"Babe in Toyland"

Gary Leach bangfish at comcast.net
Tue Dec 9 14:25:10 CET 2003

Eta Beta:

>> Of course, in 1961, Disney did his own version of the film
> Never seen that. Did it feature the Pigs and Mickey as well ?

Don't know about Mickey, but it does feature Tommy Sands as the hero, 
Tom Piper, the fairy tale character who "stole a pig and away he run…"

Disney's version was "Babe in Toyland," featuring the aforementioned 
Mr. Sands, the recently discussed Tommy Kirk, Annette Funicello, Ed 
Wynn, a very young Ann Jillian, and the marvelous Ray Bolger as the 
villain, Barnaby. It was one of my all-time favorite childhood films - 
I kept bugging my parents, grandparents, any relative who'd listen to 
buy me the toy soldiers, and I would've given my right eyeteeth for 
some of the other toys depicted. It was all just so colorful and, well, 
cool. I had no idea that it was being rather poorly received in other 

Seeing it many, many years later, I have to go along with the critics 
of the day; it just doesn't hold together very well. The animated 
toys-vs-Barnaby battle scene at the end is still kinda neat, though.

An article in a Disney publication of some years back focused on this 
film, and related that on seeing an initial edit, Walt Disney observed 
that (paraphrasing from memory) "Well, I guess Disney just can't do 

Fortunately, this didn't result in Disney halting another musical 
project just getting underway at the time - "Mary Poppins."


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