Considering that it was produced five years prior to “Wizard of Oz,” I submit that “March of the Wooden Soldiers” is the superior children’s classic.
Did Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy ever appear in a truly awful film? It’s hard to be objective when dealing with characters as likeable as these two but I really don’t think that they did. Okay, some of their later features weren’t always as good as their earlier classics but they managed to bring a degree of personal charm and magic to every film that they made. Any rare complaints about their films are usually centred upon distractions that serve to cut down on Laurel and Hardy’s own screen time: subplots that focus on supporting characters or overlong musical interludes that work to freeze the comedic flow. Remarkably, March of the Wooden Soldiers features musical interludes and it devotes much screen time to a multitude of supporting characters and subplots but it still stands as one of Laurel and Hardy’s best films.
March of the Wooden Soldiers is the 1952 reissue title for Hal Roach’s 1934 film version of Victor Herbert’s Babes in Toyland. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy star as Stannie Dum and Ollie Dee, bumbling apprentices to the master toymaker of Toyland.