Walt Disney Animation Collection: Classic Short Films, Vol. 5 - The Wind in the Willows product details page

Walt Disney Animation Collection: Classic Short Films, Vol. 5 - The Wind in the Willows

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The Wind in the Willows is a thoroughly enjoyable animated adaptation of a portion of the Kenneth Grahame children's classic. Like most adaptations of this work, it chooses to focus almost solely on the story of Toad, who is actually a supporting character in the novel. It's easy to understand why the creators have chosen to promote Toad, as his character is the liveliest and most "kid-attractive," and there is far too much other material to fit into a 34-minute film. Still, it's a shame most children know little of the further charms associated with the book. It also must be stated that Disney's version does not at all capture the gentle tone of the Grahame original -- but it also makes no attempt to do so. Director Wolfgang Reithermann has made a product that is stylistically in line with other Disney product of the period -- lively, colorful, polished, and professional -- and it is sure to please children of all ages. Reithermann and his animators have done a marvelous job of capturing Toad's devil-may-care attitude, and his insatiable need for instant gratification will strike many a chord with young viewers. While the other characters are not developed as well, the basic essence of Rat and Mole are captured well, even if Badger has been transformed rather significantly. Basil Rathbone and Eric Blore do exemplary vocal work, adding greatly to the success of the film. Bright and breezy, Willows may disappoint Grahame purists, but it will delight all others. Craig Butler, All Movie Guide