Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Completed in 1985, Rankin/Bass' feature-length cartoon version of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows had its network debut delayed several times; the film finally premiered on July 5, 1987. This adaptation of the 1908 Grahame story was more faithful to the source that the enjoyable but overly slick 1949 Disney version, Ichabod and Mr. Toad (ironically, the Rankin/Bass version was shown in the time slot normally occupied by ABC's Disney Sunday Movie). This lighthearted tale of the foolish Mr. Toad and the attempts by his anthropomorphic animal friends to keep Toad from making a fool of himself was wonderfully brought to life by the whimsically epicene voice work of Charles Nelson Reilly (as Toad), Roddy McDowall, José Ferrer, and Eddie Bracken. The film's character design and background art brilliantly evoke the spirit of Kenneth Grahame's original illustrations.
animal, frog, mole [animal], moll, rat [animal], self-discovery, toad