Babes in Toyland is a 1986 made-for-television movie based on the operetta of the same name, directed by Clive Donner. It was broadcast on NBC on December 19, 1986, and released on VHS. Originally 140 minutes (without commercials) in the USA, the European theatrical version was shortened to 94 minutes — this version was released worldwide on VHS. The film has not yet been released on DVD.


Lisa Piper, eleven years old, takes care of her siblings and cooks for her family, and therefore she has no time for toys. During a blizzard on Christmas Eve, she is transported to Toyland. She arrives just before Mary Contrary is wed to the unpleasant Barnaby Barnacle although Mary loves Jack Nimble. Lisa stops the wedding and, with her new friends, finds out that Barnaby plans to take over Toyland. Lisa, Mary, Jack, and Georgie Porgie go to the kindly Toymaster for help, but he can only help them if Lisa really believes in toys. Barnaby confronts them, finally showing his true colors, and steals a flask containing distilled evil that the Toymaster had been collecting, before leaving Lisa and company to be eaten by Troller, a vulture-like monster with a single enchanted eye that Barnaby uses to spy on his enemies. They escape by blinding Troller with paint and locking him in a chest, but are captured and imprisoned one by one in Barnaby's hidden fortress.

Barnaby reveals that he had been creating an army of trolls to take over Toyland, and then attempts to corrupt them into being his servants with the contents of the flask, stating he would replace Troller with Lisa. Lisa, however, proves to be immune to the evil, and manages to reverse the effects on her friends. After escaping from Barnaby's stronghold, they return to the Toymaster. When Barnaby unleashes his army of trolls upon Toyland, Lisa's newfound belief animates an army of life-sized toy soldiers that the Toymaster had created, and they drive Barnaby into the Forest of the Night. Barnaby, having lost control of his creatures and trying to make Lisa his new Troller, is then banished from Toyland. Jack and Mary are then married. Lisa is taken back home by the Toymaster, revealed to be Santa Claus, in a sleigh with wooden reindeer, across the Milky Way until she wakes up at home as though it had all been a dream.


Actor Character
Drew Barrymore Lisa Piper
Richard Mulligan Barnie/Barnaby Barnacle
Eileen Brennan Mrs. Piper/Widow Hubbard
Keanu Reeves Jack/Jack Nimble
Jill Schoelen Mary/Mary Contrary
Googy Gress George/Georgie Porgie
Pat Morita The Toymaster
Walter Buschhoff Justice Grimm


  • Cincinnati
  • Toyland
  • It's the Feeling
  • Barnaby's Monsterpiece
  • If You Can Believe Through the Eyes of the Child
  • March of the Toys

Rights holders

As of 2017, MGM Television (which is owned by Sony) holds the rights to this movie, and has aired it on the This TV digital subchannel throughout the USA.

External links

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