Kids' Movies II

film 1 of 3

Babes in Toyland

Draft Review by Dean Duncan Jun 10, 2015

This operetta stuff is very intriguing, though the intrigue doesn’t quite extend to the material on the screen, or at least not completely (I know that millions disagree), the sets, costumes and effects have an off-putting, charming put-on-a-show raggedness which our technology sated modern eyes can never see innocently, which is really too bad–I suppose it’s like the effects of pornography on one’s subsequent impressions of chaste exchanges between men and women; one doesn’t quite believe anymore–the intro’s an eyeful, and the 30’s rendering of the rhymes is fun, Tom Tom and Bo Peep and Mr. Barnaby are basically uninteresting in the usual romantic sub-plot kind of way, one wonders what arrangement they made with Disney to use the Big Bad Wolf song, or to get away with that probable monkey who’s dressed like Mickey Mouse, Stan’s dart-launching trick is great because he’s usually such a dimwit that when he does things like this so prodigiously well the effect is especially delightful, the attempted robbery is a good L & H bit, the fake marriage is telegraphed very clearly, which is actually more effective since surprise is not an important commodity with these guys, who give pleasure by doing what we expect–they’re friends!–Bogeyland hasn’t many horrors, though the kids got involved, and the image of the monsters carrying off little blonde children is alarming, the previously planted wooden soldiers nicely save the day, and the motion animation is neat