Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 42 - The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Movie: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Released: October 5, 1949
Formats Released: 1 VHS, 1 Laserdisc, 1 DVD
Format Watched: DVD
Watched Wife: Wife, Woody and Belle
Snacks: Microwave Popcorn & Coke Zero

The problem with this film is that there is not much to the movie, and nit much out there written about the movie. This film was produced in the late 1940's as a package film ( a feature length film made up of smaller, independent segment). World War II took a large toll on Walt Disney Animation (or Walt Disney Productions as it was known back then). At the start of the war the war department basically took over the studio to produce propaganda pieces. They decided the direction the studio would take and they monopolized a lot of the animators. As such, production on features came to a virtual stand still. It wasn't until the end of the war that they could focus on feature films again. The problem was the studio was in financial trouble and couldn't afford to dedicate the time needed to produce a full length film so they produced these package films made up of smaller, easier to produce parts. This film, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, was the last of the package films until Fantasia 2000.

My Thoughts on the Film:

Taken for what it is, the film is very enjoyable. Nigel Rathbone is the narrator for The Wind in the Willows and Bing Crosby was the narrator, and basically the only voice actor in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I personally enjoyed the Wind in the Willows segment, I think it had a better, more exciting story. It's no wonder that Mr. Toads Wild Ride was one of my favorites at Disney World.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was timely for the season, and would have been spookier if I had not watched it in the middle of the afternoon. I did enjoy the gag of skinny Ichabod eating as much as humanly possible. The animation in the scenes with the Headless Horseman was amazing. One thing my wife pointed out, several of the characters from this film, with minor adjustments, were like characters in Beauty and the Beast.

The Wind in the Willows is just a madcap, whirlwind adventure. Mr Toad obviously, much to the dismay of his friends, jumps from one fad to the other, throwing himself into each one, whole hog, Something I can relate to in my younger years. He does have the habit of emerging from each one scot-free, a talent I have yet to master.

Favorite part of the Film:

I'm going to go with Mr Toads escape through the city. The clever gag of hiding the ball in the dress as a hump was great.

Things I never noticed before:
- There are only about 3 voice actors, including the narrator in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Final thoughts on the film:

Like I said before this is a very enjoyable film, with the Legend of Sleepy Hollow being perfect for the fall season. As enjoyable as it was, thought, I'm glad that this was the last of the package films and they moved onto Cinderella.

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