directed by Hal Roach (1934)
Because of their rotation of Holiday films, we had TMC on in the background of our Christmas morning festivities, but when the Laurel and Hardy spectacle March of the Wooden Soldiers came on, we couldn’t help but become enthralled with surely one of the most visually bizarre and arresting movies I’ve seen lately.
I was so taken with the crazy human cat costumes, the midgets as beefy pigs, and the monkey playing a mouse that I actually bought the DVD – something I haven’t done in ages (and was promptly reminded of the unessecary annoyance of opening one of those things).
The plot centers around Little Bo Peep and the evil Silas Barnaby – Toyland’s cruelest resident who plans to make her his – even if it means framing her boyfriend for eating one of the three pigs! A journey to boogeyland brings on the evil… well, I’m not sure what they are except loads of extras in furry pants and truly grotesque masks who along with a thwarted Silas proceed to bring terror to Toyland for revenge.
Defending the joyful town are the toy soldiers – single minded wrecking machines that will stop at nothing (even a decapitated head) to destroy what they are after.Weird colorized animals, songs, an appearance from Santa and the hi-jinx of Laurel and the always shockingly styled (Hitler mustache and a page boy bob) Hardy round out the movie.
I am super excited for this oddball gem to become a new Christmas tradition – as long as the bizarre imagery doesn’t terrify our little one.
Notice the “Toy Story” font added to the DVD: