it had all been a dream.

Cast

ActorRole
Drew BarrymoreLisa Piper
Richard MulliganBarnie / Barnaby Barnicle
Eileen BrennanMrs. Piper / Widow Hubbard
Keanu ReevesJack / Jack-be-Nimble
Jill SchoelenMary Piper / Mary Contrary
Googy GressGeorge / Georgie Porgie
Pat MoritaThe Toymaster
Walter BuschhoffJustice Grimm
Shari WeiserTrollog
Rolf KnieZack
Gaston HaeniMack
Pipo SosmanJack in the Box
Chad CarlsonJoey
Jean MoakeNews Announcer
Bill MarcusWeather Announcer

Musical numbers

  1. "C-I-N-C-I-N-N-A-T-I" – Jack, Lisa, George and Mary
  2. "Toyland" – Toyland chorus
  3. "Let's Hear It!" – Georgie and Toyland chorus
  4. "We'll Think of Something" – Lisa, Georgie and Mary
  5. "It's the Feeling" – Mary and Jack
  6. "Monsterpiece" – Barnaby
  7. "I Live in Two Worlds" – Lisa
  8. "C-I-N-C-I-N-N-A-T-I" (Reprise) – Lisa, Jack, Mary and Georgie
  9. "Eyes of a Child" – Toymaster
  10. "May the Years to Come" – Toyland chorus
  11. "Eyes of a Child" (Reprise) – Toymaster and Lisa
  12. "Toyland" – Lisa

Deleted scenes

Many deleted scenes were musical numbers such as "We'll Think of Something" and "It's the Feeling". Other transitional dialogue was missing from the European theatrical release; these scenes were not featured on VHS.

Availability

The original 145-minute cut was never legally seen outside of television. However, through VHS recordings of these airings, it is currently available on YouTube, labeled as a "Director's Cut".

References

  1. Barrymore, Drew (1990). Little Girl Lost (p. 125). Pocket Books, New York City. ISBN 0-671-68923-1.
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