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|“||I am the Toy Taker, fear me!||„|
|~ The Toy Taker|
The Toy Taker is the main antagonist-turned-anti-hero of the 2001 computer-animated Christmas film Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys. He was originally an anthropomorphic teddy bear known as Mr. Cuddles who was thrown away by a boy named Steven after he outgrew him. As a result, Mr. Cuddles disguised himself as the "Toy Taker", a thief who is particularly known for stealing other toys from being thrown away due to their owners outgrowing them.
Mr. Cuddles started his life as a Christmas present given to Steven. Mr. Cuddles was his favorite gift, playing with him and always took him everywhere he went. That is until the inevitable happened, when Steven was growing up and had found other interests and hobbies. This hurt Mr. Cuddles's feelings and he was put inside a box, before making his trip straight to the dump, which tore parts of his stuffing out.
Wishing to save other fellow Christmas toys from the fate of "outgrowth", he puts on an olive green fedora, an old green trench coat, sky blue mittens, and wears brown stilts, going under the name "Toy Taker". He used a magic flute (it is never mentioned how he got ahold of it) to hypnotize other toys and enter his large blimp.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys
The Toy Taker stumbles upon a home one stormy night and steals several toys inside, ranging from a ball, a panda, a rocking horse, a car, a drum, and a rag doll. Using his hypnotic flute, all of the toys were guided straight to his blimp, via vacuum suction. Next, he stole the tin toy soldiers from a bell tower with the vacuum. Home after home, neighborhood after neighborhood, the Toy Taker abducted toys all over the world from children who play with them.
The next night, after stealing the toys right out of Santa Claus's workshop, Rudolph, Hermey, Yukon Cornelius, Bumble, and Clarice set out to find and capture the Toy Taker. He is then seen inside an iceberg with the captured toys and he tells every one of them why they are there. He goes on to say in song that the kids outgrow their toys and abandon them, but still sympathetic when he dabs the tears off a rag doll and fixing and elephant's nose before leaving. Charlie in the Box refuses to except him as a friend, thinks the Toy Taker is nothing but a crook, and the toys are just his hostages.
He then succeeds in stealing the gingerbread toys from Castaway Cove, but after plundering the Island of Misfit Toys, the heroes disguise themselves as toys and sneak aboard the blimp that he uses as transportation; he was unable to take Bumble with him because he was "too... ginormous!". Therefore, Bumble was the only one to not be taken by the Toy Taker.
After the group are discovered, the Toy Taker pushes a button on his control and sends them falling through a trapdoor. They fly back on board and seem to corner him, but he escapes to the top of the blimp, followed by Yukon. But as Cornelius tries to get closer to the Toy Taker, he leaves holes on the blimp due to the spikes on his cleats, with the Toy Taker reminding him he was "ruining his blimp". At that moment, Yukon is then accidentally thrown off the blimp by a passing Boomerang That Doesn't Come Back, only to be saved by Bumble below.
Rudolph and Clarice then blind the Toy Taker with the red light from Rudolph's nose, prompting the hooligan to parachute into the abandoned Peppermint Mine. After a long chase through the rollercoaster-like mine, Toy Taker makes a run for it, but is lassoed by Yukon Cornelius (armed with dental floss borrowed from Hermie). Once his trench coat and his hat were yanked off by Yukon Cornelius, everyone watching (later joined by Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Bumble, and the gang) begin to discover the Toy Taker was a teddy bear on stilts named Mr. Cuddles. Still showing his fear, it begins to fade when no one would fear him.
Santa then comes up to him when he sees the stuffing fall out of his hole. When Rudolph questions why a teddy bear would steal toys, Mr. Cuddles corrects him that he only wanted to save them, from being forgotten by their owners. He then tells the story of how he once belonged to a young boy named Steven, before feeling seemingly abandoned and forgotten by him. However, Santa would tell him this is not the case, and assures him Steven would never forget him. Mr. Cuddles also apologized for his actions and returned all of the toys he had stolen. In the end, he redeems himself and after being repaired by Queen Camilla, he is delivered to Steven's daughter by Santa. She wakes to see him and hugs Mr. Cuddles when Steven, now a fully grown adult, looks down to see him.