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Babes in Toyland (1934)

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Babes in Toyland (also known as March of the Wooden Soldiers on its 1948 re-release) is a 1934 comedy film starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, loosely based on Victor Herbert's stage play of the same name.

Synopsis

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Stannie Dum and Ollie Dee, live in a shoe (as in the nursery rhyme There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe), along with Mother Peep (the Old Woman), Bo Peep, a mouse resembling Mickey Mouse , and many other children. The mortgage on the shoe is owned by the villainous Silas Barnaby, who is looking to marry Bo Peep. Stannie and Ollie set out to get the money for the mortgage from their boss, the Toymaker. But Stannie has mixed up an order from Santa Claus (building 100 wooden soldiers at six feet tall, instead of 600 soldiers at one foot tall) and one of the soldiers wrecks the toy shop. Stannie and Ollie are fired without getting the money.
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The two then hatch a plan to sneak into Barnaby's house and steal the mortgage, but are again foiled by their incompetence. Barnaby has them arrested on a burglary charge, and the two are sentenced to be dunked in the dunking stool and then banished to Bogeyland. But Barnaby agrees to drop the charges if Bo Peep will marry him. She reluctantly agrees, but not before Ollie suffers the dunking.

Stannie and Ollie come up with a new scheme. At the wedding, Ollie is present to give the bride away. After the nuptials, but before the ceremonial kiss, Ollie asks for the "wedding present" (the mortgage) from Barnaby. After inspecting it, Ollie tears it up, and then lifts the bride's veil — to reveal Stannie, who had worn Bo Peep's wedding dress to the ceremony. Bo Peep is still free, and the mortgage is gone. Ollie teases Stan about having to live with Barnaby as Stan cries saying "I don't LOVE him".

Enraged, Barnaby plots his revenge, eventually hitting on the idea of framing Bo Peep's true love, Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son, on a trumped-up charge of "pignapping", and getting him banished to Bogeyland. Barnaby proceeds to abduct Little Elmer, one of the Three Little Pigs, and then has a henchman plant false evidence (including sausage links) in Tom-Tom's house. Tom-Tom is put on trial, convicted, and banished to Bogeyland, which he is taken to on a raft by two hooded executioners across an alligator infested river. A distraught but brave Bo Peep follows him.

Meanwhile, Ollie and Stannie find evidence implicating Barnaby in the pignaping, including the fact that the alleged sausage links presented as evidence at Tom-Tom's trial are made of beef. They later find the kidnapped pig alive in Barnaby's cellar.

A manhunt commences for Barnaby, who flees to Bogeyland through a secret passageway at the bottom of an empty well. Stannie and Ollie eventually follow Barnaby down the well. Meanwhile, Bo Peep crosses the river to Bogeyland, finds Tom-Tom and explains Barnaby's trickery to him.

Tom-Tom sings Victor Herbert's Go to Sleep, Slumber Deep to Bo-Peep in an enormous cave set with giant spider webs. Barnaby catches up to Tom-Tom and Bo-Peep, and attempts to abduct Bo-Peep but gets into a fight with Tom-Tom, who gives Barnaby a well-deserved thrashing. An enraged Barnaby grabs a large stick and beats a stalactite to summon an army of Bogeymen, who chase Bo-Peep and Tom-Tom through the caverns of Bogeyland. The lovers run into Stannie and Ollie, who help them escape back through the well and are welcomed by the town, who now realize Barnaby's treachery. Barnaby leads an invasion of Toyland on a fleet of rafts in a scene reminiscent of the painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware.

Ollie and Stan tell their story to Old King Cole, the King of Toyland and the townspeople as two Bogeymen scale the wall and open the gate. The crowd flees in panic as the army of torch-wielding Bogeymen attacks Toyland. Ollie and Stannie run and hide in the toy shop. There they discover boxes of darts and use them to fight off the Bogeymen, thanks to Stan's skill with the game of "peewees" (and help from the three little pigs and the mouse). Stan and Ollie then empty an entire box of darts into a cannon, but as the two search for the last remaining darts, they realize instead that they should activate the wooden soldiers. The "march" alluded to in the film's title begins as the soldiers march out of the toy shop. The scene changes to live action as the soldiers attack the Bogeymen with the bayonets of their rifles. Barnaby is defeated and trapped and covered by blocks that spell "rat", while the Bogeymen are routed and driven back into Bogeyland, where alligators appear to feast on them, although this is never made clear. The kingdom of Toyland is saved. Stan and Ollie decide to give the Bogeymen a parting shot with the dart-filled cannon. As Stan aims the cannon and lights the fuse, and Ollie turns away to avoid the loud blast, the barrel of the cannon flips backwards and unleashes the barrage of darts on Ollie, covering his back with darts. The film ends with Stan pulling them out one by one as Ollie winces.

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