Babes in Toyland

(i)

 

Christmas musical retold as cartoon; some scary bits.
  • Review Date: February 6, 2012
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Musical
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 74 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

This movie intends to entertain, not educate. 

Positive messages

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.

Sexy stuff

Innocent flirtation commonly occurs between Tom and Mary. 

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Kids say

Not yet rated
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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?

QUALITY

With trains, Santa, toys, Humpty Dumpty, strong female characters, adventurous male characters, cartoonish falling, goblins, and musical numbers, this version of BABES IN TOYLAND seems to have everything a child could possibly want in a Christmas movie. 

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. 

Families can talk 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? 

Movie details

DVD release date: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

This review of Babes in Toyland was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Written byAnonymous December 6, 2012

G Rating is good

Anyone can see this. 3 & Up can see this movie.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byskeebee May 7, 2012

Thumbs up from a five-year-old.

My five-year-old granddaughter liked it. She watched it twice in one day and pretended to be scared when the goblins made their appearance. The animation is not up to the standards of a Disney film, but the musical score and acting is top notch. I enjoyed it almost as much as she did.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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