Review? The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad

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SPOILERS

What Is It About?

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad are based on two segments. The first is the story The Wind in Willows featuring a wealthy toad. He has gone to the brink of bankruptcy and has his friend badger to have as a bookkeeper.  Toad has recently taken up the pleasure of recklessly driving through the countryside on horse and cart. His friends try to convince him to no avail and Toad falls in love with a motorcar.  To cure him of his mania, his friend put him under house arrest which he escapes, steals a car and is prosecuted with theft. Representing himself, he calls up witness before being betrayed and found guilty. His friend helps him escape and discover the betrayer was working with the original thefts of the car, taking over Toad’s property. Toad and his friends steal the documents and prove his innocence. The second is the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  We met Ichabod Crane, a superstitious dandy arriving in Sleepy Hollow to become the new schoolmaster. His charming nature catches the attention of the village’s woman and the town’s hero bullies him. Ichabod soon becomes interested in Katrina (mostly for her family’s wealth) and competes with the town hero for her heart.  However, Katrina is using Ichabod to make Brom try harder for her affections.  Trying to throw Ichabod off his game, Brom tells the story of the headless horseman who travels every Halloween searching for a head. Ichabod being superstitious is immediately convinced. On his way home from the party, Ichabod is afraid at every noise and discovers upon the Headless Horsemen and tries to run to the bridge he can’t supposedly cross.  Unfortunately, Ichabod disappears without a trace and no one knows what happened to him.

Opinions

Before I decided to watch all the Disney films – I hadn’t see only a handful. It was these six packaged films and the two Winnie the Pooh films. I didn’t expect a lot from these six packaged films, rounded out by this movie. Some did surprise me and I enjoyed elements from each – even those I thought were awful had some redeemable qualities to them. For the Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad – I was really hopeful. The Wind in Willows is a story I know and enjoy. I have seen the story been adapted well in some previous films. I was also hopeful about the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Again, another story that has been adapted interesting for TV and movie. Well, I was disappointed.  This is by far, my least favourite of this era. Not for anything offensive or pacing. It is just straight up a chaotic bore. Nothing, absolutely nothing is charming, funny or entertaining about these films. They don’t have redeeming music, good animation and compelling characters.  They were almost too straight laced with these prosperous stories. Neither of these books are boring. They invoke a certain level of whimsical fantasy that neither of these shorts truly capture. The first one is talking animals doing law! The whole thing is so obscene and yet, this film manages to take any charm and kill it. It’s choppy and messy and hard to follow. It is uninteresting. I am just so meh about this film. I remember wanting it to be over from the second it started and every moment felt painstakingly long and drawn out. Very dull.

Fun Facts

  • Based on The Wind in The Willows by Kenneth Grahame and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving.
  • The last studio packaged films until the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
  • From 1955, the two parts were separated for the Disneyland television series and then marketed and sold separately home video.

Verdict

  • Movie will be kept in DVD collection
  • 1/10 for personal enjoyment
  • 3.5/10 for overall era

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