The Wind in the Willows (1995 film)

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Wind in the Willows
Distributed by HIT Entertainment[1]
Directed by Dave Unwin
Produced by John Coates
Screenplay by Ted Walker
Based on The Wind in the Willows 
by Kenneth Grahame
Narrated by Vanessa Redgrave
Starring Alan Bennett
Michael Gambon
Rik Mayall
Michael Palin
Music by Colin Towns
Country UK
Language English
Release date 1995
Running time 73 min.

The Wind in the Willows is a 1995 British animation film directed by Dave Unwin and written by Ted Walker, based on the 1908 novel of the same name, a classic of children's literature by Kenneth Grahame. It was produced by the now defunct TVC (Television Cartoons) in London.[2]

Plot[edit]

Tired from spring cleaning, Mole ventures out of his hole for the first time and stumbles across a river and a new-found friend Ratty. The two friends enjoy themselves then call on Mr. Toad, who takes them for a trip on the open road by gypsy caravan until a passing motor car causes the caravan to crash and Toad to develop a mania for driving motor cars. Back at the riverbank Ratty gets a temporary phase of a desire to emigrate but Mole snaps him out of it.

By Winter, Mole ventures and gets lost in the Wild Wood where he had hoped to make an acquaintance with Mr. Badger, Ratty finds Mole and the two friends come across Mr. Badger's house and he invites them in. After their enjoyed stay, the two friends head for home and Mole gets homesick from leaving his hole for too long, but Ratty comforts him with a visit to the place.

When Springtime approaches, Mr. Badger confronts Toad to get him out of his obsession of motor cars which is squandering his father's inheritance money, but to no avail. Toad escapes his house and gets himself in trouble for stealing and crashing a motor car for 20 years in prison. Meanwhile Mole and Ratty row in the river at night in search of Otter's son Portly.

Eventually Toad is helped out of prison in the guise of a washerwoman by the Jailer's daughter. Lacking money, Toad hitches a ride on a train driven by a kind engine driver, who later helps him escape the pursuing police train. Soon Toad comes across a horse towed barge owned by a fat barge woman. Having failed to do some washing up and being thrown off by the barge woman, Toad steals her horse and rides off. When he reaches the road, he sees a motor car; the very one he'd stolen. The driver invites Toad for a ride, but when he takes the wheel he crashes the car into the lake, then he swims to escape the police.

Soon, Toad is united with his friends Ratty, Mole and Mr. Badger, but his home Toad Hall has been requisitioned by the Wild Wooders. Sneaking through an underground passage into Toad Hall, the four animals drive the Wild Wooders out and Toad reclaims his house, receiving a celebration for his return the next day.

Sequel[edit]

The film was followed by The Willows in Winter in 1996. It received positive reviews like the first film, and Rik Mayall and Lorraine Marshall won Emmy Awards for Best Voice Acting and Art Direction respectively.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]