Babes in Toyland
By Brian Costello,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Christmas musical retold as cartoon; some scary bits.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
This movie intends to entertain, not educate.
Several characters maintain positive attitudes in the face of myriad adversities.
Positive Role Models
As a woman in charge of the toy factory, Mary reveals through her actions positive leadership qualities. Most of the others have positive attitudes.
Violence & Scariness
Characters fall from heights, fight, trains stop inches short of running over characters or farm animals. Some scary scenes involve mean-looking goblins and an uncle who locks kids up in an attic.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Innocent flirtation commonly occurs between Tom and Mary.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this animated version of the holiday classic Babes in Toyland is filled with upbeat song, but also includes scenes where kids are thrown into an attic by their wicked uncle, and demons are unleashed to ruin Christmas. Depending on your child's tolerance for peril and monsters, these scenes will either be exciting or scary. Cartoonish violence -- falling, fighting, chasing -- is common.
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Where to Watch
Based on 1 parent review
Thumbs up from a five-year-old.
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What's the Story?
Jack (voiced by Joseph Ashton) and Jill (Lacey Chabert) are sent to Toyland, where they are to live with their curmudgeonly Uncle Barnaby (Christopher Plummer). Along the way, they meet Tom Piper and Mary Lamb, who work in a toy factory that has just received a very large shipment of toy soldiers. But Uncle Barnaby wants to shut down the factory and ruin Christmas, and so Jack and Jill must work with Tom and Mary to stop Uncle Barnaby's wicked plan.
Is It Any Good?
This version of BABES IN TOYLAND seems to have everything a child could possibly want in a Christmas movie. There are trains, Santa, toys, Humpty Dumpty, strong female characters, adventurous male characters, cartoonish falling, goblins, and musical numbers.
While the songs from Victor Herbert's operetta will no doubt be enjoyed by kids who are discovering music, many of the more violent scenes -- as cartoonish as they may be -- demand a parent's discretion in determining if their child is mature enough to handle scenes with evil goblins and monsters. Still, all-in-all, Christopher Plummer brings a delightful menace as the voice of Uncle Barnaby, and the acting (and singing) as a whole is above the average children's fare.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the differences in behavior between the "good" characters in this movie and the "bad" characters. How do good characters treat those around them? What about the bad?
How do Jill, Mary, and Tom show examples of positive attitudes throughout the movie? Do you think their reactions are realistic? Does that matter?
How is this similar and different from other holiday movies you've seen?
- On DVD or streaming: November 2, 2004
- Cast: Christopher Plummer, Joseph Ashton, Lacey Chabert
- Director: Paul Sabella
- Studio: MGM/UA
- Genre: Musical
- Topics: Holidays
- Run time: 74 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- Last updated: December 28, 2022
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Where to Watch
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