One of the better adaptations
Taran Wanderer | 09/09/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is certainly not the best Wind in the Willows movie/TV adaptation, but it is entertaining and kids love it. It is MUCH better than the Disney version, who really made a mess of this title."
The story of carefree Mr. Toad and his friends in an adventu
Taran Wanderer | Chicago, IL | 12/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Burbank Films Australia has produced a wonderful selection of children's animated films based on some of the most famous and grand European stories ever told. Many of these stories had not been intended for children, but were simplified in order to be appropriate and at the same time fun. "The Wind in the Willows" produced by Burbank Films Australia in the year 1988 and released on DVD in 1999 by DVD Ltd. is based on Kenneth Graham's classic, colorful tale, "The Wind in the Willows". This is an example of an animated film from this studio actually based on a story that was meant for kids, therefore, there was little simplification or altering of plot and characters. Though I have never read Graham's novel, at least not yet for I will, I was introduced to the adventures of Mr. Toad and his animal friends from Walt Disney's classic "The Wind in the Willows" animated short featured in the 1949 film, "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad", a film putting together the tales of two extraordinary characters.
The story begins when a lonely mole, Mole by name, is cleaning and up and repairing his little house underground. He senses that spring has come in the world above the ground and he is curious as to what the new season is like. He finds his life underground to be dreadfully boring and says to himself that every mole should get the opportunity to see the above world at least once in his life. Once in the fresh grass of the new spring, Mole is marveled by what he sees. He soon meets a rat by the riverbank, Rat by name, who offers him a nice ride aboard a small rowboat. Though this is an everyday thing for Rat, Mole never ceases to be amazed by this place completely new to him. Rat, or Ratty to his friends, introduces Mole to some other interesting characters living near by. Old Badger is a grumpy, but well-meaning badger, rather serious but wise just the same, and then, Mr. Toad. Living in the grand mansion, Toad Hall, Mr. Toad is a carefree little toad who lives for excitement and adventure. He is known for his crazy manias and obsessions. Lately, his new love had been for an old gypsy cart, as well as its horse, but then things turn for the worse when Mr. Toad finds a new love for automobiles that winds him up in a lot of trouble, risking his stately manor as well as his dignity and freedom. It takes the help of his friends, Rat, Badger and Mole to restore Toad's name and defeat an army of sneaky weasels.
Like the best of Burbank Films Australia's animated films, this one is nicely animated, with simply-designed, yet colorful characters and lovely background art. Surely, neither the animation nor the art comes to be as detailed and elaborate as the best of Walt Disney's classic films, but still, the film does not disappoint in that sense (nor in any other, really, at least not me). I really do wish Burbank Films Australia's films were released properly on DVD, for unfortunately, though they have been released numerous times and in many different countries, the quality of most of these DVD releases seems to have been an attempt from a studio to make a quick dollar out of material that I believe unfortunately has fallen into the careless hands of public domain. I would really love it if some studio were willing to pick up these beautifully done animations and take the time to release them with good quality. "The Wind in the Willows" is an exception really, DVD Ltd. has released the film looking nice and clean with a good leveled balance in the picture presentation and clear audio. In the end, this film is well done and I don't think it should disappoint little children as well as adults looking for an adaptation of Kenneth Graham's timeless classic. For the price that this film sells for, you really are getting four times the value for your money, this really is a wonderful production from Burbank Films Australia and I'm very pleased with it."