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When In Toyland

Soon  Christmas will be here and children are dreaming about toys. Letters have been sent to Santa Claus making all kinds of demands and parents will be praying for strength to get through the holidays. It will also be a time of all kinds of Christmas movies and cartoons. The one movie I always loved to watch around holiday time was with a popular old-time comedy team, Laurel and Hardy. The movie was a musical about characters of Mother Goose living in Toyland “March of the Wooden Soldiers”.  

The idea for this comes from 1903 when Victor Herbert and Glen McDonough came out with their operetta “Babes in Toyland”. The operetta included many characters from the Mother Goose cycle of nursery rhymes. It became a Christmas-themed extravaganza. The operetta includes many popular songs of that time like “March of the Toys”, “Toyland” and others.  

The original production opened up at the Chicago Grand Opera in 1903 and made a tour of East coast cities, running for 192 performances. It gave the inspiration for others to create fairy-tale themed shows. I have included clips from the movie which dates from 1934 and has been colorized. I think you might be able to see the whole movie on YouTube. 

What is interesting about this movie is it offers the comedy of Laurel and Hardy, all kinds of different characters, and even the romance between Little Bo Peep and TomTom. There is also drama when an evil landlord tries to put the Old Woman in the Shoe out on the street. Here is the trailer.

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