Rob King wrote:I don't think it has anything to do with the Disney movie. According to Richard Lewis Ward's history of the Hal Roach Studios, the renaming took place when four Laurel and Hardy features from the 1930s were reissued in the late 1940s, each with a new name. The Devil's Brother, Babes in Toyland, Bonnie Scotland, and Pick a Star thus became, respectively, Bogus Bandits, March of the Wooden Soldiers, Heroes of the Regiment, and Movie Struck.
BABES IN TOYLAND has gone through several reissue names and owners over the years. it was part of the five L and H feature films sold back to MGM by Roach to settle a lawsuit in the early 40's. Because MGM had no real interest in these films, the reissue rights were sold off to various firms, Astor Pictures picked up the other three L and H titles, and BABES IN TOYLAND was sold to Borris Morros and William LeBaron in 1946 because they planned a remake of the Victor Herbert operetta under a company they formed called Federal Films, which was never made. To make some quick cash off the deal, they sold off the rights to the Laurel and Hardy film to various people, there was a Federal Films reissue, then one by a distributor named Joe Auerbach under the title REVENGE IS SWEET in the late 40's. Robert Lippert reissued the film theatrically in 1950 under the title MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS, and these are the cut prints missing the "Go to Sleep, Slumber Deep" number and the storybook opening, that became the television standard prints in syndication.Sometime in the late 40's/early 50's, there were also 16mm non-theatrical prints released by a company called ERKO that were titled MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS that were basically complete, just minus the opening titles and a couple of the more gruesome shots from the boogeyman sequences, but were off the original negative and were beautiful quality (this is the print I have in my collection). The rights to the film have passed through several more hands, contrary to some belief the film is still under copyright, even though several home distributors like Thunderbird Films and Niles Film Products made prints of MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS available because there was no copyright on that specific title. Sadly, these home releases were usually of the Lippert cut version rather than the ERKO print.
RICHARD M ROBERTS