Christmas Specials Wiki
Christmas Specials Wiki

Babes in Toyland is a 1986 NBC TV movie based on the 1903 operetta, directed by Clive Donner, that premiered on December 19, 1986. Originally 140 minutes (without commercials) in the USA, the European theatrical version was shortened to 94 minutes — this version was released worldwide on VHS. It has not yet been released on DVD.


Eleven-year-old Lisa Piper 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 Barnicle 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 Trollog, a vulture-like monster with a single enchanted eye that Barnaby uses to spy on his enemies. They escape by blinding Trollog 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 Trollog with Lisa. She, 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 Trollog, 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.


  • "C-I-N-C-I-N-N-A-T-I"
  • "Toyland"
  • "It's the Feeling"
  • "Barnaby's Monsterpiece"
  • "If You Can Believe Through the Eyes of the Child"
  • "March of the Toys"

Home Video Availability[]




  • Unlike the other adaptations of the operetta, this version owes more to The Wizard of Oz by having the Toyland characters resemble the people Lisa knows.


Actress(es)/actor(s) Character(s)
Drew Barrymore Lisa Piper
Richard Mulligan Barnie
Barnaby Barnicle
Eileen Brennan Mrs. Piper
Widow Hubbard
Keanu Reeves Jack Fenton
Jack B. Nimble
Jill Schoelen Mary Piper
Mary Contrary
Googy Gress George
Georgie Porgie
Pat Morita The Toymaster
Walter Buschhoff Justice Grimm
Shari Weiser Trollog
Rolf Knie Zack
Gaston Haeni Mack
Pipo Sosman Jack in the Box
Chad Carlson Joey Piper
Jean Moake News Announcer
Bill Marcus Weather Announcer
Mona Goss Mrs. Goosefoot
Elizabeth Schot Raggedy Ann
Ray Samberg Towncrier
Wanda Burke, Jean Leroy,
Veronica Loomis, John Kanarowski,
Tony Barton, Annissa Hewson,
Stanley Walker Jr.
Cookie Factory Workers
Andrew Steitz (#3)
John Westhoff (#7)
Tree Monsters

External links[]

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