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This was one of my most favourite cartoons when I was growing up in the mid/late 1990's and early 2000's. It was recorded off Tele in Xmas '95 when it first broadcast and I loved it. My favourite character was Mole, he was so intelligent and likable. Voiced by Peter Davison (Doctor Who). Rat was good with his signing. Voiced by Richard Briers (A Good Life). I didn't like Badger, he was too stern. Voiced by Paul Eddington (Yes Prime Minister!) and as for Toad, oh No! Run Away! He was so annoying! Voiced by Hugh Laurie (Blackadder). Anywhy, this was a brilliant film. This was from the "The Dream Stone" producer, Martin Gates (I wondered if that guy still doing cartoons now?). I also loved Mole's Christmas. And I heard they did "The Adventures of Toad", this must of been the first part of "The Wind in the Willows" chronicles. I really want to buy a video of that! I miss this cartoon and I hope Channel 4 air it next Christmas! 10/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When I was a kid, I used to like this cartoon version of the famous Kenneth Grahame story about the river. This was just the first part of a three part bunch of stories. This is the order: The Adventures of Mole, Mole's Christmas and The Adventures of Mr. Toad. Anyway, you probably know the story. Mole's spring cleaning, then goes outside and discovers the river and meets Rat. Then later they meet Mr. Toad (voiced by Hugh Laurie), and finally meet Mr. Badger after a frightful trip in the Wild Wood. This cartoon was pretty good at the time, but not as good as some other versions of the story. I suppose it is alright!
The Wind in the Willows is one of my favourite books of all time. Of The Adventures of Mole, Mole's Christmas and The Adventures of Toad, all three are brilliant. True to the writing of the book, with lovely animation, charming storytelling, engaging characters and superb voice acting. My personal favourite of the three is Mole's Christmas, perhaps I'm biased though because Christmas is my favourite time of year and I always found this touching. My least favourite is The Adventures of Toad, but that is still great. This adaptation The Adventures of Mole is beautiful in every way. Of the three, I'd say this one had the best on the whole- though all three are impressively animated-, the backgrounds and colours are well and truly luscious and the character designs are an improvement on The Adventures of Toad. I loved the colourful tranquillity of the famous river scene, the haunting menace of Mole in the forest and the bouncy brightness of the scene with Toad, Rat and Mole and the horse-driven cart. The music is appropriately whimsical, with a couple of catchy songs in the mix as well. The writing is true to that of the book, intelligent, poignant and most of all funny. The story has all the charm and appeal one would want and is faithful in detail and spirit, and all the characters engage. Mole is adorable, Rat's intelligent, Toad's hilarious and the weasels/stoats are appropriately menacing. I also liked how the animals and the riverbank had their own class system. Badger I don't think is quite gruff enough though. The voice acting is superb across the board, Peter Davison and Richard Briers voice Mole and Rat perfectly and Hugh Laurie sounds bursting with enthusiasm as Toad. All in all, a simply beautiful adaptation of the first part of a wonderful story. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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