Babes in Toyland (film)

Babes in Toyland (film) Just as Tom and Mary are about to be married in Mother Goose Village, the villain, Barnaby, knowing Mary is to inherit a large sum of money when wed, has Tom kidnapped by his two henchman who are to toss Tom into the sea. The henchman then steal Mary’s sheep, the sole support for her and the children she cares for. Just as it looks as if Mary will have to marry Barnaby, Tom, who has not really drowned at all, reappears, and takes off with Mary and the children to find the sheep. Traveling in the Forest of No Return, Tom’s party ends up in Toyland, with Barnaby and his henchman not far behind. There Tom, Mary, and the kids help the Toymaker make toys for Christmas until the Toymaker’s assistant, Grumio, invents a gun which reduces everything to toy-size. Barnaby gets hold of the gun, reduces Tom and the Toymaker, and forces the latter to marry him to Mary. Before the ceremony is completed, Tom, who has mobilized the toy armies, attacks. In the furious battle, Mary reduces Barnaby and Tom disposes of him in a duel. Grumio comes up with a restoring formula and all ends happily. Released on December 14, 1961. Directed by Jack Donohue. 106 min. Stars Ray Bolger (Barnaby), Tommy Sands (Tom Piper), Annette Funicello (Mary Contrary), Ed Wynn (Toymaker), Henry Calvin (Gonzorgo), Gene Sheldon (Roderigo), Tommy Kirk (Grumio), Kevin Corcoran (Boy Blue), Ann Jillian (Bo Peep). This was the Studio’s first live-action musical fantasy, and featured numerous songs including “I Can’t Do The Sum,” “Castle In Spain,” “Just A Whisper Away,” “Forest of No Return,” and “Toyland,” by George Bruns and Mel Leven, based on the operetta by Victor Herbert and Glenn McDonough. The special effects, for many people the true highlight of the film, were by Eustace Lycett, Robert Mattey, Joshua Meador, Bill Justice, and X. Atencio. Fabulous toys, from wooden soldiers to golden-haired dolls, from guns that shoot to airships that fly, were specially designed for the exciting climax. Disney animation veteran Ward Kimball, himself a noted toy collector, headed the unit that created the mechanical toys. The film was promoted on the Disney television show, and pieces from the set were reconstructed at the Disneyland Opera House where they remained as an attraction from 1961 to 1963. Released on video in 1982. See also Backstage Party.