Blooper: In the Disney version; an extra accidentally closes her nightgown into the door as she walks into her house.
Casting Gag: The Disney movie has Tommy Kirk play the toymaker's apprentice, Grumio, an aspiring Gadgeteer Genius. Kirk previously played a young inventor in The Shaggy Dog, and later played yet another one in The Misadventures of Merlin Jones and The Monkey's Uncle (with none other than Annette Funicello co-starring as his girlfriend).
Cut Song: The 1986 version was originally 140 minutes long when it aired on NBC, but was subsequently cut to 94 minutes for an overseas theatrical release. This is the version that was released on video and to TV syndication, and at least three songs were lost in the process.
The 1930's version has Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy play Stannie Dum and Ollie Dee respectively.
In the Disney version, Tom Piper is played by Tommy Sands.
Dawson Casting: Henry Brandon, who played the elderly Barnaby in the 1934 version, was only 21 at the time, covered in heavy makeup. he was actually four years younger than Tom-Tom's actor Felix Knight. This resulted in a number of older actors disliking him for receiving the part they believed should have gone to them, but this also allowed Barnaby to run, engage in fights and perform stunts that, according to Brandon, would have seriously injured or killed an older man.
Keep Circulating the Tapes: The 1986 TV film has yet to be released on DVD. It is only available on VHS. Even worse, the VHS is the 94 minute cut of the film. If you want to see the full version, better have the recording from the original 1986 broadcast or watch it here.
Non-Singing Voice: Drew Barrymore was dubbed over by a professional singer in the 1986 version, which is painfully obvious since her singing voice is too mature for an 11 year-old.
Production Posse: Annette Funicello previously worked with Tommy Sands on The Parent Trap, when they sang two songs together (the title song and a pop version of "Let's Get Together"). This movie also marks neither the first nor the last time that she and Tommy Kirk would play major parts in the same movie.
Troubled Production: The 1934 version saw several minor cast injuries, including an extra who sued Stan Laurel after being thrown into the ducking pond and causing back injuries. Then there was Oliver Hardy developing tonsillitis and Hal Roach suffering appendicitis.
The 1934 version was filmed on elaborately decorated sets with bright colors and well-made costumes. The studio chose to release it in black & white, disappointing many of the cast in the process. Modern colorized versions have tried to some degree to restore what could have been in the original release.
This version was originally scripted to have Laurel & Hardy fire Barnaby out of the cannon, with his dismembered body parts falling and landing in letters to spell out "The End". Understandably this was changed as it was far too gory to use, especially for the 1930s and for such a generally light-hearted film.
Every Betamax, VHS, laserdisc, and DVD of the 1961 movie presents it in Pan and Scan. Only the Blu-Ray (the first Blu-Ray release of one of Walt Disney's live-action movies) and Digital HD versions show the movie in widescreen, although the case of the former says otherwise after removing the shrink wrap.
The "Mickey Mouse" appearance in the 1934 version (actually monkey in a costume) was officially approved of by Walt Disney as a favor to Hal Roach, despite the film not being made by Disney.