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Rated G
Copyright 1986 Finnegan Company.
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Lisa - Drew Barrymore! Little girl who hits her head against a tree and ends up in Toyland, just in time to right some serious wrongs.
  • Mary Contrary - Mother Hubbard's daughter, almost married off to Barnaby, though she loves jack. (He's nimble, it's the quick part she hates.)
  • Jack B Nimble Jr. - Keanu Reeves! Young guy who is deeply in love with Mary.
  • Georgie Porgie - Chubby fellow who is the quality inspector for the cookie factory.
  • The Toymaster - Pat Morita! (Mr. Miyagi) Benevolent ruler of Toyland and creator of every plaything in the world.
  • The Residents of Toyland - Teddy bears, mice, and all the characters from fairy tales you can think of.
  • The Toy Soldiers - Tall as a man, these guys are the defenders of Toyland.
  • Zack and Mack - Albino hunchbacks who work for Barnaby, fairly inept.
  • Trollog - Freakish one-eyed bird, ahm, thing.
  • The Trolls - Monsters inhabiting the forest outside Toyland, they appear to be killer Christmas trees.
  • Barnaby - Evil man who wishes to control Toyland, why do evil people always wear such gay hats? Presumed eaten by Trolls.

The Plot: 

You really can't blame me for wanting to review this one, Drew Barrymore and Keanu Reeves in a loose adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz." Except it's set in Ohio, which for some reason the natives spell O-E-I-O. After being thrown from her sister's boyfriend's cheap 4X4 and slamming into a tree the young heroine finds herself in Toyland. Now this is a magical place, it's a mystical place, with teddy bear policemen and a horrible public transit system. Cars are community property, if you need one you hop in and take it. The main characters never had a problem getting wheels, but I'd bet stranded field mice had some very unmagical things to say at times. Lisa doesn't have a clue about fixing that problem, but she does stop Mary from getting hitched to Barnaby. (He holds the lien on Hubbard's dwelling.) That pretty much annoys the bad guy, so much he takes to calling her "Cinci-whatski," vice the much easier "Lisa." Barnaby is plotting to take over Toyland, first by framing Jack for a cookie theft at the factory and then stealing the Toymaster's flask of concentrated evil. Why in the heck would you keep concentrated evil lying around anyway? Is there some law it can't be destroyed? (Conservation of evil? I dunno.) The regiment of Toy Soldiers are capable of stopping the rampaging Trolls, but only if Lisa can become a child and believe once more. Steel yourself to watch countless people in outfits like one is treated to at small town fairs and the musical numbers. Oh the songs, especially the crooning salute to Cincinnati.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • If an electric pole is knocked down it only takes out the phones.
  • Mean people live in bowling balls.
  • Everyone who works in a bakery wears roller skates.
  • If you can't pay the rent in cash the bank will take kids.
  • Not being able to blink is a serious problem when you only have one eye.
  • People from Cincinnati are immune to poison gas.
  • Concentrated evil should be stored in an appropriate container, specifically not something glass.
  • Teddy bears are not cut out for riot control.
  • Wedding vows should include the phrase "Give him a lot of fun." on general principle.
  • Santa is a little Japanese man.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 13 mins - Oh, you're dead...
  • 17 mins - Hey Lisa, don't these people look familiar? Mom, sister, etc?
  • 35 mins - All they eat in this town are cookies, no wonder people die young.
  • 41 mins - Bad edit, one moment Toymaster is holding the toy, then it's on the stand, then he's holding it again.
  • 60 mins - She has a toy bat, he has a toy wrench, oh boy are those monsters scared.
  • 72 mins - Is that a rose, er, tree?
  • 75 mins - Are you saying Drew Barrymore grew up too early? Maybe drug addiction by the early teens?
  • 94 mins - You didn't take your daughter to a hospital? She hit a tree going about thirty miles an hour with the back of her head. She's been having delusions of killer Christmas trees, cookie factories, and teddy bear policemen. It's called a concussion.


  • Jack: "Welcome to glorious Cincinnati, queen of Ohio's alpine ski resorts!"
  • Mary: "Toymaster, we've got to talk to you."
    Jack: "Really sir, for the sake of Toyland."
    Toymaster: "Well yes, I'm listening."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note babestoyland1.wav Lisa: "And Mrs. Hubbard you should be ashamed, forcing your poor daughter to go live in a bowling ball just to pay your mortgage!"
Green Music Note babestoyland2.wav Barnaby: "You again! Cinci-whatski! Out the door, or into the flour grinder! Which shall it be?"
Lisa: "Uh, I think maybe, 'Out the door.' sounds better."
Green Music Note babestoyland3.wav Jack: "Barnaby is attacking Toyland, his monsters will take control of everything!"
Lisa: "Toymaster, don't just stand there, you've got to do something."
Green Music Note babestoyland4.wav Judge Grimm: "Do you Mary Contrary Hubbard take this man, Jack Nimble Junior, to be your husband, to love and cherish and give him a lot of fun?"
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipbabestoyland1.mpg - 2.5m
Lisa finally remembered how to be a child and the toy soldiers came to life. I wanted to see the cute bunnies take up arms and fight off the trolls! Just imagine a scene like the first few moments of "Saving Private Ryan," but with a pink rabbit looking for its arm.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 8
Babes in Toyland
Reply #9. Posted on August 20, 2000, 08:43:44 PM by wrygrass
What you have not been able to perceive is that Babes in Toyland is really the prequel to The Matrix. It shows the first too perfect matrix programed by the AI and rejected by humans. Sheesh--I would have thought that was obvious!
Babes in Toyland
Reply #10. Posted on September 04, 2000, 02:29:45 PM by Miss Rori
According to Leonard Maltin's movie guide, this film was originally 150 minutes!  (Thus a three-hour time slot allowed for a half-hour of commercials.)  Which is to say that the version most of us have seen at least part of (in my case) is almost an hour *shorter*!
Babes in Toyland
Reply #11. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by The_Cynical_Critic
I know people weren't expecting much from a film once sold with the purchase of a Happy Meal at McDonald's (damn the people at Burger King, they sold Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon videos). The funniest thing about that is that I bought a copy.

My expectations were low as low could be and even though this film is very poor, I thought it's unintentionally hilarious. My favorite 2 lines from the movie were from the grouchy store manager ("Christmas time is snow time and in no time it'll be Christmas again") and when Lisa turned the mayor/judge's words around after locking him in jail ("Sorry, but that's the way the Cookie Kingdom crumbles. Ha ha, little joke").
Babes in Toyland
Reply #12. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Susan Henry
I saw this movie on Optus (coz I live in Australia) and I thought Keanu and Drew looked cute together (Keanu looks cute by himself anyway!)and who ever doesn't like this version of 'Babes in Toyland' obviously has no taste at all!
Babes in Toyland
Reply #13. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Green Hornet
Yeah, it rips off "Wizard Of Oz", but also Laurel & Hardy's "March Of The Wooden Solders" which had a REASON for 6ft "G.I. Joes" being around. But let's have pity on the cast and crew; like the Disney version before them, they had to follow Stan and Ollie's act. Poor saps!
Babes in Toyland
Reply #14. Posted on July 15, 2001, 11:23:20 PM by R. Holland
This is a great movie for elementary age children, 8-12,. It is not intended for teenagers and adults.  It would be helpful for an adult to advise the children that everything is make-believe and that nobody really gets hurt.
Babes in Toyland
Reply #15. Posted on August 09, 2001, 06:55:13 PM by Brian
This movie is HOT! I Dont know what youre talking about. Im 17, and i bought this movie at McDonalds about 10 years ago!  The movie, the characters, especially Mrs Hubbard.. all of them are great.  Justice Grimm is wonderful, and Sweet Trullog is a brilliant character.  Its a great movie for anyone of any age! A Must seee!
Babes in Toyland
Reply #16. Posted on August 09, 2001, 08:46:37 PM by the mighty movie man
lets just put this movie into one word that describes this movie to a tee. TERRIBAL!!!!!!!!!! there has been more plot in porno movies. i pity the fool who wasted good money to rent this one. luckaly i was able to waste my friends parents money to rent it. it is an over all frightiningly bad movie.
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