All of the Mother Goose characters join Santa Claus in Toyland. -Originally produced in 1934, it is now newly restored in color -Also includes restored B/W version -Includes bonus Rudolph short animated feature
"Here is a nice little Holiday film collection with a huge surprise! Most everyone is familiar with these titles and all of them have been out prior to this release. However, Laurel & Hardy's March of the Wooden Soldiers has never been released in quite the way it has here - complete, uncut, excellent transfer and the original studio logo and title cards for --- Babes In Toyland! Finally, after years of television "butchering" and copyright battles, one of Laurel & Hardy's best is available as it was originally released. Thanks to 20th Century Fox and MGM for releasing this little piece of film history."
Stunning New High Definition Restoration and Colorization!
JPL | California | 11/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow is all I can say! Laurel and Hardy's March of the Wooden Soldiers (aka Babes in Toyland) has never looked better. Legend Films and Genius Products found rare 35mm film elements and did a high definition digital restoration to create the finest looking black-and-white version of this L&H holiday classic ever seen. And to beat that, they created a stunning new COLOR version on the same DVD with a new Colorization technology. It really looks like it was shot in color. This disc is then jammed full of great bonus features to take any nostalgic viewer down Christmas memory lane. This DVD is FAR superior to the Goodtimes version (I viewed them side by side) and well worth the extra couple of dollars. I highly recommend this new definitive version of March of the Wooden Soldiers (with the Red box) both for yourself or for a gift."
Lots of bang(and a surprise!) for your movie dollar.
Robert Badgley | London,Ontario,Canada | 01/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This holiday three DVD collection released by MGM gives us alot in a small package for a reasonable price. First off the mark is Frank Capra's "Pocketful of Miracles" ***.It is a story of a street vendor/walker by the name of Apple Annie(Bette Davis)whose apples are considered to be a good luck charm for the local gangster Dave the Dude(Glenn Ford).Annie it seems has raised enough money over the years off the street to send her daughter to Spain to be raised and educated(Ann Margarets'debut performance).Now her daughter is coming back to see her and be wed not knowing Annies' true self.Dave steps in and tries to help. It is a long movie but has a terrific cast including Peter Falk who does a great job as Daves' street wise cracking "associate".But unfortunately even though the movie has alot of nice moments throughout its' pacing and story line is uneven.The end scene comes unexpectedly swift and is in a way anti-climactic.The holiday season is mentioned only fleetingly and I have never felt this much of a holiday entry as compared to say "It's a Wonderful Life" which is a definite classic of the genre and in a league far above this movie.Not one of Capra's best by far. The next entry is "The Bishops'Wife" **** 1/2.This is just a lovely and,if I can use the word,gentle movie.It involves a Bishop Brougham(David Niven)and his wife(Loretta Young).Both are currently struggling with their lives(especially the Bishop) to raise funds to build a new cathedral.In steps angel Dudley(Cary Grant) into the works to help out the pair.In time we see that not only are the pair struggling with the new building but with their marriage also.Dudley deals with the Bishops' wife more on a personal level(much to the Bishops' chagrin) and steers the Bishop onto more productive paths in a more indirect way.In the end,in sometimes the most unexpected but heart warming ways,Dudley finally accomplishes what he set out to do. This is a wonderful movie,a great change of pace and like "Miracle on 34th Street" has that "gentle" feel to it.I highly recommend it to all. The last entry and the cream of the crop is Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy's "Babes in Toyland" ***** .To be more familiar with modern audiences they have put the TV version name "March of the Wooden Soldiers" on the box cover for all three of the movies and on the individual slip case cover.But this is NOT one of the many cut,pasted,colour copied,sloppily transferred wanna-be's that are currently on the market(see my previous reviews on those).I am finally relieved to be able to tell you this is the ORIGINAL theatrical version with the original title cards intact from beginning to lovely end!! The story involves two fairy tale type characters Ollie Dee(Oliver Hardy) and Stannie Dum(Stan Laurel) who live in Toyland with many fairy tale characters.They eventually butt heads with the meanest man in Toyland Barnaby who gets the two in trouble on some trumped up charges.He then proceeds to get Tom-Tom,a rival for the hand of Bo-Peep,sent away on false charges to Bogeyland.The Boys exonerate Tom-Tom and set about to rescue him and Bo Beep from the clutches of the bogeymen and Barnaby who has decided to invade and take over Toyland with his hairy hoard.In the end Barnaby and the Bogeymen are defeated and they all live happily ever after. It's a wonderful tale that has delighted viewers for over 70 years(!) and thanks to MGM we FINALLY have it released the way it was meant to be and SHOULD be seen.The print is excellent. In conclusion the "Holiday Collection" is well worth the price for your money considering what you get.Each movie is in a thin pak and none have any special features but the titles are well worth(and more) the modest price being charged."Pocketful of Dreams" is the weakest entry in the pack while "The Bishop's Wife" and "Babes in Toyland" are the stars here.The latter is especially signifigant as it's in its' original form and COMPLETE! Enjoy."
Comments from the color Producer of March Of The Wooden Sol
Lori Sandrew | San Diego, CA | 09/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The "review" from Robert Badgley of March Of The Wooden Soldiers is certainly not the truth and clearly appears to be written by someone with a strange agenda. I suggest he get his facts straight before writing such a misleading, false and defamatory review. Amazon reviews are intended to inform, not mislead and misinform.
I was personally responsible for producing the prior color release from Goldwyn and I am also responsible for producing the current color and black and white release from Legend Films.
This was truly a lost Laurel and Hardy film. Film prints of this movie have gone from distributor to distributor and are well worn. However, both Goldwyn and a renowned distributor and collector provided 35mm material to produce a complete print that is widely recognized to be the highest quality. In my previous colorization company, American Film Technologies, I transferred that 35mm print to analog one-inch video tape. While extremely inferior by today's standards, one-inch video tape was the industry standard in video resolution at the time.
Now, for the FIRST TIME the Goldwyn film of March Of The Wooden Soldiers has been transferred Digitally in High Definition. The black and white High Definition tape, was completely restored using the Legend Films proprietary restoration technology. Then with the latest colorization process the film was colorized in High Definition resolution. This is the same Legend Films process used by Martin Scorsese to produce color special effects for The Aviator. The resulting color frames were then used to create a new High Definition colorized version. So you have on the Legend Films DVD, both the fully restored black and white version and a separate, fully restored color version.
By every measure, I believe the Legend Films DVD release is the highest quality black and white and color version of March Of The Wooden Soldiers that exists anywhere today.
Barry B. Sandrew, Ph.D. Founder/COO, CTO Legend Films, Inc. http://www.legendfilms.com "
A Christmas Must-Buy
Teresa Anson | Michigan, USA | 12/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Laurel and Hardy classic, March of the Wooden Soldiers (originally released as Babes in Toyland), was the fantastic result of combining two tremendous talents with a childlike, fantasy world and adult situations (Laurel and Hardy, Toyland and an evil landlord's mortgage conspiracy, respectively). Such rich source material makes for a film of unsurpassed quality: featuring rich and imaginative environments, costumes, sights and sounds. Every fairytale has its day, from Little Bo Peep to the Three Little Pigs to Mother Goose, and even Santa. We all know that the winter months are a time to remember to greatest holiday classics from years past, and March of the Wooden Soldiers is unsurpassed in its genre.
The holidays are associated with bright and festive colors--bright reds, greens, blues and golds--that set a warm and cheery mood, and the movies that we choose to enjoy during this season are no different. Fortunately, this edition of March of the Wooden Soldiers has been colorized, bringing newfound vibrancy to the events on screen and helping to integrate this classic tale with the traditional warmth of the holiday season. Rather than a visually dull grayscale that reminds one of the dour winter weather, toy soldiers shimmer in brilliant red onscreen, and our two comedian leads are further humanized by their newfound flesh tones and colorful Christmas garb.
As colorization efforts go, March of the Wooden Soldiers is a superlative effort, looking as though it was originally produced in the first generation of Technicolor, rather than decades earlier. The producers in charge of this re-mastering effort clearly thought that we would find an "aged color" appearance more acceptable than attempting to make it look completely modern, and this approach works very well. I'm sure you'll agree if you see a preview.
It's worth noting that this disc also includes the black and white version of the movie, perhaps as a peace offering to those of you who might object to the alteration of a classic film. I would go so far, then, as to call this the definitive purchase of March of the Wooden Soldiers, not just because you'll have a choice between color and black and white, but because the first step in colorizing any movie is to "clean up" the pre-existing black and white material as much as possible, and it certainly shows in comparison with other versions available.
In addition to both versions of the movie, this disc's special features really push it over the top. As a media buff, the included classic trailers are a wonderful prelude to the main feature--I like to imagine that I'm getting the same experience as the audiences who first viewed Laurel and Hardy some seventy years ago. And, in keeping with this package's holiday theme, the animated Rudolph the Reindeer movie is thoughtfully included, ensuring that you and your family get the most value out of a single disc.
For any family or fan of holiday cinema, this package is definitely a must-buy."