11/22/2017  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

A&E Home Video presents
The Wind in the Willows (1983)

Badger: How's young Toad?
Rat: He's going from bad to worse. Another smasher only last week.
Badger: How many has he had?
Rat: Smashes or cars? Oh, well, it's the same thing with Toad.

- Michael Hordern, Ian Carmichael

Review By: David Krauss   
Published: November 03, 2004

Stars: Richard Pearson, Ian Carmichael, David Jason, Richard Hordern, Beryl Reid
Director: Mark Hall

Manufacturer: DVSS
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:18m:38s
Release Date: October 26, 2004
UPC: 733961714500
Genre: animation


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ B+B-C+ C

DVD Review

When I was a child, my favorite book was The Wind in the Willows. The gentle tale of four woodland friends captured my imagination like few stories could, keeping me engrossed until the final page. With a leisurely style and amusing plot, author Kenneth Grahame transported me to the world of Mole, Badger, Rat, and Toad, and brought those creatures so vividly to life, they seemed to me more human than…well, humans.

Filmmakers have also long been attracted to Grahame's novel, with several adaptations of varying quality gracing both the big and small screens. Walt Disney latched onto the reckless, madcap nature of Toad way back in 1949, crafting a "mini-classic" that focused on the reptile's reckless adventures. When Disneyland sprouted up six years later, Walt reworked the film into one of the park's most popular attractions. What child (or adult, for that matter) hasn't squealed with delight crashing through barrels and plowing into an oncoming train on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride? Grahame surely never envisioned such a bastardization of his story, or that it would ever reach such mammoth pop culture proportions.

Lucky for Grahame, however, Mark Hall's beautifully produced 1983 film exists as a testament to the lyricism, tone, and characterization of the original novel. Widely regarded as the best cinematic adaptation, The Wind in the Willows was produced for British television, and preserves the country flavor of Grahame's book. It also faithfully follows the plot, and through highly effective stop-action animation succeeds in immersing viewers in the perils and pitfalls of the Wild Wood.

Sick of cleaning his dank underground home, the Mole (voice by Richard Pearson) indulges a whim and strolls along the riverbank in search of diversion. He soon encounters his friend Ratty (voice by Ian Carmichael), and the two take a pleasant spring boat ride. As they drift into the Wild Wood, they meet up with the irresistibly irresponsible Toad (voice by David Jason), a young heir who'd rather cruise the countryside in one of those newfangled motor cars than tend his estate. Mole, Rat, and their cantankerous friend Badger (voice by Michael Hordern) fear Toad's immature behavior will ruin the reputation of animals everywhere, yet before they can rein him in, Toad takes one wild ride too many and winds up in the clink. How Toad wriggles out of prison and, with the help of his trio of friends, reclaims stately Toad Hall forms the balance of the tale.

Although the animation looks primitive today, Hall achieves a remarkable fluidity of motion with his furry and slimy characters, lending them a lifelike quality that helps draw viewers into their world. The actors are also first-rate, wisely avoiding caricature and giving each woodland creature an appropriate voice. And quite often, those voices read dialogue lifted verbatim from Grahame's novel.

Children may not appreciate the leisurely pacing, but those mature enough to favor character over story should respond to the film. Mole, Rat, Badger, and Toad remain endearing and enduring figures, and though their true home will always be the pages of the book, this animated version of The Wind in the Willows does a fine job of capturing their quirks. It may not dazzle or enthrall, but fans of the novel seeking an accurate adaptation (with a few songs) won't be disappointed with this charming, whimsical film.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Ragged title sequences bookend the film, but the body of The Wind in the Willows is relatively free of any visual imperfections. Colors are a tad muted and contrast is soft, but good clarity and nice detail make the transfer pleasant enough.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: No hiss, pops or distortion mar the stereo soundtrack, but it still lacks vibrancy. Dialogue could use a boost, separation is weak, and an overall flatness pervades the audio. But for a TV film from 1983, one would be foolish to expect more.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 14 cues and remote access
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Interview with producer Brian Cosgrove
  2. Toad's Road trivia game
  3. Photo gallery
  4. Character descriptions
Extras Review: A few mildly interesting extras spruce up the disc, beginning with a Q&A with producer Brian Cosgrove, who discusses, among other things, the film's animation style and the challenges the production presented. Toad's Road Trivia Game quizzes youngsters on the story and offers film clips as reward for correct answers, while a skimpy 10 color images comprise the Photo Gallery. A quartet of character descriptions rounds out the supplements.

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

A faithful adaptation of a beloved novel, The Wind in the Willows tells the whimsical tale of Mole, Rat, Badger, and Toad with typical English grace. While this quiet film may not captivate the youngest viewers, it will please admirers of the book, and introduce new audiences to its wonders.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store