The Brave Tin Soldier (film #25 on The Cartoons That Time Forgot: The Ub Iwerks Collection, Vol. 1 (Image Entertainment, 1999)). [Category: Hollywood]

This takes quite a few liberties with the original fairy tale, but who cares? Toys coming to life make great cartoon fodder and the toys in this cartoon are really delightful. A discarded one-legged tin soldier vies with a creepy old king doll for the affections of a pretty ballerina doll. She definitely prefers the soldier, so the king sets up a rigged trial (presided over by a Groucho Marx jack-in-the-box, the cartoon's weirdest moment), and then orders his execution by firing squad. The ending is romantic, fun, and surprising––the ballerina throws herself on her lover and they are both shot into the fireplace, where they are consumed by the fire together (sniff! sniff!). But their souls end up in Toy Heaven (isn't that a great concept?), where the soldier is reunited with his missing leg. Don't miss this one.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.

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