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Western Animation / Babes in Toyland

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Babes in Toyland is a 1997 Animated Musical directed by Don Bluth's brother Toby Bluth, very, very loosely based on the original operetta.

Orphan siblings Jack and Jill are sent to Toyland to live with their Evil Uncle Barnaby Crookedman three days before Christmas. Though initially reluctant to take the kids, he agrees once he learns that they brought money with them to help pay for their care, intending to use it to further his own plans, and tosses them in his dusty attic. In the mean time, Tom Piper returns from the North Pole with a sizable order of toy soldiers for the local toy factory to produce in very little time.

Barnaby, who doesn't believe in toys or Christmas spirit, plots to sabotage Tom and factory owner, Mary Lamb, by attempting to buy the factory with Jack and Jill's money. When that fails, he hires mooks to vandalize the place. Jack and Jill make a couple of attempts to escape and help Tom and Mary but end up needing to be rescued when Barnaby gets fed up with them and abandons them in the Goblin Forest. With the help of said Goblins, he leads an attack on Toyland resulting in chaos. With everything crashing down around them, Tom and Mary need to work together to save their factory and town from destruction.

Provides examples of:

  • Animated Musical: Just like the original film.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Among the inhabitants of Toyland are a number of sentient objects, including a monkey-like monkey wrench who gets thrown into "the works" of a factory as a Literal Metaphor. (Don't worry, the wrench ends up being fine.)
  • Award-Bait Song: Two: "Dream" and "It's You".
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Barnaby's henchmen, Gonzargo and Roderigo.
  • Disney Death: Humpty Dumpty is dropped off of a bridge by Barnaby, but is repaired by Tom at the end.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Barnaby. He delights in how mean he is and takes being called "crooked" and "twisted" as compliments.
  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear: The ending of the film has Barnaby chased away by the goblin horde after the death of their king, surely to eat him as compensation for the failed raid on Toyland.
  • Fear Song: "The Worst Is Yet To Come" starts out as a Villain Song, as Rodrigo and Gonzargo, who are taking the kid heroes to the land of goblins, taunt the kids about their imminent deaths. But it becomes a sort of musical Oh, Crap! moment near the end as Rodrigo and Gonzargo start to realize that, by entering the goblins' territory, they've put themselves in danger too.
    Rodrigo: Your nerves are jarred, your heart beats hard,
    Gonzargo: Like a kettle drum!
    Rodrigo: You're hearing shrieks and eerie squeaks!
    Gonzargo: Where is that one coming from?!
  • Freudian Excuse: According to his Villain Song, Barnaby is evil because he never had toys as a child.
  • I'm Melting!: The Goblin King is killed this way, when he gets light shined on him for so long that he simultaneously explodes and melts.
  • Insult Backfire: Being a typical Card-Carrying Villain, Barnaby tends to take adjectives like "crooked" and "twisted" as the kindest of compliments.
  • Like Parent, Like Spouse: It's implied that Mary loves Tom partially because he reminds her of her father.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Unlike in most versions, here, Barnaby has a full name (his last name is Crookedman).
  • Never Had Toys: In Barnaby's Villain Song, "A Crooked Man," it's explained that Barnaby wants to destroy Santa's toys and ruin Christmas because he never had any toys as a kid, so he thinks that no one else should have any either. The movie never explains why exactly he didn't have toys, but he doesn't sound too sad about it. In fact, he sounds rather proud about that fact, as if it makes him superior to everyone else.
  • Pun-Based Creature: The children at one point encounter a monkey wrench that looks and acts like an actual monkey.
  • Simpleton Voice: Gonzargo
  • Sugar Bowl: Toyland is a magical happy fun place full of friendly fairy tale characters and darn near everything has a face.
  • Sweet Sheep: Sheep and lambs are spotted working at the toy factory and are seen working on the hats for other toys. One lamb is seen witnessing Gonzargo and Roderigo (disguised as sheep) acting suspicious at the toy factory. The same lamb would later reappear during the film's climax as the factory is on fire. However, a grown ram quickly takes notice of Gonzargo and Roderigo's disguises and headbutts them out of the stable that the sheep are grazing in.
  • Shrug Take: After a lamb witnesses Gonzargo and Roderigo (thinking it's the other sheep) acting strange at the toy factory. He looks at the viewer and shrugs in confusion.
  • To Serve Man: The Goblins love eating children, but as Gonzargo and Roderigo figure out, they're perfectly happy to eat adults too.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: The Goblins, especially the Goblin King, have darker, Gargoyles-like character designs, with the Goblin King in particular having a very reverbed and loud roar, and wearing earrings, and they later invade Toyland and set it on fire. There's also the fact that the Goblin King is killed rather violently for a film geared towards kids.
  • Villain Song: There's "A Crooked Man" which doubles as a "The Villain Sucks" Song: his backup singers are clearly not pleased with him, but Barnaby takes their slams on his character as compliments nonetheless.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The goblins are weak against light.
  • Zombie Gait: hilariously, the toy soldiers advance against goblins looks a lot like that - they are slowly advancing, swaying with every step, arms raised in front of them. And (from goblins point of view, of course), they are unstoppable threat that shrug off anything goblins could throw at them.


Video Example(s):


"The Worst is Yet to Come"

Gonzargo and Rodrigo sing to Jack and Jill about the Goblin Forest.

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Example of:

Main / VillainSong

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