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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an 80's classic
BABES IN TOYLAND was an ambitous made-for-TV musical starring child sensation Drew Barrymore, and bankrolled by the Finnegan/Pinchuk Company. With a charming and whimsical score by Leslie Bricusse and featuring a very young Keanu Reeves, this updated version of BABES IN TOYLAND makes for charming family viewing, especially at Christmas.

One snowy Christmas...
Published on December 11, 2004 by Byron Kolln

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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Edited =(
I loved this film as a child, treasuring the "taped from the TV" version well into my twenties. When I finally purchased the video, I was disappointed to realize that the VHS is edited, eliminating some transitional dialogue and two songs ("jail break" and the one where Jack and Mary are singing in jail). It is still a charming story that will be passed along for...
Published on August 10, 2006 by K. DiGiorgio


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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Edited =(, August 10, 2006
This review is from: Babes In Toyland (1986) (VHS Tape)
I loved this film as a child, treasuring the "taped from the TV" version well into my twenties. When I finally purchased the video, I was disappointed to realize that the VHS is edited, eliminating some transitional dialogue and two songs ("jail break" and the one where Jack and Mary are singing in jail). It is still a charming story that will be passed along for generations to come, but I will be sure to hold on to the "tv version" that has every aspect of the film. It would be terrific if ORION released a DVD version of this film with all of the uncut scenes in it!
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an 80's classic, December 11, 2004
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Byron Kolln (the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Babes In Toyland (1986) (VHS Tape)
BABES IN TOYLAND was an ambitous made-for-TV musical starring child sensation Drew Barrymore, and bankrolled by the Finnegan/Pinchuk Company. With a charming and whimsical score by Leslie Bricusse and featuring a very young Keanu Reeves, this updated version of BABES IN TOYLAND makes for charming family viewing, especially at Christmas.

One snowy Christmas Eve, a car accident catapults Lisa Piper (Drew Barrymore) into the enchanted world of Toyland. Once there, she quickly gets involved in the lives of it's inhabitants; joining forces with Jack (Keanu Reeves), Mary Contrary (Jill Schoelen) and Georgy (Googy Gress) to rid Toyland once and for all of the evil Barnaby Barnacle (Richard Mulligan).

The story is unashamedly sentimental; the screenplay by Paul Zindel seems to rip off elements from THE WIZARD OF OZ in that the main Toyland characters seem to resemble people Lisa knows back on Earth (Mary is her sister, Jack is Mary's boyfriend, Georgy is a family friend, Barnaby is a mean-spirited toyshop owner and Mary's mother is Lisa's mother).

It's quite horrifying to realise that this was around the time that Drew Barrymore started getting into drugs and alcohol (looking at the angelic girl on the screen it's even more shocking). Fans from the 80's will delight in seeing Jill Schoelen and Googy Gress in their heyday. Co-starring Pat Morita and Eileen Brennan.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy, April 13, 2013
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This review is from: Babes In Toyland (1986) (VHS Tape)
I have been looking for this movie all over. I wish it could have been in DVD but I am totally happy with it just how it is!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been magical, instead it's kind of an odd curio, January 4, 2013
I couldn't wait for the night in 1986 when a new musical TV movie version of Babes in Toyland would premiere. How could it miss? New songs by Leslie Bricusse (Scrooge, Willy Wonka) conducted by Ian Fraser! Great character actors in the cast, like Eileen Brennan as Mother Goose and Richard Mulligan as Barnaby! Fresh from E.T., there was a slightly older Drew Barrymore as the star, with a young Canadian lead actor named Keanu Reeves. The whole was even filmed at the same Munich studio where Wonka was made.

Sadly, it was not to be. The entire production has an earthbound feel to it. The Toyland outdoor set looks like office bungalows that had porches and quick paint jobs and signs added. One of the climactic battle scenes took place on little go-karts. All but "Toyland" and "March of the Toys" were removed, yet apparently some of Bricusse's songs were cut, too, leaving a few that I am sure he doesn't like to think about.

If this were a low-budget schlock kiddie movie like Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny, it might make sense. But considering the credits of almost everyone involved, it makes one wonder whether anyone really knew what they were getting into when they agreed to do it. This film did make it to VHS, even sold for one Christmas season at McDonald's (perhaps to cash in on Reeves later fame), never made it to DVD, but can now be downloaded.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Low Budget Adaptation Not As Good As Disney's, August 3, 2013
This review is from: Babes In Toyland (1986) (VHS Tape)
I really tried to like this film. Just because it is made-for-TV doesn't mean it can't be as good as other adaptations, but this version definitely falls short. I can see why it's not available on DVD.

I found it hard to accept Drew Barrymore as a child character in this film. She was a very mature-looking 11-year-old when this movie was made and acted way too adult; by this time the actress had gotten into drinking and drugs, so her low-energy performance was not convincing and subpar. (She admitted drinking during the filming of this movie in her autobiography.) She relates to her older sister character as if the two were the same age. She doesn't sound young at all; Judy Garland was 17 when she made "Wizard of Oz", but she looked and sounded like a wide-eyed ingenue. Drew in this film looks tired, bored and jaded. At times she appears drunk or drugged.

The movie starts off at a fairly good pace until Lisa gets to Toyland. I could not accept Toyland as a fantasy land; it looked like a cheap, tawdry, recycled carnival/circus set. Everything was very low budget, with unrealistic, stuffed-animal-looking costumes for the so-called animal characters. Richard Mulligan as Barnaby was great and very believable; he seemed to steal scenes from the other weaker actors. Jill Schoelen as Mary was sweet and Keanu Reeves just so-so; he seemed to be sleepwalking through this movie at times. Googy Gress as George was cute, and Pat Morita really tries as The Toymaker. But these actors were not given very good material to work with, so they did the best they could.

Drew Barrymore's costume looked cheap and her hair looked so messy and scraggly, which is a shame, because she is a very pretty girl. The songs are mindless dribble, and makes the movie drag on interminably. The little race cars are so cheesy and don't really fit with the set or the story. Drew looks drunk in the second wedding scene where she marches ahead of the bride. I'm glad she's turned her life around because she is a very fine actress. But in this movie, she was wasn't very good, giving a half-hearted performance.

Maybe your kids might like this movie, but as an adult, I prefer the original Disney version or the Laurel & Hardy adaptation any day over this trashy version.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a gift for my daughter., December 15, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Babes In Toyland (1986) (VHS Tape)
This is a remake of an old classic. My daughter would watch this endlessly as a child and now that she is an adult she loves it even more., If are young at heart this should be a great movie for you.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So bad it's hilarious, January 26, 2009
This review is from: Babes In Toyland (1986) (VHS Tape)
Out of my fondness for earlier versions of Babes in Toyland, I tried this one. My 11 year old daughter was with me, and at first we were put off by the horrendous acting, directing, writing, and production values, and then we began to find them funny. We watched the whole thing, and and had a great time making fun of it. We plan to keep our tape as a Christmas classic of popcorn camp. It includes a stellar cast, each turning in the worst performances of their careers. Just try to look at poor Keanu Reaves and imagine him becoming a real actor -- it can't be done! And sweet little Drew, who was so precious as a child actor, and would turn into a fine adult actress, well here, at this in-between age -- all I can say is, "bless her heart."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rare Keanu and Drew Film, December 17, 2013
Keanu Reeves was such an unknown at the time, he doesn't even get mentioned in many of the ads. The story, directing, music, and acting is as terrible as Rocky Horror - a must see for fans of campy films. It's also a Christmas classic for my grown children who used to watch it every day for about a year. It was originally mass distributed in McDonalds Happy Meals.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I love this movie!, November 30, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It's getting 2 stars only because I love this movie soooooo much. I had been looking for it for a while because I first got it when I was little, through McDonalds that had been giving them out and I had since lost it. The picture quality is crap. It is horrible, and I am not a picky person when it comes to picture quality but this movie is really un-watchable!
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 6th Grade Holiday Treat, September 14, 2005
This review is from: Babes In Toyland (1986) (VHS Tape)
I saw this The day of when we got out for Christmas break. I loved it.They edited the song about the breakout,on ABC Family .when I see Lisa,The Toymaker and Georgie Pogie tied to those chairs,I have an urge to change into a superheroine with my partner in crimefighting,3 sidekicks and 2 assistants and saying"Heel,Heel" to those things. snap our fingers and viola,they are free.I would love to have the DVD.
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Babes In Toyland (1986)
Babes In Toyland (1986) by Clive Donner (VHS Tape)
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