Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Disn-A-Thon: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)

Segments: Two stories. The Wind in the Willows: Concise version of Kenneth Grahame's story of the same name. J. Thaddeus Toad, owner of Toad Hall, is prone to fads, such as the newfangled motor car. This desire for the very latest lands him in much trouble with the wrong crowd, and it is up to his friends, Mole, Rat and Badger to save him from himself. - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: Retelling of Washington Irving's story set in a tiny New England town. Ichabod Crane, the new schoolmaster, falls for the town beauty, Katrina Van Tassel, and the town Bully Brom Bones decides that he is a little too successful and needs "convincing" that Katrina is not for him. [imdb]
The final package film of the series... This one combines two classic stories into one movie.  I'd have to say that this is definitely the strongest of all the package films.  No doubt about that.

It starts with The Wind In The Willows which is a personal favourite of mine.  I've grown up on the stories of Mr. Toad; everything from the book to the stop-motion television series.  Disney's animated version is a fun and adorable telling of the classic tale, including some fun songs and an exciting weasel fight.

After that, we get handed The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in a charming way that for some reason reminds me of their later styling on Beauty and The Beast.  Perhaps it's the character of Brom that just reminds me of Gaston, but I can't help but think they looked back at this feature when working on the latter.  Disney's take on the story of Ichabod Crane doesn't stray horribly far from the original story, which is kind of odd, if you know enough about their story-warping for most tales.

Anyways, I suppose this movie works quite well in the midst of all the full-length single-story features.  Either way, I am quite fond of it.