Mole, Water Rat, Badger and Mr. Toad pursue merry adventures in a charming adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's tale of animals who behave like Edwardian gentlemen in a world gone slightly mad. ...
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Mole, Water Rat, Badger and Mr. Toad pursue merry adventures in a charming adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's tale of animals who behave like Edwardian gentlemen in a world gone slightly mad. Matt Lucas stars as the exuberant Mr. Toad, along with Bob Hoskins as Badger, Mark Gatiss as Rat and Lee Ingleby as Mole. Anna Maxwell Martin, Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton round out this star-studded cast.
Australian TV Adaptation of a Classic British Children's Book
This Australian television adaptation of the 1908 children's novel THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS was released on DVD in America as a budget DVD by Digiview (usually sold for $1.00) circa 2005 from what appears to be an unrestored 16mm print. It is unclear whether the handful of passages where background music briefly makes it virtually impossible to hear the dialogue being spoken is a problem that originated from the original television production, the print used, or the production of this DVD but these moments are brief and infrequent so it's not a major problem.
The film neatly condenses the story into fifty minutes in this tale of Mole (the names of the animals simply are their species) finally venturing out above ground and discovering the world, making a friend with Rat who introduces him to the eccentric Toad. Toad quickly becomes the main character in the story, an eccentric and spoiled creature (living in a lavish home called Toad Hall) who becomes obsessed with this new contraption called an automobile (this production for some reason note it's a period piece) which is he repeatedly drives reckless and crashes nearly as often, going through several cars in a matter of months. "Ratty" and Mole enlist the help of Badger to try to break Toad of this bad habit but Toad can not be stopped and eventually runs into trouble with the law.
THE WIND AND THE WILLOWS for some reason has never been quite as famous or popular in America as it is in many other nations. One reason may be the Disney adaptation in the feature "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad" (1949) was one of the least popular Disney films, and possibly parents of earlier generations didn't warm to the spoiled and reckless Toad. Or maybe it's simply not that memorable a story with not particularly endearing characters although Toad is quirky fun and easily the standout character in the tale. This production nicely tells the tale in under an hour without updating or straying from the original story.
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