Mr. Toad

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Mr. Toad
The Wind in the Willows character
E.H. Shepard illustration of Mr Toad.jpg
Illustration by E.H. Shepard
First appearanceThe Wind in the Willows
Created byKenneth Grahame
OccupationMotor car driver

Mr. Toad, of Toad Hall, is one of the main characters in the novel The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and also the title character of the A. A. Milne play Toad of Toad Hall based on the book.


Mr. Toad is an anthropomorphic common toad who is the village squire, being the wealthy owner and occupant of Toad Hall. Toad is very rich and a bit of a fop, with a penchant for Harris tweed suits. He owns his own horse, and is able to indulge his impulsive desires, such as punting, house boating and hot air ballooning. Toad is intelligent, creative and resourceful; however, he is also narcissistic, self-centred almost to the point of sociopathy, and completely lacking in even the most basic common sense. His reckless interest in motor cars leads to an episode in which he steals a car and drives it recklessly The result of that is a twenty-year prison sentence, but he escapes, dressed as a washer woman, to regain his family seat of Toad Hall from the clutches of the weasels.

Although he has escaped from jail, and the police initially pursue him, he is never re-arrested. No reason is ever given for this, but in the 1949 Disney movie, he is shown being framed for theft when he should be in jail for twenty years. In The Willows in Winter, the sequel to the 1995 animated film, Toad is arrested again after being recognised by the Chief Judge as the criminal he convicted before and is hauled before a court, but he is released because of several good deeds he has done since his escape.

Ultimately, Toad has his heart in the right place. His characteristics have made him arguably the epitome of the stock character of the lovable rogue.

Film and television[edit]

Theme parks[edit]

Since July 17, 1955, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, a dark ride based on The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, has operated at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. A larger, two-tracked version of the attraction operated at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom from 1971 until 1998.


The inspiration for Mr. Toad's wayward mischievousness and boastfulness was Kenneth Grahame's only child Alastair: a family friend, Constance Smedley, overheard Grahame telling Alastair the exploits of Toad as a bedtime story, and noted that "Alastair's own tendency to exult in his exploits was gently satirized in Mr. Toad".[2] Colonel Francis Cecil Ricardo CVO CBE (1852–1924), the first owner of a car in Cookham in Berkshire, where Grahame wrote the books is also thought to have been an influence. Other suggestions include Walter Cunliffe, 1st Baron Cunliffe.[3]

Actors who have played Mr. Toad[edit]

References in other media[edit]

The first story arc of the Batman and Robin comic book by Grant Morrison features a villainous character with the name and appearance of Mr. Toad. After Batman and Robin interrogate Toad, he's revealed to be in cahoots with Pyg.[11] This same character also appears in the animated series Beware the Batman.

In Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series, Miss Havisham and Mr. Toad engage in an ongoing series of car races.

Mr. Toad appears briefly in Bill Willingham's Fables series. He is a member of anti-Fabletown Farm revolution and can be seen later on various occasions, mostly as a non-speaking character. In most recent comics, his gravestone is shown among the other fables buried at The Farm. The character appears in The Wolf Among Us— a downloadable episodic video game set during the 1980s, before the events of Fables — where he is still alive and appears as a non-player character.


  1. ^ de Board, R. (2008). Counselling for Toads: A Psychological Adventure
  2. ^ Mattanah, Jonathan. "A Contemporary Psychological Understanding of Mr. Toad" in Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows: A Children's Classic at 100 edited by Jackie C. Horne, Donna R. White. Scarecrow Press, 2009: pp. 93-94.
  3. ^ Johnson, Andrew. "Is this the real Mr Toad?". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  4. ^ "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)". IMDB. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
  5. ^ "The Wind in the Willows (1983/I) (TV)". IMDB. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
  6. ^ "The Wind in the Willows (1987) (TV)". IMDB. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
  7. ^ "The Wind in the Willows (1995) (TV)". IMDB. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
  8. ^ "The Wind in the Willows (1996)". IMDB. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
  9. ^ "The Wind in the Willows (2006) (TV)". IMDB. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
  10. ^ "Aftonbladet nöje: Sista kvällen som padda". Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  11. ^ Batman & Robin Vol. 1 #1