Babes in Toyland (1986 film)

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Babes in Toyland
Written by Glen MacDonough
Paul Zindel
Directed by Clive Donner
Starring Drew Barrymore
Keanu Reeves
Richard Mulligan
Pat Morita
Eileen Brennan
Jill Schoelen
Theme music composer Leslie Bricusse
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Tony Ford
Neil T. Maffeo
Editor(s) David Saxon
Cinematography Arthur Ibbetson
Running time 140 minutes
Production company(s) Orion Television
Original network NBC
Original release December 19, 1986 (1986-12-19)

Babes in Toyland is a 1986 television film directed by Clive Donner which stars Keanu Reeves, Richard Mulligan, and Drew Barrymore. The film is based on the operetta of the same title by Victor Herbert and Glen MacDonough. This version features a new score by Leslie Bricusse along with select portions of Herbert's score. It was filmed on location in Munich, West Germany in the summer of 1986.[1]

It was broadcast on NBC on December 19, 1986 and subsequently released on VHS. The European theatrical version was shortened to 94 minutes; this version was released worldwide on VHS, it has not yet been released on DVD.


Lisa Piper (Drew Barrymore), an eleven-year-old girl from Cincinnati, Ohio, takes care of her siblings and cooks for her family. She has no time for toys, and refuses to be treated as a child. During a blizzard on Christmas Eve, Lisa is transported to Toyland. She arrives just before Mary Contrary (Jill Schoelen) is to be wedded to the unpleasant Barnaby Barnacle (Richard Mulligan), although Mary loves Barnaby's nephew, Jack Nimble (Keanu Reeves). Lisa stops the wedding and, with her new friends, finds out that Barnaby plans to take over Toyland. Lisa, Mary, Jack, and Georgie Porgie (Googy Gress) go to the kindly Toymaster (Pat Morita) for help, but he can only help them if Lisa really believes in toys. Barnaby confronts them and the Toymaster, finally showing his true colors, and steals a flask containing distilled evil that the Toymaster had been collecting, before leaving Lisa and company to be eaten by Trollog, a vulture-like monster with a single enchanted eye that Barnaby uses to spy on his enemies. They escape by blinding Trollog with paint and locking him in a chest, but are captured and imprisoned one by one in Barnaby's hidden fortress.

Barnaby reveals that he had been creating an army of trolls to take over Toyland, and then attempts to corrupt his captives into being his servants with the contents of the flask, stating he would replace Trollog with Lisa and make Mary his Troll Princess. Lisa, however, proves to be immune to the evil, and manages to reverse the effects on her friends. After escaping from Barnaby's stronghold, they return to the Toymaster. When Barnaby unleashes his army of trolls upon Toyland, Lisa's newfound belief animates an army of life-sized toy soldiers that the Toymaster had created, and they drive Barnaby into the Forest of the Night. Barnaby, having lost control of his creatures and having failed at making Lisa his new Trollog, is then banished from Toyland. Jack and Mary are then married. Lisa is taken home by the Toymaster - who is revealed to be Santa Claus - in a sleigh with wooden reindeer. They travel across the Milky Way until she wakes up at home, as though it had all been a dream.


Actor Role
Keanu Reeves Jack/Jack Be Nimble
Richard Mulligan Barnie/Barnaby Barnicle
Eileen Brennan Mrs. Piper/Widow Hubbard
Drew Barrymore Lisa Piper
Jill Schoelen Mary Piper/Mary Contrary
Googy Gress George/Georgie Porgie
Pat Morita The Toymaster
Walter Buschhoff Justice Grimm

Deleted scenes[edit]

Many deleted scenes were musical numbers such as Keanu Reeves (Jack) and Jill Schoelen (Mary) singing in jail or Drew Barrymore (Lisa) and the cast planning a jailbreak. Other transitional dialogue was missing from the European theatrical version; these deleted scenes were not featured on VHS. The original film was broadcast on NBC in 1986.


  1. ^ Barrymore, Drew (1990). Little Girl Lost (p. 125). Pocket Books, New York City. ISBN 0-671-68923-1.

External links[edit]