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Brian D. Seibel | Walnut Creek, CA USA | 04/06/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There are two versions offered for sale at Amazon. The Koch Vision Entertainment version, despite the description in the technical details, is NOT COLORIZED. The Goodtimes Home Video version version IS colorized. Which you prefer is entirely up to you, but don't order the Koch Vision version if you want the movie in color. The Koch Vision version has an extended silent film extra of the first time Laurel and Hardy appeared together (NOT as a team, however). The extra is interesting, but (by today's standards anyhow) a little slow. The Goodtimes Entertainment (Colorized) version, although a few cents cheaper than the other version, is, in my opinion, a much "cleaner" print. Even with the color level turned down so it appears as the original B&W, the Goodtimes version is sharper and more distinct. March of the Wooden Soldiers, holds up pretty well."
"Adapted from Victor Herbert's Opera "Babes in Toyland" this 1934 Laurel and Hardy Operetta presents us with a timeless Holiday Classic for the entire family to watch during the holidays. The DVD presentation has been meticulously Remastered and Colorized (for the next generation's enjoyment and for the Black & White traditionalists just turn off the color). Laurel & Hardy have never been better. The characters (Based on Mother Goose and popular Nursey Rhymes),the story line of Toyland(Santa's Toy making Headquarters preparing for the upcoming holiday's) & the Villian with his henchmen (Powerful Landlord and his Bogeyman Army) can't lose. The basis is an Operetta (loosely conducted) musical showcasing the infamous song, "Babes in Toyland".Laurel & Hardy play Stannie Dum and Ollie Dee respectively Santa's toymaker workers who are in constant trouble. Stannie accepts a Xmas toy order but mixes it up and he and Ollie are fired. (Mistakens the order of 600 soldiers at 1 foot tall for 100 soldiers at 6 foot tall, can you imagine?). Along with the Villian Landlord, Silas Barnaby trying to evict the "Old Woman in the Shoe" for non payment sets the story for this Family Christmas Classic, "MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLIERS"!!!!!You & the family will love and laugh continuously!! A great value. A must for the Holiday library!!!!"
Stan and Ollie in Glorious Black and White!
Scott T. Rivers | Los Angeles, CA USA | 01/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Thanks to the folks at Passport Video, we finally have an uncut black-and-white DVD of the Laurel and Hardy classic "March of the Wooden Soldiers" (1934). For purists who detest the "colorized" version, the Passport disc is a must-own. Transferred from a high-quality 35mm print, the DVD looks and sounds great - far superior to Hallmark's recent botch on "Sons of the Desert." As a special bonus, Passport has included the historic "Lucky Dog," a 1921 short that marked Laurel's first appearance with Hardy (who plays a villainous role). Stan and Ollie fans will not be disappointed with this long-overdue release."
A Holiday Classic
Scott T. Rivers | Los Angeles, CA USA | 01/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Laurel and Hardy treasure remains the definitive holiday movie. "March of the Wooden Soldiers" (the original "Babes in Toyland") is a timeless musical-comedy with Stan and Ollie in top form - abetted by stylish sets and visual effects. Most "colorized" films are an artistic desecration; however, this particular video is rendered in low-key pastels that resemble early Technicolor. The results are better than expected. Laurel and Hardy fans should be doubly pleased because this uncut version contains a delightful "storybook" sequence which hasn't been shown since the film's initial release in 1934. There have been several remakes of "Babes in Toyland," but none can match the original's effortless charm."
MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS (DVD)
Robert C. Graham | OGMORE BY SEA, VALE OF GLAMORGAN United Kingdom | 06/29/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"March of the Wooden Soldiers (Babes in Toyland) is one of a few Laurel and Hardy features in which Hal Roach lost ownership. Over the years it has been reissued and mostly cut in the process on the grounds of the Bogeymen sequences being too grim or to remove some or all of the songs in a misguided attempt to concentrate Stan and Ollie`s scenes. It is only fairly recently that a complete pristine master has been produced and superbly computer colourised now looking better than it has for decades. In its original form it is the best of the Laurel and Hardy operettas and, with its detailed studio created fantasy sets, is the most elaborate of all of their features.The colour version is so carefully effected that it gives the appearance of an early Technicolour film providing an extra dimension and depth reinforcing a more credible Mickey Mouse and the Three Pigs which was not quite achieved in black and white. Stan Laurel once said that his only regret about this film was that it had not been made in colour. This is probably the only Laurel and Hardy film to really benefit and be enhanced by an accurate colorisation.The film is a successful attempt to appeal to all ages. It is interesting to note that Disney granted permission to use Mickey Mouse and the Three Pigs together with their theme song. Perhaps `Toyland` may just have given Walt some inspiration for his first Disneyland. In fact Disney studied this film quite closely and remade it under the original title `Babes in Toyland` with obvious mimics of Stan and Ollie, but it was a poor, jazzed-up, shadow of the original.This version produced by Goodtimes Video, NY is very good. The picture quality and definition are excellent with superb colour rendering for a colourised movie. The sound is unfortunately the original mono track and somewhat flat. Nevertheless, it is good to see a high quality complete version including the original opening MGM titles which, oddly, is missing from the UK version of the film released by Eureka Video.There are some interesting and unusual extras such as the original theatrical trailer a short (1.5 mins) probably 16mm silent home movie of Stan and a 3.5 min sound interview of Ollie. The extras are of varying quality due to the source material.Overall this DVD presents a good quality, excellent value, version of a delightful, enduring minor classic.ROBERT C GRAHAM (UK)"