TEMPLARKNIGHT’S FAVORITE HOLIDAY MOVIES
13. Babes in Toyland
“Well for instance,” he pressed on,” I rented the strangest movie last night. Did you know that ‘Babes in Toyland’ was a Christmas movie?”
“Of course! What did you THINK it was?”
“Well, I thought, well . . .”
-excerpt from The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror, by Christopher Moore.
Yeah, the title always seemed weird to me. Especially considering Keanu Reeves is in it.
Yeah, by the time I saw it in the 90’s, “babes” had a very different meaning than when the title was originally made in 1903.
I saw this movie in class when I was very young and thought it was fantastic. Watching it now, yes there is so much stuff to make fun of about this movie, but I still enjoy it.
The story begins with 11 year old Drew Barrymore braving a winter storm on foot in order to tell her older sister to come home because the storm is getting worse.
Thing is, she manages to travel to the Toy store her sister works at on foot, but then coming back it goes through some treacherous forest path via jeep. That’s some weird geography.
Anywho, when she gets to her sister’s toy store, her sister and Keanu Reeves believe that they should send all the customers home because of the storm. Her boss scoffs at this and suggests she be nicer to him while stroking her arm.
As a result, she and everyone else quits while Drew Barrymore announces via the intercom that everyone should go home because she saw a report on the news about bad weather. And her sister steals a sled to give to Drew.
They then drive home and sing a song about Cincinnati. It is annoying enough that Drew Barrymore bails out of the car on her new sled.
She rides the sled all the way into
a tree Toyland where she finds new versions of all the people she knows. Her sister is Mary Contrary, Keanu is Jack, and their boss is Barnaby.
Barnaby lives in a bowling ball.
The biggest threat is Barnaby getting in his bowling ball house and rolling it down through town knocking people over. Apparently this is just something he does.
Barnaby is about to get married to Mary. Everyone is just going along with this because nothing can be done. Until Drew Barrymore shouts that Mary can’t marry Barnaby because she loves Jack. This is apparently enough to disrupt the wedding and thwart Barnaby’s plans.
Everyone at the wedding cheers and sings a song for Drew Barrymore for saving the day.
Barnaby decides to go for his OTHER evil plan and steals all the cookies. Then he convinces everyone that Jack stole the cookies. And by everyone, I mean the Judge. The Judge locks up Jack.
What happens next is a cunning escape plan where Georgie Porgy simply walks in and unlocks Jack’s cell.
Everyone then goes to talk to the Toy Master, played by Mr. Miyagi. The Toy Master then tells them about bottling up all the evil in the world. Then he places it on a high shelf next to Chekov’s Gun.
Jack returns to the cookie factory to investigate the dissappeared cookies and discovers a trap door! The trap door leads down to a cell in Barnaby’s lair. Barnaby then tortures Jack with the villain song about how he wants to take over ToyLand and make it evil.
Drew, Mary, and Georgie go to Barnaby’s bowling ball and debate going inside. Mary decides she will be the one to go in AND gets immediately captured.
Drew and Georgie go to the Toy Master before Barnaby storms in and ties everyone up. Barnaby steals the evil bottle and leaves one cyclopian bird monster to eat them. The bird cuts the rope on Drew Barrymore and then gets led into a giant box. Good plan.
Georgie and Drew then arm themselves with bats and decide to take the fight to Barnaby! And get captured via another trap door slide. Seriously, that is three trap door slides that ALL lead to the same cell.
Barnaby sprays them all with the evil gas and Drew Barrymore is imune because she is
not fictional from Cincinnati. She then cures them of the evil by making them sing the Cincinnati song from earlier. This also allows them to escape.
After a brief Mario Kart race with Barnaby and his minions, Barnaby decides to unleash a horde of evil monsters made from the evil gas on Toyland and everyone else retreats to the Toy Master’s shop.
Now, a big thing about this movie is Drew Barrymore CONSTANTLY screaming about how she isn’t a child. She’s eleven and has left such childish things behind her. Well, the Toy Master tells her that as long as she keeps screaming she’s not a child, the toys can’t help her. He then sings a song about it.
Drew Barrymore bends to peer pressure and tells all the toys she believes in them. This is enough to go out and destroy all the evil monsters. With bullets. And cannons.
Jack Wick then beats up Barnaby and throws him into the forest of the night with all the evil monsters that he no longer controls. He is apparently torn apart. The crowd celebrates with a wedding and returning to Cincinnati with Santa Claus.
Drew Barrymore wakes up in
the hospital with a severe headwound from flying out of a moving car and slamming full force into a tree her home perfectly fine. She briefly tells of her Oz like dream and says she will embrace christmas because her heart grew three sizes.
Yeah, it is a weird movie, but I love it. It probably is the super nostalgia.
I’ve tried to watch the old one(s) but they just bore me. In fairness, I probably haven’t given them a fair shot, but who has the time.
Next Time: speaking of movies that occur while a character is knocked out. . .