This children's record contains songs from the Disney version of the Victor Herbert operetta Babes in Toyland. Interspersed between the songs there is narration by Little Boy Blue. The record jacket also includes a "magnificent full-color illustrated book." The highlight of the record is the brisk wit of Mel Leven's lyrics, which were written specially for the Disney adaptation. The album is replete with clever lines like this one from "I Can't Do the Sum": "I'm not a great financial wiz, of that there is no doubt. The outcome of our income is our income's all gone out." Disney regular George Bruns (whose resume includes Robin Hood, Sleeping Beauty, and The Sword in the Stone) was Oscar-nominated for his adaptation of Herbert's music, but the compositions are not particularly inspired. It doesn't help that the vocal performances are uniformly anemic. Ray Bolger's villainous Barnaby is yawningly bland and Annette Funicello's cutesy take on Mary is pretty hard to sit through. Children may not notice; the tunes are probably catchy enough to hold their attention. But with dozens of Disney records to chose from, it shouldn't be hard to find something more compelling than Babes in Toyland.
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