Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Mr Toad's Wild Ride|
Actors: Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Robert Bathurst, Hugo Blick, John Boswall, Keith-Lee Castle
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Comedy, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Musicals & Performing Arts, Animation
Inventive, tuneful retelling of The Wind in the Willows by filmmaker Terry Jones (Erik the Viking), and costarring many of his Monty Python pals. The film relies on creative dramatics and subtle costumes to show the human ... more »
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A Classic Which Shouldn't Be Forgotten
C. O. DeRiemer | San Antonio, Texas, USA | 09/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a so-called kid's movie that's way too good for kids. It's based on the book The Wind in the Willows. Mr. Toad (Terry Jones) of Toad Hall loves fast cars, crazy inventions, and all the latest fads. He crashes his cars regularly and is spending more money that he has on his enthusiasms. And it seems the Chief Weasel (Antony Sher) and his cronies have been buying up the land Mr. Toad has had to sell. They're going to tear down Toad Hall and build a huge dog food factory in its place. The Chief Weasel plans that the first ingredients to be processed will be Toad and his friends, the meek but brave Mole (Steve Coogan), the picnic-loving, loyal Rat (Eric Idle), and the grumpy, advice-giving Badger (Nicol Williamson). The movie details with great humor their adventures to defeat the Chief Weasel and save Toad Hall.
What makes this movie so special is the loving care Jones took establishing the look of the place and the fullness of the characters. If you pay attention, you'll see some gentle takes on greed, the legal system (John Cleese is a defence attorney who makes an impassioned case in court that his client should receive the maximum sentence), 1984, the protection of our environment, taking responsibility for our actions, and friendship. And the movie is not ponderous or preachy at all. It's great fun.
Disney, which had U.S. rights to the film, did nothing with it. When they finally put it in theaters, after insisting the name be changed from The Wind in the Willows to the name of one of their park rides, they spent almost no marketing money on promotion. Not suprisingly, the movie tanked faster than Mr. Toad's tongue catching a fly.
I've watched it twice now, and skimmed through it again this morning. It should be considered a classic. Little kids would probably like the characters, the color and the action, but my target audience would start with slightly alienated and smart teenagers. They'll get it. And then move on to those adults who like adult things.
The DVD transfer is excellent."
Fun and light-hearted
Lucretia Bradley | Hinsdale, Illinois United States | 03/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoyed this movie and felt good after watching it. Good for adults and children!"
Slightly uneven but very enjoyable
Farffleblex Plaffington | Parnybarnel, Mississippi | 11/16/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It may take some adjusting to be able to appreciate this version of Wind in the Willows. Although now distributed by Disney on home video, the quick pacing and wild abandon of Disney's 1949 version, which was half of the film The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, is not to be found here. Neither will you find the over-the-top absurdism of "Monty Python's Flying Circus" (1969), despite the presence of four Pythoners, including The Wind in the Willows' screenwriter, director and star, Terry Jones.
On the other hand, wild abandon and Pythonesque absurdism are not completely absent, but this is usually a much more mild, subtle and deliberately-paced affair which more closely follows Kenneth Grahame's original book--except for the plot developments towards the end. Jones has made sure to retain much of the book's symbolism of ideas and phenomena such as class stratification, plus he adds some of his own with more fascistic weasels. But at the same time, he also manages to produce something family and kid-friendly.
Although filled with humor, The Wind in the Willows is rarely--and rarely tries to be--laugh-out-loud funny, even though it occasionally reaches the comedic heights of Python (for example, during the courtroom scene, which features a great cameo from John Cleese). But most of the Python crew have spent the majority of their careers in an attempt to avoid being pigeonholed in that particular style--while most Python fans have experienced years of at least slight frustration at the subsequent void. Jones strikes a nice balance here, and ends up producing a very enjoyable, slightly fantastic, slightly silly romp with its own dramatic sensibilities."
Blish | Union, KY United States | 09/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I picked this up on a whim at the library and both our 5 year old and three year old loved it! We've now bought what can easily be considered a classic. Well done!"