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Western Animation / Miracle in Toyland

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Side note: the "miracle" the title is presumably referring to takes place in a snowy mountain and not in Toyland.

Miracle In Toyland is a 2000 animated film by Golden Films and GoodTimes Entertainment. It is notably one of their few movies to be an original work instead of a mockbuster.

The story centers around a lonely boy named Jesse, whose father is a distant military man sent out to work on Christmas, and whose only friend is his cousin, Gabriella. After accidentally upsetting her, as well, he ends up alone in a toy-store, where he ends up becoming friends with the living toys. When his father's plane crashes on a mountain, he and the toys set out to save them.


  • Aborted Arc: The toy army scaling a mountain display in the toy store to retrieve a radio from "the enemy".
  • All Just a Dream:
    • Played straight with the dream Jesse has at the beginning of being a soldier.
    • Zig-zagged with the sequence where Jesse is shrunk down and then helps the toys; he thinks it was all a dream, but the toys are shown living before and after it. Jesse thinks it was a dream when he wakes up, but after his dad is reported missing and the magic feather flies out of a crumpled poster, Jesse decides the experience was real after all, and goes back to Toyland for help.
  • Alliterative Name: Jesse Justice.
  • An Aesop: "If you care about others above yourself, they'll care about you, and you won't hurt anyone."
  • Anachronistic Orphanage: The kids deliver toys to an orphanage, despite the fact all American orphanages closed down decades ago.
  • Anger Montage: Upon hearing about his father's disappearance, and that the military cannot search for him until the winter weather clears, Jesse destroys all the things in his room that remind him of his father.
  • Artistic License – Economics: When Jesse finds the "treasure" on the pirate ship, he immediately declares that everyone here is rich. No one ever seems to consider that it's fake toy money and thus not usable as legal currency. Possibly justified for the toys in that they wouldn't know how the world works outside Toyland, but Jesse never corrects them.
  • Artistic License – Military: The movie ends with soldiers bringing presents to Jesse's house, then to the orphanage.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • The trampoline Jesse uses to reach the top of the stack of toy soldiers bounces him far higher than would be possible in real life.
    • Jesse stacks several cardboard boxes to try and break into Toyland, and climbs up to the top but then loses his balance and falls, never mind that he shouldn't have been able to climb up the tower in the first place on account of how light the (presumably empty) boxes are.
    • Jesse is able to ride in a rubber dinghy being pulled by the enlarged toy plane.
  • Artistic License – Space: Sunlight flows into Toyland during "Lift Up Your Eyes" even though it's night.
  • Aside Glance: Exaggerated. The beginning song ends with a close-up of Jesse's face as he turns his head to look at the screen for four seconds for no reason.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: "We can help you. Like you helped us!"
  • Big "NO!":
    • Jesse when he falls off the enlarged toy plane.
    • A rather poorly-delivered one from Jesse's dad while on the rubber dinghy and about to reach a cliff.
  • Big "WHY?!": Jesse yells two of these while destroying his bedroom.
  • Captain Ersatz:
  • Compressed Vice: Jesse expresses his dislike for toys at the beginning, yet has a tremendous amount of fun when Gabriella brings him to Toyland.
  • Conflict Ball: Gabriella abandons Jesse over him not slowing down the life-size toy car they were riding, and it's apparently a big enough deal that Jesse begs forgiveness when they meet again, and she grants it to him on the grounds that he "know[s] it hurt". Jesse promises never to do it again.
  • Covers Always Lie: While it's ambiguous exactly how old Jesse is in the film, he appears much younger on the cover than he looks and sounds in the film.
  • Discretion Shot: Jesse and the toys are heading for the mountain after seeing the former's father's plane on it, then the scene fades to Super Duper Guy and Jesse neck-deep in snow following a crash.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Gabriella stops loving her own cousin because he refused to slow down a go-kart while she was in it (she tells him, "I was your only friend, Jesse, but now you're on your own!").
  • Easily Forgiven: When Jesse is devastated that a toy soldier apparently died because of him, the other toys tell him not to worry and give him another chance to be helpful.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Not the title, but the subtitle on the cover: "Toys Teach a Lonely Boy the Magic of Caring".
  • Failed a Spot Check: Jesse's dad fails to notice the toys behind them on the inflatable dinghy until after the avalanche-escaping sequence.
  • Foreshadowing: The soldier who dies in the beginning dream sequence appears to be the same as the toy soldier who dies later on.
  • Freudian Excuse: Jesse's for being unkind occasionally is that his dad is busy with the military and doesn't have much time for him.
  • GIS Syndrome: Several of the paintings on the wall of Jessie's house are real-life photos, which clash badly with the art style.
  • Hero Insurance: Jesse and the toys steal items from Toyland for their rescue mission with no comeuppance.
  • Humanity Ensues: Downplayed with the toys, who grow to human size but aren't stated to have changed from toy material to flesh.
  • Incest Subtext: Jesse and his cousin Gabriella come off as having this.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man:
    • Played straight when a magic feather shrinks Jesse to toy size.
    • Inverted when the same magic feather grows the toys to human size (it doesn't count as Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever since the toys don't grow to a size considered gigantic by human standards), and a toy plane to the size of a real plane.
  • Informed Flaw: Aggro calls Bonecrusher "Baldy" at one point, yet Bonecrusher has hair (in fact, the same hairstyle as Admiral).
  • Lethally Stupid: Jesse is ordered to stay with a wounded soldier, but he leaves him with a walkie-talkie and goes to the top of the mountain to see the action. When he returns with the other soldiers literally less than twenty seconds later, the wounded soldier says he has been "surrounded" and that the walkie-talkie's reception was not far enough, then dies.
  • Magical Native American: The Native American doll has the unexplained power to make objects grow in size.
  • Militaries Are Useless: The military won't search for Jesse's father because of the weather, so Jesse and his toy friends have to do it, and they succeed.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: Played with. Gabriella feels sick from how Jesse is driving the toy race car, but he doesn't stop or slow down. When he does eventually stop, she tears into him and more or less tells him she doesn't want to associate with him anymore, and storms off.
  • Missing Mom: Jesse's mother is completely absent without any explanation or acknowledgement. His father mentions that he's arranged for Jesse to spend Christmas at Gabriella's house while he's away on his training mission, indicating that Jesse has no other parents or guardians at home, and when he departs, Jesse is completely alone until Gabriella arrives.
  • Mood Whiplash: At the end of "Lift Your Eyes Up", the scene fades to Captain Aggro learning that their enemies are attacking.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The female elf toy. She even gets an upskirt shot in "Lift Your Eyes Up".
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Jesse has this reaction when the wounded toy soldier he abandoned dies as a result.
  • Naughty Nurse Outfit: The elf girl toy asks if she should wear one of these at one point.
  • No Name Given: Jesse's father (beyond Colonel Justice), the pirate toy, the elf girl toy, and the Pocahontas Expy.
  • Non-Indicative Title: If the "miracle" referred to in the title is Jesse and the toys saving the latter's father, then it does not, in fact, happen "in Toyland", but rather on a snowy mountain.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: Jesse falls off the enlarged toy plane, but is caught by Super Duper Guy.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Gabriella gets into a race car with Jesse driving. She feels sick and asks him to slow down, but he refuses, prompting her to tell him he's "on his own" once the race is over and leave him in the toy store, but they make up when he comes out of the toy store and apologizes and promises not to do it again.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: An instrumental of "Carol of the Bells" plays while Jesse sees other families in the toy store.
  • Save the Jerk: Downplayed. Jesse's father was a neglectful one throughout the film, despite Jesse's attempts to have a relationship with him. Despite his own tendency to be a Jerkass, Jesse's Character Development turns him into a much more selfless character by the end, and he manages to win his father over by risking his life to save him from dying on a snowy mountain.
  • Satellite Character: Gabriella. She exists solely to bring Jesse to Toyland, and create an event that triggers Jesse's meltdown about how no one loves him.
  • Shout-Out: Super Duper Guy references the superhero he himself is based on.
  • Skewed Priorities: While hurtling through the snow on a rubber dinghy, Elf Girl realizes her ring is missing.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The song at the beginning, "Hero", while very good on its own, doesn't fit with the scene of soldiers coming down a rope from a helicopter and blowing things up.
  • Stock "Yuck!": The female elf toy wants caviar when the toys suggest ordering food. Everyone else reacts with overt disgust.
  • Superman Substitute: Super Duper Guy
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • Upon learning that the people before him are sentient, human-size toys, Jesse's dad instead focuses on his strained relationship with his son.
    • No one at the hospital seems to find anything odd about it either.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Jesse seems to crave the approval and attention of his often absent father.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Several odd-looking toy soldiers aid in the mission to the top of the mountain in Toyland, but aren't seen again.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: The toys give this speech to Jesse.
  • Your Size May Vary: Before Jesse grabs the star from the tree, it is clearly much bigger than the toy plane he's flying, yet when he grabs it, it has become small enough to throw at the propeller and shred to pieces.