SoÂ I wasÂ just having a lazy, December dayÂ and looking for something holiday-ish to watch for the podcast.Â After perusing, IÂ decided toÂ revisit the lovably, bizarreÂ 1986 Babes in Toyland. IÂ was hoping you hadn't covered it, butÂ I justÂ read the review on the site, it wasÂ spot on!Â May IÂ piggyback off thatÂ review andÂ contribute my two cents,Â possiblyÂ make a humble, holidayÂ recommendation?Â
I watched this version ofÂ Babes inÂ Toyland as a kid. I didn't know there were other versions of this story growing up, so this movie stuck out as evenÂ weirder backÂ then.Â I'm pretty sure myÂ family gotÂ ourÂ vhs with a McD's value meal. Which makes sense becauseÂ thisÂ movie, similarly toÂ Mac and Me, pairsÂ well with aÂ cheeseburger. ExtraÂ cheese, please.
Probably the "worst" thingsÂ (althoughÂ I would argue thatÂ they'reÂ part of the charm) aboutÂ BITÂ areÂ the Toyland set and props.Â Admittedly, theyÂ kinda haveÂ a Spahn Ranch, local theme park vibe…kinda like the set up from The New Kids (1985).Â But low budget aside, you can't beat the eclecticism of this cast. IÂ mainlyÂ just wanted to briefly giveÂ props to three special ladies that stood out during my rewatch: Jill Schoelen, Shari Weiser and Drew Barrymore.
First off,Â I love the coziness of a movie with low-key scream queen, Jill Schoelen. As previouslyÂ mentioned in the review, she was inÂ The Stepfather, Cutting Class, The Phantom of the Opera,Â When a Stranger Calls BackÂ and my personal favorite, Popcorn. ???? I feel like she's always hadÂ such a likability factor about her.Â In BIT, she comes off as the ideal big sis, and I love her chemistry with lilÂ Keanu!
Shari Weiser, who I just recently learnedÂ about during this deep dive, was the actress that played the Trollog (too long, don't ask)Â in BIT.Â She was also in Follow That Bird, butÂ mostÂ importantly,Â she also played HOGGLEÂ in Labyrinth! Don't you justÂ love when you can connectÂ the stars ofÂ yourÂ childhood? (Side Tangent: I also just found out that the guy that did the voice for Max in AÂ Goofy Movie also did the voice for Thackery Binx the cat! ??)
And of course,Â Drew Barrymore, who is SOÂ adorable in BIT.Â I'veÂ alwaysÂ rooted for Drew,Â especiallyÂ considering what she went through at such a young age.Â BIT falls into my favorite time inÂ Drew's career, mid-80s to pre-Scream (basicallyÂ the "Little Girl Lost" years).Â Drew was only 11 when she starred in BIT, and considering her history,Â there was aÂ line Drew's character says towards the endÂ thatÂ resonated when I did my rewatch.Â She says, "I always wanted to be a kid." Heartbreaking!
Babes in Toyland is not the greatest thing ever, but I won't deny the warm and fuzzy nostalgia I experienced watching it again.Â The copy of BITÂ we had growing up wasÂ about 90 long, that's the version currently on Prime. If you're interested in the Snyder Cut version, there's the "Director's Cut" on YouTube. It has way more of Drew'sÂ lip-syncing singing, and clocks in at almost 2 1/2 hours long! May I make a suggestion? Watch the 3 hour original broadcast upload on YouTube.Â It's a weirdly, comforting time machine…and it's brought to you by McDonald's.Â
If you care to listen to me ramble on more about Babes in Toyland,Â as well as other things TV/movie-related, listen to Electric Babysitter on whatever podcast platform and visit me on IG!Â
Warm Holiday Wishes,