Babes in Toyland

It’s rare that I ever get deeply affected when celebrities die. By definition, celebrities aren’t familiar, they’re totally foreign and unattainable, so their passing, while sad, doesn’t stop me in my tracks. Of course, Lady Di was an exception, and I imagine one day my great heroes will be an exception, too (I won’t name them here, it feels too morbid). Annette Funicello is an exception to the rule for me, too, even though I’ve only ever seen one movie she was in. The 1961 technicolor masterpiece “Babes in Toyland.” Did you ever see it? My mom had it on Betamax (!!) and I watched it until the tape wore down. To a young girl, Annette Funicello as Mary Contrary was magical. She was beautiful, sweet, smart, and had great hair. She passed away yesterday, and while her death doesn’t radiate as deeply to me as other people would, and more to other people than to me, she was a big part of my childhood in a delightful and happy way. And seeing as I’m already on a trip down childhood memory lane after yesterday, I’m grateful for the chance to reminisce about “Babes in Toyland” and more than a little proud that I still know all the words to the songs.




RIP, Annette.

PS. Because my mom and I can still belt out “THIS IS THE FOREST OF NO RETURN!” at random and crack up, I’m including this clip. And before she outs me, I’ll admit it, this scene used to scare the bejesus out of me.

8 thoughts on “Babes in Toyland

  1. Annette was my dad’s first crush! :) He was so sad yesterday. He said that seeing her was when 12 year old him discovered that girls had curves. How could he not? What an odd series of deaths in the last day. We always do a celebrity death watch at the end of the year (the deaths always come in threes and the Pope – whoever he is – is always on the list), which, while morbid can be highly entertaining. But. I digress. I have an interesting story about Margaret Thatcher that I’ll share on Friday. Strange days indeed.

  2. i didn’t realize she had passed, that is sad. i remember her so well from when i was young. i watched her movies and my grandparents would tell me “your mom watched her on mickey mouse club,” for whatever reason that made me love her more. and i really loved babes in toyland. i wanted to live inside that movie. xoxo

    ps (for lauren) what is a celebrity death watch?

  3. …..somewhere around ” Still you can’t get out. This it the Forest of No Return. This it the Forest of No Return. You have stumbled in, you have fumbled in, now you can’t get out.” MOM!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. I have not heard about Anette and the movie before she passed away. Before I give birth to the first generation of Americans in my family I definitely need to catch up on children’s culture in this country ;) Is the movie Babes in Toyland with Drew Barrymore a remake of the Disney movie?

  5. I did catch the news of Funicello’s death, along with Roger Ebert. I remember Funicello more for her role as a Mouseketeer. She was my favorite one and I thought she was so beautiful! Oh my, that clip would scare the bejesus out of my kids. ;) Lauren points out the rule of three and it has me wondering who is next. Or was there already a next and I missed it?

  6. Sadly, I haven’t heard of this one either, I blame it on being South African. I’m adding it to my list, along with the children’s books you posted about yesterday. I think it’s going to make for a very relaxing (and interesting) weekend!

  7. Never heard of it! i’m not doing very well this week.
    Everyone over here is arguing over whether the witch is dead or whether our saviour has passed on.

  8. I haven’t ever watched this movie but have had more than my share of Babes in Toyland high school musicals. Isn’t it sad when we can actually see pieces of our childhood passing us by?

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