As in the classic fable, the grasshopper plays his fiddle and lives for the moment, while the industrious ants squirrel away massive amounts of food for the winter. With his song, he's able... See full summary »
Mickey, Donald, and Goofy live in a land where everything is dried up and dead. The only food they have is one loaf of bread, even Donald's plans of killing their cow fail. So Mickey ... See full summary »
The hen is looking for someone to help her plant her corn. Peter Pig and Donald Duck both feign belly aches to get out of the chore. So, with help from her chicks, she plants it herself. ... See full summary »
Ambrose the kitten renames himself Butch and runs away from home with plans to become a robber. His first intended victim, though, is a real robber: Dirty Bill, a dog. Dirty Bill asks ... See full summary »
The two foolish little pigs escort Red Riding Hood on a short cut through the woods, against the advice of their bricklayer brother. When they encounter the wolf, Red runs ahead to granny's... See full summary »
Mickey is heading out on vacation from Burbank to Pomona, taking the train. The conductor, Pete, won't let him on with Pluto, so he hides Pluto in his suitcase, and tries to hide him all ... See full summary »
King Midas is visited by an elf; the elf turns his cat to gold, then claps his hands and it changes back. Midas begs for the golden touch, but the elf warns him it would be a curse to him. ... See full summary »
The enthusiasms of a wealthy & irrepressible Toad and his passion for motorcars brings hilarious turmoil to the lives of his friends along the Riverbank.
Disney's THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS, originally the first half of THE ADVENTURES OF ICHABOD AND MR. TOAD (1949), gives a drastically shortened & much revised view of Kenneth Grahame's classic book, focusing entirely on the chapters dealing with the marvelous Mr. Toad. As such, it is a fine introduction to the original, but one can only wonder what Disney could have done with a feature length animated film that included the bucolic charm of the book, as well as the high jinks. The production values are excellent, and Eric Blore & J. Pat O'Malley obviously have a high time voicing Toad and his equine pal Cyril Proudbottom, but a true fan of the book can't help longing for a little more...
In the Prologue, narrator Basil Rathbone compares Toad very favorably to some other fabulous characters from English Literature - Robin Hood, King Arthur, Becky Sharp, Sherlock Holmes & Oliver Twist. A bit curious, as there was nothing fabulous about young Oliver (either Fagin or Micawber would have been a better choice) and considering Rathbone's own long association with the Holmes character.
Walt Disney (1901-1966) was always intrigued by pictures & drawings. As a lad in Marceline, Missouri, he sketched farm animals on scraps of paper; later, as an ambulance driver in France during the First World War, he drew comic figures on the sides of his vehicle. Back in Kansas City, along with artist Ub Iwerks, Walt developed a primitive animation studio that provided animated commercials and tiny cartoons for the local movie theaters. Always the innovator, his ALICE IN CARTOONLAND series broke ground in placing a live figure in a cartoon universe. Business reversals sent Disney & Iwerks to Hollywood in 1923, where Walt's older brother Roy became his lifelong business manager & counselor. When a mildly successful series with Oswald The Lucky Rabbit was snatched away by the distributor, the character of Mickey Mouse sprung into Walt's imagination, ensuring Disney's immortality. The happy arrival of sound technology made Mickey's screen debut, STEAMBOAT WILLIE (1928), a tremendous audience success with its use of synchronized music. The SILLY SYMPHONIES soon appeared, and Walt's growing crew of marvelously talented animators were quickly conquering new territory with full color, illusions of depth and radical advancements in personality development, an arena in which Walt's genius was unbeatable. Mickey's feisty, naughty behavior had captured millions of fans, but he was soon to be joined by other animated companions: temperamental Donald Duck, intellectually-challenged Goofy and energetic Pluto. All this was in preparation for Walt's grandest dream - feature length animated films. Against a storm of naysayers, Walt persevered and over the next decades delighted children of all ages with the adventures of Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi & Peter Pan. Walt never forgot that his fortunes were all started by a mouse, or that childlike simplicity of message and lots of hard work always pay off.
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