The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
78 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
One of the most underrated animated films ever
Billy-8729 May 1999
Finally Walt Disney Home Video has got their act together and released "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad" in its entirety (the two stories have been available in separate forms for quite some time). I'll admit that the clunky title doesn't inspire much more enthusiasm than it did back in 1949 (the film tanked, from what I've heard), but I hope some people will give this a chance just based on the Disney name. "The Wind in the Willows", narrated by Basil Rathbone, is a delightfully comic adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's classic novel, keeping the proper British tone (children may not get some of the UK slang used) while still remaining a lot of fun. The highlight is the courtroom scene, featuring a bullying prosecutor (voiced by Disney animator/voice artist John McLeish, who also narrated the Goofy "How to" shorts) going toe-to-toe with a wonderfully insolent Toad (a great performance by Eric Blore). "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", based on a story (not a novel, as the film suggests) by Washington Irving, is even better, making the most of its American colonial setting with some especially interesting layouts and backgrounds. The humor found in the rivalry between schoolteacher Ichabod Crane and local roughneck Brom Bones for the hand of the manipulative tease ("coquette", in the film) Katrina von Tassel is some of Disney's best. The Halloween sequence leading up to the Headless Horseman's appearance is the most skillfully directed piece of animation I have ever seen outside of "Fantasia", conveying a magnificent sense of dread through both sound (the chilling echo of whistling and laughter, crickets chanting Ichabod's name, frogs croaking "headless horseman" over and over) and image (fireflies inside a tree trunk forming the eyes of a shrouded ghost, Ichabod's sweaty, nervous terror, the subtle cloud effect of hands closing over the moon). This is far more frightening than any horror film I have seen. All in all, a smart (listen to the narration and learn some new vocabulary words) film in every way. One final note: I have not seen this film in years (I saw it plenty of times on The Disney Channel during the 1980s), and I noticed the many scenes involving both alcohol and weapons, particularly in "The Wind and the Willows" segment. I accepted the scenes back then as a child and had no problem with them now, thanks to the general tone of the picture. Although the concept of Toad being restrained from blasting a bayonet-wielding weasel with a shotgun and seeing Toad and his friends running from various flying knives, swords, and axes sounds like something to stay away from, it is all harmless fun. Give it a chance.
21 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Satisfying Disney Animation
gbheron10 October 2002
Made at the end of the first age of Disney animation, "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad" consists of two separate animated adaptations of classic stories. The Ichabod of the title is Ichabod Crane from "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", and the Mr. Toad is J. Thaddeus Toad from the "Wind in the Willows". Each is short, running only about 35 minutes apiece, and is narrated by top of the line actors, Basil Rathbone doing the honors for "The Wind in the Willows", and Bing Crosby for "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". I've not read either story so can't judge the adaptations accuracy, but it doesn't matter. Both stories are highly entertaining, and if you like the old school Disney animation, you won't be disappointed.
12 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Two Wild - And Very Different - Rides
Ron Oliver15 September 2003
From English and American literature come two fabulous characters who will forever excite readers with THE ADVENTURES OF ICHABOD AND MR. TOAD.

This was the last of Disney's compilation or anthology films - a form necessitated by the exigencies of the War years - and is actually a double featurette. Both halves would eventually be spun off into individual short subjects and work very well independently of each other. Their connections are quite tenuous: besides featuring 'fabulous characters' each story showcases a celebrated wild ride - one of which would, indeed, provide a long-lasting 'dark show' attraction at Disneyland.

First up is THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS, which gives a drastically shortened & much revised view of Kenneth Grahame's classic book, focusing entirely on the chapters dealing with the exploits of the marvelous Mr. Toad and the troubles arising from his fixation with motorcars & speed (although much more time is spent showing him in his canary-coloured gypsy cart). As such, it is a fine introduction to Toad Hall, but one can only wonder what Disney would have done with a feature length animated film that included the bucolic charm of the novel, the glories of the Riverbank & the terrors of the Wild Wood as well as the high jinks. The production values are excellent, with narration by the inimitable Basil Rathbone, and Eric Blore & J. Pat O'Malley obviously have a high time voicing the wanton Toad and his equine pal Cyril Proudbottom, but a true fan of Grahame's original creation can't help longing for a little more...

Washington Irving's famous story, THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW, comes alive in the second half of the movie. Bing Crosby's singing narration and the top-notch animation tell a tale of humor and genuine fright. Ichabod Crane, the pedantic pedagogue, is a triumph of the animators' art, while the film's climax - the ride through the Hollow & the appearance of the hideous Hessian - is a celebration of pacing and stylistic understatement. Based on material much shorter than Grahame's, the plot fits into the half hour time slot more easily and still has the luxury of introducing a wholly original & hilarious minor character in the chubby little Tilda, who completely steals the dancing sequence. It is the Horseman, however, who should remain the longest in the viewer's uneasy dreams - the embodiment of every Halloween nightmare.
15 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Excellent binding of two classic stories
TheLittleSongbird30 March 2010
I am a huge Disney fan at 17, and while The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad is not the best of the Disney canon, it is hugely enjoyable and definitely worth seeing. While I would rank both The Wind in the Willows and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow a 9/10, personally if I were to say which was better, the latter but only marginally. Merely because it holds more of a nostalgic value.

The Wind in the Willows is a condensed but very faithful 30 minute or so cartoon, based on the Kenneth Graheme literary classic. While it does drag in places, it does very well with what it crams into such a short running time. It is very lovingly animated, with some rich backgrounds and lovely colours. I also liked the music, it was lyrical, rousing and fun, the sort of music you will find in a Silly Symphony. Also the voice acting is very expressive, Basil Rathbone who I know best as Sherlock Holmes(well one of the actors playing the fictional detective) is brilliant as the narrator and Eric Blore is a lot of fun as Toad. Other characters I liked were Badger, who is very firm and gruff and Cyril, the Horse, a character who featured in one of the more memorable scenes from the cartoon, second only to the hilarious Courtroom scene.

On the other hand, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a terrifying yet worthwhile classic. One of my favourite moments in anything to do with Disney along with Willie the Operatic Whale. Bing Crosby is sublime as the narrator, never overdoing it, it was just right. The animation has an appropriately dark visual style, and the music is also memorable and fitting. The famous story features a schoolmaster named Ichabod Crane, and his love for Katrina and rivalry between him and Brom Bones, who like Gaston is a handsome tower of strength. Perhaps the most memorable moment of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is the part when Ichabod meets the Headless Horseman, a character that was so scary he gave me nightmares when I was little. The Headless Horseman is the sort of character who is imitated in stuff like Scooby Doo yet never as well, the very look of him here makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.

Overall, this is an excellent binding of two classic stories. 9/10 Bethany Cox
12 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Makes excellent viewing for Halloween...good mixture of mirth, madness and fright...
Doylenf25 June 2004
The Disney animators were still at the height of their genius when they made this double featurette based on classic American folklore. The clever humor and artful animation brighten both tales, but it's likely to be the Ichabod tale based on "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" that you're going to remember...especially for that final confrontation of the frightened Ichabod with the Headless Horseman! And there hasn't been a funnier minor character in a Disney film than the chubby Tilda who finds herself being whirled onto the dance floor by Bram Bones when he seeks revenge on Ichabod. This sequence is one of the funniest ever in a Disney film and is followed by the payoff "fright" sequence as Ichabod makes his way home after the party.

The toad story is a bit ponderous but is also brightened by clever animation and bits of humor with some droll voice overs supplied by Eric Blore and Pat O'Malley.

It's pure fantasy with all the Disney magic on hand. And that final encounter with the Headless Horseman makes this ideal for viewing on Halloween!
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Anti-consumerist Taoism?
BrandtSponseller4 November 2007
Generally underrated, or at least relatively overlooked, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is a favorite of mine that just keeps getting better with each viewing. I've seen it probably ten times over the years, yet I keep noticing subtle visual jokes and layers of meaning that I previously missed. For just one example, only on this last viewing did I finally notice the weasel sleeping in Toad Hall who is supported by a woman in a painting. My appreciation of the beautiful animation in general also seems to grow with each viewing.

The film consists of two halves, the first a Disneyfied version of Kenneth Grahame's "Wind in the Willows", the second a Disneyfied version of Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". While both can be read as light, often surreal, sometimes goofy, and always-funny stories (and hence kids, young and old--time for me to raise my hand--can appreciate them), adults can easily read various "deeper" meanings into the tales.

For example, Mr. Toad's fickle manias and the predicament they lead to could be seen as a criticism of consumerism. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow could be read as an exemplification of the value of Taoist or Zen-Buddhist mindfulness and "going with the flow"--as well as a warning about letting delusions take hold instead. This isn't to say that these interpretations were intended by Grahame, Irving, or Disney's artists, or that they're the "right" interpretations, just that they're made possible and plausible by the depth of the material.
11 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
J. Thaddeus Toad and Old Icky
bkoganbing1 December 2012
I guess you describe this Walt Disney classic as a cartoon/cartoon. Two separate stories done to fill out one barely over an hour film. After 63 years it still has enough magic to entertain.

Why Disney reversed the order of The Adventures Of Ichabod and Mr. Toad I've not figured out since the Mr. Toad story comes first. Basil Rathbone narrates this part and Eric Blore is delightful as that rascally scamp J. Thaddeus Toad who has the finest estate on riverbank. But he's a spendthrift and really needs a keeper. Which his friends the badger, the rabbit and the mole supply.

Blore reached back to his own career in interpreting Toad and I think Disney and his staff of animators must have seen him in The Road To Zanzibar and his character of Bates the valet to The Lone Wolf in that series. In Zanzibar Blore has a brief but memorable part as an eccentric millionaire who sells Crosby and Hope and diamond mine, but he's also the family idiot and he has no mines to sell or rights to sell them. And seeing how his Toad character escapes from the law reminds me so much of Bates making fools of the law in helping Warren William outwit them.

Washington Irving's Legend Of Sleepy Hollow is the basis for Ichabod and Bing Crosby narrates and sings with Jud Conlon's Rhythmaires backing him up and occasionally providing a voice. Ichabod Crane the new schoolmaster is cutting in on Brom Bones and his wooing of the richest girl in town Katrina Von Tassel. We all know how Brom Bones got Ichabod out of town on a stormy Halloween night, but you have to see the fine animation that Disney did for this film to really appreciate it.

Bing gets three songs to sing in this film, Ichabod Crane, Katrina, and The Headless Horseman. The last is really memorable and a great song for kids of all ages on a Halloween night.

Remember folks, you can't reason with a headless man.
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Entertaining animated double-header; suffers slightly from a lull during the Sleepy Hollow segment.
barnabyrudge1 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Two classic works of children's' literature are presented in this animated double-header from the Disney folks. First up is a splendid adaptation of The Wind In The Willows (by Kenneth Grahame); the second half features a slightly tedious but climactically quite creepy rendition of The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow (by Washington Irving). From the point-of-view of animation, the film is absolutely gorgeous, with richly designed characters and places and seamless movement. From the point-of-view of entertainment, the film is generally charming despite losing its way during the mid-section of the Sleepy Hollow segment.

Toad of Toad Hall is an extravagant creature whose obsessive interest in adventurous pursuits threatens to cost him his stately home. His friends Ratty, Mole and Badger try to help him put his affairs in order, but to little avail. When Toad is falsely imprisoned for car theft, Toad Hall falls into the hands of a bunch of unscrupulous weasels and the devious Mr Winky. Reinstating Toad Hall to its rightful owner rests on the heroes snatching a deed that proves Toad's innocence....

Ichabod Crane, an odd-looking school master, arrives in the peaceful community of Sleepy Hollow to begin work in the local school. He catches the eye of the village beauty Katrina, but this proves mighty irritating for the local hunk Brom Bones. After trying various schemes to get rid of Ichabod, Brom finally hits upon the idea of scaring him out of town by telling the story of the Headless Horseman that roams the nearby woods. Then one night, poor Ichabod personally comes face to face with the ghostly horseman....

Each section is narrated by a big star - the Mr Toad half is brilliantly told by Basil Rathbone, while Bing Crosby uses his soothing, absorbing tone to narrate the Ichabod Crane section. Overall The Wind In The Willows part is the better of the two sections. It has many fabulously funny touches (Cyril, the Yorkshire accented horse, in particular has some great moments) and is vibrantly exciting. The climax, in which the heroes attempt to seize a deed that proves Toad as the rightful owner of Toad Hall, contains moments that are ingeniously funny in the best Disney tradition. The Sleepy Hollow section starts promisingly, but the mid-section becomes repetitive and tedious. Having said that, the finale in which Ichabod flees from the Headless Horseman is absolutely great. The crescendo of dramatic music and the foreboding colours and forest silhouettes make the sequence genuinely hair-raising. On the whole, The Adventures Of Ichabod And Mr Toad is an entertaining and pleasing-to-the-eye film with a sufficient variety of pleasures to keep kids and adults alike engrossed.
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One of the better Disney features
edboles20 July 2002
Excellent feature comprising of 2 half-hour segments. The animation is first rate, particularly on Ichabod's journey home through the woods, which is the highlight of the film. The quality of the direction and storytelling is excellent, and though both are quite short, they are remarkably concise and fully formed, and actually feel like they are both feature length. They are both highly atmospheric, and the characterisations are top-notch. There are some aspects of the film which have dated it somewhat, but you get past that soon enough. This film is also notable for it's fine use of colour. Anyone with an interest in animation should see this film.
6 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Some of the best Disney work!
medic249a227 July 2004
Having never seen 'Mr. Toad', I can only comment on the 'Legend of Sleepy Hollow', having seen it many times as a child when 'Disney's Wonderful World' was running on the CBC. This has got to be some of the greatest work of Walt Disney. Washington Irving's original story is closely followed, unlike Tim Burton's 1999 version (still an awesome movie in its own right). The sequence involving Ichabod Crane's terrifying ride through the woods is undoubtedly the best, from the toads croaking 'Ichabod' to the Headless Horseman chasing Ichabod through the woods - it's alternately funny and frightening. It always appeared at Halloween on the Disney show, and I can't remember ever missing it.
8 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Storytime with Disney
jimjo121631 August 2013
It seems like the best Disney animated classics opened with a shot of a hardcover storybook, and that's doubly true for this film, which ties together literary classics "The Wind in the Willows" (narrated by Basil Rathbone) and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (narrated and sung by Bing Crosby). Each segment runs just over 30 minutes. Both stories are entertaining and fun for all ages, with excellent character animation from Disney's Old Men.

"Sleepy Hollow" has become a Halloween favorite, but I feel that "The Wind in the Willows" is the stronger short. It's just great, with Eric Blore's enthusiastic Mr. Toad, a Cockney horse, motor mania, devious weasels, a prison escape, and a brilliantly madcap free-for-all at Toad Hall. "Sleepy Hollow" takes a while building to the famous Headless Horseman climax, and the anachronistic Ken Darby pop tunes don't feel right with the colonial setting. The library framing device ties the two animated segments together nicely, and the celebrity narrators do a commendable job. A great little movie.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One great short, one good short, both presented well.
TOMNEL2 April 2007
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is a double feature movie, that features wraparound segments to explain the stories in a library.

Story 1: The Wind in the Willows.

Mr. Toad, the mayor and owner of Toad Hall, discovers something better than his horse Cyrill to ride...a motorcar. Mr. Toad gets thrown in prison for allegedly stealing a motorcar, and on Christmas day he escapes, hiding from the police at Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole's house. This segment is a true Disney masterpiece. It only has a short running time, but it feels like a feature length Disney classic. The voices for this are perfect, as well as the lush animation and character designs. The music is good, even though only one very catchy song is featured. This is my favorite of the two segments. My rating: **** out of ****. 36 mins.

Story 2: Sleepy Hollow.

Bing Crosby narrates and voices pretty much every character in this dark tale. Ichabod Crane is a mild mannered, goofy schoolteacher who ends up learning about the tale of the headless horseman at a party, and then meeting him. There's really not much story here, and the ending is pretty depressing, but it still works because of the many songs sung by Bing Crosby, and the slapstick humor added in the horror. My rating: ** 1/2 out of ****.
5 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Old is Gold
v_haritha_in30 August 2014
This movie is a set two unrelated but very enjoyable shorts. The first is an abridged version of Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows. It tells the story of an anthropomorphic toad who is goodhearted but loves to live beyond his means and his animal friends who try to save Toad from himself.

Some changes have been made to the novel to make Toad more likable. All the characters are well-developed. The dialog in simple and elicits a few laughs and there is one particularly catchy song. It is narrated by Basil Rathbone, with a gentlemanly air, perfect for this tale set in Victorian London. However, this short is only meant for kids; the human characters treat the animals like equals and it is difficult for adults to take it seriously.

The second short adopts the Legend of the Sleepy Hollow onto screen. This short in true to its source material and it has no dialog. The story is told through a narrator (Bing Crosby) and has a few musical numbers. Ichabod Crane moves to a sleepy little village of Dutch- settlers, as the new school master. He finds himself competing with the local roughneck, Brom Bones for the affections of Katerina Von Tassel. One night, to scare Ichabod, Brom tells him about the local myth of a headless horseman, who haunts the woods around the village at night. But could the legend be true?

While the first short had clear cut good and bad guys, the line is blurred here. Ichabod is rather opportunistic and covets Katerina for her wealth. Brom is not very pleasant and is shown to go to great lengths to out-rival Ichabod. Katerina herself likes to toy with the affections of both the men and is referred as a "coquette".

The animation is good in Mr.Toad's story but it is simply wonderful in Ichabod's. The movie makes full use of the creative possibilities it offers to bring Ichabod's thoughts and imaginations to life. There is a song in which Ichabod dreams of the money he could make from Katerina's farm, after marrying her and it has a beautiful sequence that shows a wheat grain in the fields turning into a gold coin as it falls down. Similarly, the final song, where Ichabod is traveling in the woods, shows exactly how one imagines to see and hear specters in the dark when they are scared. The headless horseman, when he finally appears, is every bit as impressive as he has been built up or as our imagination can conjure.

I will say it even if I sound clichéd; they don't make it like this anymore.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
entertaining althrough
lagudafuad2 January 2013
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is a 1949 animated feature produced by Walt Disney himself. It comprises of two segments, one of which is based on Kenneth Grahame's 1908 children's book The Wind in the Willows and the other story is based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow which is a short story by Washington Irving contained in his collection, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is the 11th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. Disney had shifted from making full length animations and started making short package movies due to the involvement of America in the ongoing World War II at the time. War saw some of his (Walt Disney) animators being drafted to the it and due to the heavy cost of making full length features on a single story, package shorts were released during the period and a total of six were done, and there were Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Make Mine Music, Fun and Fancy Free, Melody Time and this movie The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is the last.

Basil Rathbone (Sherlock Holmes) and Bing Crosby were cast as narrators in order to pull viewers. The movie plot is quite similar to the stories that they were adapted from, with Mr. Toad's story (which is narrated by Basil Rathbone), has the charismatic J. Thaddeus Toad, Esq. who was ready to do anything to fulfill his fun craze for adventure, giving up everything and getting into trouble for purchasing a stolen motor car.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is also close to its story (narrated by Bing Cosby), it tells the tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. As Ichabod's selfish desire to claim the wealth of Katrina Van Tassel father by marrying his daughter led him to cross fire with the towns bully Brom Bones, who eventually scared Ichabod off with his stories of the headless horseman (which Ichabod later met).

Ironically both stories, The Wind in the Willows and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow were initially planed to be full length animations, the work on The Wind in the Willows started in 1941 but was halted during the war and done as a short but kept awaiting a suitable pairing. The production of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was done in 1946, but when they noticed how short the movie will be, Disney then decided to pair it up with The Wind of Willows and released together under the name The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.

The movie is a critical acclaim, and it is a nice watch for both adult and kids alike. There is no moral in these stories just good old cartoon fun.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Decent animation and stories.
BoydudeReviews1 November 2018
First off, I had no idea that this film was two separate stories. I thought it was one whole story. The first story is pretty lame and boring,. The character designs look pretty dull looking,although the animation and backgrounds are impressive. The second story has a mucb more engaging plot and the main character design is pretty quirky and interesring.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
"You can't reason with a headless man."
utgard144 January 2016
The best of Disney's combination/anthology films of the 1940s. It may be an odd combo of two unconnected stories but they're both so strong you don't really mind much. The first story, about a colorful character named Mr. Toad's crazy obsessions that nearly leads him to ruin, is an adaptation of part of Kenneth Grahame's novel The Wind in the Willows. It's narrated by Basil Rathbone and features fine voice work from Eric Blore and others. The second story, narrated by Bing Crosby, is probably the best screen adaptation of the Washington Irving story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow I've seen. It's light-hearted and humorous for the most part but the sequence with the Headless Horseman near the end is exciting and even frightening (particularly to little ones). Both cartoons are fun with good characters and beautiful animation and music. Bing Crosby sings some songs, as well. I always preferred the Ichabod story growing up but, as I grew older, I began to appreciate Wind in the Willows more. They're both wonderful cartoons made by Disney during the era they produced so many classics. Definitely worth a look for young and old alike.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Two stories that fit nicely together
The_Film_Cricket29 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I think that of the six compilation films that Walt Disney made between 1942 and 1950, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is probably my favorite, mainly because the focus is on storytelling rather than on experimenting with visual gimmicks.

It's kind of an odd film. It tells two stories that have a running theme and are connected by something that I suspect is a haunted library complete with floating books (remind you of anything?) and a pair of narrators that are heard but never seen.

The stories are classics, kind of morality tales populated by colorful characters. The first – in spite of movie's title – is the tale of Mr. Toad, narrated by Basil Rathbone. It comes from Kenneth Grahame's "The Wind in the Willows" featuring the speed-loving Mr. Toad who is addicted to new inventions and anything that can satisfy his lust for extreme sports. He's got a lust for life but seems to be blind to the fact that he's a magnet for property damage. This concerns his friends Mr. Rat, Mr. Mole and Angus MacBadger. They try and talk their friend out of his addiction, but it's just at that moment that he has a near-orgasmic moment when he spots his very first motor car.

He must have it, and he goes to such lengths as selling his manor Toad Hall to a crooked barkeep named Winkie. When Toad is arrested, Winkie claims that the car was stolen and Toad is sent off to prison. So, his buddies gather together to free their friend and expose Winkie as a fraud.

One thing that I notice, first of all, is that Mr. Toad is not really likable. He's an addict, and only really learns his lesson when he neck is on the line. And even THAT doesn't last.

I like the clean animation here and the voices aren't you typical cartoon voices. Too often you hear voices of animated characters that are so distracting that your mind fixates on the celebrity behind the microphone rather than the character and their motivation. Here they seem to fit perfectly, especially Rathbone who is quite a good storyteller.

I like the characters but the one that stands out is Toad's horse friend Cyril Proudbottom who joins him in his escapades.

The second story retells Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and is narrated by Bing Crosby. The difference here is that the narration tells the story rather than the characters. Here we meet Ichabod Crane, as a man of appetites. Despite his thin frame he's constantly eating and he's constantly has a lust in his heart for money. Actually, this Ichabod is kind of unlikeable. He begins a courtship with the farmer's daughter Katrina but his inner monologue tells us that he's looking forward to inheriting the farm. He constantly one-ups his rival Brom Bones, but as we see, Ichabod is a guy who doesn't know when the quit.

I love the animation here. There are a lot of exaggerated motions, especially on Icabod, but of course, the best is saved for last, as Ichabod heads home and becomes the prey of The Headless Horseman. This scene is brilliant especially in the moments before the chase with those clouds closing in on the mood, the cat-tails thumping on the log – and THEN the headless horsemen, which is a terrifying sight.

You wouldn't imagine that these two stories would fit together, but I think what we have are the stories of two guys who live by their appetites, with concern for little else. Both get their comeuppance but it's not really made clear that they learned anything. Personally, I like that approach.

Now, when you see these stories on television their usually broken up into separate cartoons – no, I shouldn't soft-soap it, they're ALWAYS broken up into two stories. I don't think it works as well. Their effective separately but together there's a nice narrative arch between them. It's one of Disney's nice buried treasures.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Half good, half bad
CuriosityKilledShawn24 October 2010
They got the title wrong. It should be "The Adventures of Mr. Toad and Ichabod" as the Wind and the Willows story comes first. And what a great story it is.

Set mostly at Christmas, the Mr. Toad story has a wonderful festive feel and really does stand on its own. It's such a shame that the dull, boring Legend of Sleepy Hollow story bogs it down.

I wasn't particularly entertained by the Tim Burton film but at least stuff happened in it. More than 25 minutes of this version is dedicated to Ichabod romancing some woman and only 60 seconds from the end to we get to see a headless horseman. Since I bought the DVD after the halloween-ish cover caught my interest I was kinda annoyed that it failed on this promise but delivered a nice Xmas story, if entirely unexpected.

This was my first encounter with a Disney "Package" film and I have to admit that Mr. Toad should have been released independently as a short and Ichabod forgotten about completely.
5 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Handsome Disney featurettes could maybe use more humor
moonspinner5519 June 2005
Two handsomely-presented featurettes from Walt Disney could maybe use more of the studio's patented cute humor. The adaptation of "The Wind in the Willows" is a bit high-brow for little ones, though it has an appropriately dry wit, muted colors and a delightful narration by Basil Rathbone. "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", with Bing Crosby narrating, is brighter and faster, featuring some spectacular, scary animation. A virtually slapstick-free package, though the second chapter is a lively one! **1/2 from ****
4 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A very charming pair of films.
La Gremlin29 June 2000
I remember seeing this compilation feature many times on the Disney Channel. The Wind in the Willows segment is great fun although a great deal of the book is ignored. The Sleepy Hollow segment, on the other hand, is awesome! The scenes when Ichabod is desperately trying to survive his journey through the Hollow is one of my favorite animated sequences of all time.

By the way, I haven't yet seen Tim Burton's take on the story, but it will take a lot to outdo this version!
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Its ok.
invisibleunicornninja4 November 2018
A few years ago we had to watch this movie at school because our school's name is Ichabod Crane and the story comes from the area. Its a pretty forgettable movie. Not bad or good, but ok, I guess.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
don't like these characters
SnoopyStyle7 October 2017
The narrator reads from two stories; The Wind in the Willows and Sleepy Hollow. The first story has Toad becoming obsessed with the new motor cars. He is arrested for stealing one and imprisoned to his friends' dismay. It's actually a scam to take over Toad Hall. The second story has Ichabod Crane arriving at Sleepy Hollow to be the new schoolmaster. The town's eligible bachelors including the hulking Brom Bones and the superficial Ichabod are pursuing the wealthy heir Katrina van Tassel.

The two Disney stories are approximately half hour each. It's old school animation with plenty of charms. The problem is that neither stories are my tastes. Toad is foolish almost to the annoying extreme. The animals are cute and I can excuse his foolishness. On the hand, Ichabod is not appealing at all. He is basically a male gold-digger. He is finicky, greedy, and gross. He's not in love with Katrina. She is nothing more than a trophy and a pot of gold to him. Granted, she's very two dimensional. It might work as a horror but that's not what Disney is going for. The animation work is solid but I don't like these stories or characters.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Interesting Stories to Put Together
Michael_Elliott4 November 2015
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)

*** (out of 4)

This here is a pretty good Disney film that takes two famous stories and adds that magical touch to them. The first story is based on The Wind and the Willows with the second being based around The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

THE ADVENTURES OF ICHABOD AND MR. TOAD isn't the greatest film to come from Disney but it certainly has enough great animation to make it worth sitting through. It's really strange that the studio would put these two stories together since they're so different and apparently in the years that followed it was the second film that got released on its own. I'd agree that the adaptation of Sleepy Hollow was the better of the two films but at the same time there's some better animation to be found in the first.

Again, this is Disney so the animation skills are extremely high and I especially thought that the background work in the first film simply jumped off the screen. This is especially true in the scenes where there's a lot of action moving around in the front. Just take a look at the background and see how much sharp detail is there. The second film also looks beautiful and contains some terrific images and especially the scene where the pumpkin head is thrown towards the camera.

Neither short has that much character development and I'd say that the direction of both is rather laid back at times. Still, there's no question that there's some very good vocal work and the animation is top level.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Pleasing double bill with a good deal of wit and charm
supremekingdan10 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is a rather obscure effort from the Disney catalogue, and that's a big shame, because I really do love it.

When I was around 5 or 6 I owned a VHS copy of Disney's 1990 The Prince and the Pauper film. I remember watching it quite a bit, but I always stayed behind for the extra short film put on the cassette; it was The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, narrated by Bing Crosby, and I'm pretty sure I thought this bonus short was better than the main feature. It was funny, spooky, and just plain entertaining. And it was later that I found out it was in its own movie.

So what we have here is basically a cartoon double feature, with both cartoons being adaptations of classic stories. First we have The Wind in the Willows, narrated by Basil Rathbone. It's the classic story of Mr. Toad, a character who develops a mania for anything new and hot, and would give anything for the latest car model - even, perhaps, his mansion. It's a very well paced adventure with a brilliant voice choice for Toad (Eric Blore, most famous for playing the butler in the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musical series), and some amusing supporting characters (I loved Cyril the Horse). On the whole it's a nicely done adaptation with a good climax and some pleasing animation.

Then we have The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the famous horror tale here narrated by Bing Crosby. While the previous cartoon was going more for charm, this one is edging more towards comedy, despite its story. It tells the tale of the mysterious disappearance of Ichabod Crane, a schoolmaster who attempts to marry a beautiful and rich woman in order to get her money. He's up against the school bully Brom Bones who also wants to marry her. But everything goes dark when Ichabod takes his horse down through the woods of Sleepy Hollow at night-time...

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a macabre tale which manages to be both highly amusing and distinguishably Gothic, with Bing Crosby giving us his effortless charm, holding the story together brilliantly. Perhaps the most memorable moment is the climax, with the nightmarish Headless Horseman chasing the helpless Ichabod through the woods. The build-up of the Horseman is intensely creepy, and the reveal is no disappointment. Sleepy Hollow will give kids a good fright, but it's just about silly and light enough to prevent them from sleeping with the lights on.

Really, kids will enjoy both stories. I myself prefer Sleepy Hollow, but only because I didn't watch The Wind in the Willows as a kid. They're both fun and kid-friendly, but there's nothing there to prevent grown- ups from liking them too. Overall it's a fun double bill with some excellent animation and superb voices, with both stories entertainingly told and working well back-to-back.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Certainly one of the better "package features"
Foux_du_Fafa28 January 2010
For all those not in the know, Walt Disney relied heavily on European revenue to make his films, and with that market pretty much cut off by the Second World War, wonderful yet lavish films such as "Fantasia" and "Pinocchio" did not bring much income and left the studio close to bankruptcy. Needing to bring out feature films yet at that moment unable to make a lavish fully-animated fantasy, Disney turned to the idea of jumbling shorts and featurettes to make feature films. The material in the films consisted of both new projects and things that had been on the drawing board for years. Due to their fragmented nature, the films were subsequently cut up into separate shorts, and they have only been re-released in their original form during the past ten or fifteen years, arguably due to Disney scraping the barrel for films to release as "timeless masterpieces".

"The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad", released in 1949, was the very last of these package features, and it does signal the return to a more classic style that would be found in the studio's next two animated films, "Cinderella" and "Alice in Wonderland". Yet it should be noted that "Ichabod and Mr Toad" is still a bit uneven. Its segments, respectively based upon "The Wind in the Willows" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", are very different in tone, and have not much in common aside from them being literary adaptations (the live-action library bookends seem to give the impression of a post-war Anglo-American friendship, highlighting samples of their own literature and storytelling). It is equally true that the low budget brings about some slightly dull animation compared to the early 40s or the 50s. Regardless, the film is certainly one of the better package features, with perhaps "The Three Caballeros" only just beating it.

Opening in the aforementioned live-action study, we hear Basil Rathbone bizarrely favouring Mr Toad of "The Wind in the Willows" above the likes of Robin Hood and Sherlock Holmes as the greatest character in English literature, thereby leading into an adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's classic children's novel. This segment is quite good, and had supposedly been in animation since the beginning of the decade. However, it generally seems a bit under-polished and rushed. It is said that this was originally planned as a feature-length film, and it would have certainly benefited from not having its story condensed so much. The backgrounds also seem a bit lacklustre. Had they been given a "Pinocchio" or "Bambi" level of detail (impossible as it would have been considering the studio's financial state at the time) or a more stylised look, they would seem more believable and less pasty.

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", narrated and sung by Bing Cosby, works better. Its origins as a short story no doubt seem better for adaptation into something that lasts around half an hour, and the piece as a whole works well within the financial constraints. Mary Blair, who had been the stylist on the South American films and would later help with the visual style of "Cinderella", "Alice in Wonderland" and "Peter Pan", creates a relatively simple and folksy style that suits the story and the colonial setting very well (moreover, the stylisation works well within a tight budget). Furthermore, the fact that the story is told with essentially just Bing Cosby's narration and music allows for wonderfully expressive animation. The climax to the film also stands as a pure triumph of colour and of animation.

Overall, "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad" is worth watching, either as one film or as two shorter subjects. It's certainly not up there with the likes of "Pinocchio" and "Dumbo", but that is not the film's objective anyway; it is a fun, unpretentious way to pass an hour or so.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed