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Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (1996)

The Wind in the Willows (original title)
Trailer
2:22 | Trailer
Mole's (Steve Coogan's) underground home is bought by the Weasels from wealthy landowner Mr. Toad (Terry Jones) and Mole is thrown out. He and Rat (Eric Idle) start to fight to get his home back from evil Weasels.

Director:

Terry Jones

Writers:

Terry Jones (screenplay), Kenneth Grahame (novel)
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Coogan ... Mole
Eric Idle ... Rat
Terry Jones ... Toad
Antony Sher ... Chief Weasel
Nicol Williamson ... Badger
John Cleese ... Mr Toad's Lawyer
Stephen Fry ... The Judge
Bernard Hill ... The Engine Driver
Michael Palin ... The Sun
Nigel Planer ... The Car Salesman
Julia Sawalha ... The Jailer's Daughter
Victoria Wood ... The Tea Lady
Robert Bathurst ... St John Weasel
Don Henderson ... The Sentry
Richard James ... Geoffrey Weasel and Mole's Clock
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Storyline

Mole's (Steve Coogan's) underground home is bought by the Weasels from wealthy landowner Mr. Toad (Terry Jones) and Mole is thrown out. He and Rat (Eric Idle) start to fight to get his home back from evil Weasels.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

weasel | mole | toad | rat | mating | See All (65) »

Taglines:

Go wild in the country!


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for fanciful villainy and gunplay | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The marble bust of Toad's father in Toad Hall was based on David Jason, who voiced Toad in The Wind in the Willows (1984). See more »

Goofs

The judge bangs a gavel to maintain order in the court and confirm Toad's sentence. British judges don't use gavels. See more »

Quotes

Toad: [imitating the motor-car] Poop poop!
See more »

Connections

Version of The Headless Horseman (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

Messing About On The River
Music by Tony Hatch
Lyrics by Terry Jones
Performed by Eric Idle
See more »

User Reviews

A wonderfully light and fun version of the story with a great cast and a genuine sense of fun throughout
31 May 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Venturing out from his underground home, Mole joins Ratty for a river trip. They come across the rich Mr Toad, who has taken up caravanning as a new hobby. However this hobby is replaced by a new one when he is run off the road by a motorcar – sparking a new passion in his life. While Badger, Mole and Ratty try to cure Toad of his car obsession, the weasels use it against him in order to get the deeds to Toad Hall.

After making this film, Terry Jones had a public falling out with Disney resulting in them pulling it from a theatrical release, giving it a stupid title and dumping it out direct to video – a fate it certainly didn't deserve. It is Disney that now looks stupid though as this is a wonderfully fun film that is pure simple fun to watch, it is the sort of kid's film that adults love because they can easily enjoy it just as much as their children.

The plot is a good adaptation of Grahame's classic book with only the factory bit towards the end being the biggest change to the source material.

In honesty, this thinly veiled attack on the ethics of big business is not only what most likely annoyed Disney but also is the bit of the film that doesn't work that well – it is cluttered, overly busy, noisy and lacking in the clean, fresh wit of the majority of the film. However this is a minor complaint as the rest of the film is a real joy.

The film has a constant spring in it's step and is fresh and funny. For my money the best scene to demonstrate this humour is the wonderful courtroom scene where absurd wit runs amuck (Cleese's 'defence of Toad had me rolling!). I'm sorry for gushing about this but it is an underseen film due to Disney's shoddy treatment of it and, expecting it to be bad like all video releases, I was really surprised to find just how enjoyable it was. As director, Jones does a great job on the film – it looks great and only the odd bit of special effect work let it down: the land is an idyllic, colourful place full of leisure time and a kind, friendly sun that always shines!

What really raises the film up is an amazing cast who are pretty much all used well rather than just being cameos for cameos' sake. Idle is really good as Ratty, as is Coogan in a nicely played role as Mole – they both play the characters as I imagined them. Jones has the film's most fun role and he really does it very well, keeping the audience on Toad's side by playing up his childish side rather than an arrogant side. Sher is great as the chief weasel and has great fun, Williamson is well cast but has less fun with his role than the others. The support cast is great – not only most of the Python team but good little roles from Fry, Hill, Planner, Wood and others are all used well and rarely is a bum note hit.

Overall this is a big, lively, colourful film that will please children no end. For adults it is never silly enough to be just for kids and there are plenty of famous faces to keep them entertained. However more than that, adults will enjoy the film's constant absurd wit in the script and direction that only really flags when the film pulls itself into a straight finish with a cluttered finale that is good but not as fresh and free as what had gone before. Despite Disney's best efforts this remains a really good film and one that is worth hunting out if you want a good bit of fun for family viewing.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$72,844, 2 November 1997

Gross USA:

$72,844
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Allied Filmmakers See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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