The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad: Wikis

  
  

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The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Poster
Directed by Jack Kinney
Clyde Geronimi
James Algar
Produced by Walt Disney
Written by Homer Brightman
Winston Hibler
Erdman Penner
Harry Reeves
Joe Rinaldi
Ted Sears
Starring Bing Crosby
Eric Blore
Basil Rathbone
Pat O'Malley
Colin Campbell
John McLeish
Campbell Grant
Claud Allister
Leslie Denison
Edmond Stevens
Oliver Wallace
The Rhythmaires
Music by Oliver Wallace
Studio Walt Disney Studios
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Release date(s) October 5, 1949
Running time 68 min.
Language English

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is an animated feature produced by Walt Disney and released to theaters on October 5, 1949 by RKO Radio Pictures. It is the eleventh animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, and the final of the six package films produced by Disney, following Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Make Mine Music, Fun and Fancy Free, and Melody Time.

Contents

Segments

There are two segments in the film, both based upon popular works of literature:

The Wind in the Willows

The Adventures of Mr. Toad is based on Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows (narrated by Basil Rathbone). In this story, the charismatic J. Thaddeus Toad, Esq., is the happy-go-lucky, wealthy proprietor of Toad Hall. Toad believes in fun, adventure and travelling to "Nowhere in Particular"; He has built a great deal of debt from disregarding the financial responsibilities of his insatiable love for transportation vehicles, such as gypsy carts and (subsequently) the newfangled motor car. His friends Ratty (Water Rat), Moley (Mole) and Angus MacBadger, try to help him when his mania leads to the loss of the deed to Toad Hall, and a charge of car theft. Toad is thrown into prison due to the perjured testimony of Mr. Winkie the tavernkeeper. Later, Toad's loyal horse Cyril Proudbottom pays a visit and assists him in escaping. Toad makes good his escape and manages to get back to Ratty's home on Christmas Eve. There Toad, Ratty and Moley are informed by MacBadger that evil Winkie (who sold Toad the car), and several criminal weasels, have taken over Toad Hall. With his friends' aid, Toad redeems his good name by recovering the deed to the estate from the very hands of its captors. Toad, touched by the loyalty and kindness of his friends, promises to reform; but is shown (at Ratty, Moley and MacBadger's New Year celebrations) relapsing by recklessly flying a 1908 biplane along with Cyril at the end of the story.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman, based on Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (narrated by Bing Crosby). The gangly and lanky Ichabod Crane is the new schoolmaster in Sleepy Hollow. His somewhat odd behavior makes him the ridicule of the rambunctious and robust town bully Brom Bones. Despite his odd appearance, Ichabod quickly proves to be a ladies' man charming all the eligible local ladies. Finally, however, Ichabod discovers the local town beauty, Katrina Van Tassel. Katrina is the beautiful young daughter of Baltus Van Tassel, the wealthiest farmer in the area, and Brom's intended. Katrina is a coquette by nature, but sees Ichabod as an opportunity to break from the monotony of Brom scaring away every other potential suitor. Ichabod has his eye on the Van Tassel wealth, and is infatuated by Katrina's beauty and grace as well. After a number of comically unsuccessful efforts by Brom to dispose of Ichabod, including a scene at the Van Tassel's Halloween party where he tries to switch his short overweight dance partner Tilda with Katrina, the situation changes when Brom decides to take advantage of Ichabod's strong belief in superstitions. Brom musically tells the tale of the Headless Horseman to frighten the teacher. That Halloween night, Crane's lonely ride home becomes exceedingly frightening because of his exposure to the possibility of encountering the ghost. The atmosphere of fear increases in intensity, until it breaks the tension at a false alarm, whereupon Ichabod and his horse laugh hysterically in relief. Immediately, the true (?) Headless Horseman appears, laughing maniacally, riding a large black horse that bears a strong resemblance to the one owned by Brom. Then follows a spectacular chase scene wherein the visually impressive Horseman pursues Ichabod with wild abandon, only to be deterred when Ichabod crosses a bridge near the local Dutch graveyard (the bridge being the point beyond which the horseman cannot go, according to the tale). The Horseman then hurls his own severed head (shown to actually be a fiery Jack-o-lantern), at Ichabod. The jack-o-lantern is seemingly hurled right at us, bursts into flames as it strikes, and everything is lost to darkness. The next morning, the only things found by the bridge are a shattered pumpkin and Ichabod's hat. Brom shortly thereafter marries Katrina. It is later rumored that Ichabod married a rich, plump widow with many children (who all resemble Ichabod to an amazing degree), in the next county. But the simple, common denizens of Sleepy Hollow firmly deny this; they all know that Ichabod was spirited away on Halloween Night by the ghoulish Headless Horseman.

Later, this portion of the film was separated from the companion Mr. Toad film, screened, aired, marketed, and sold separately as starting in 1958.

Production

During the 1940s, much of Disney's feature output was made up of so-called "package films." Beginning with Saludos Amigos in 1942, Disney ceased making feature films with a single narrative, due to the higher costs for such films, as well as the drain on the studios resources caused by World War II, even though almost all of these package films were fairly successful. Instead, Disney features would have two or more stories linked together through a variety of means. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad was the last of these "package" films, and Disney returned to single narrative features with 1950's Cinderella.

The style of the animation used in the scene where Winkie and the weasels are chasing Toad, Rat, Mole, and MacBadger trying to get the Deed back was re-used in The Jungle Book, where Bagheera and Baloo are trying to get Mowgli back from King Louie. This is because Director Wolfgang Reitherman liked to re-use his old work[citation needed].

Reception

The film has received mostly positive reviews, garnering an 89% "Fresh" score among critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

Subsequent usage and home video release

For many years following its original release, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad was not available for viewing in its original form. The two segments had been split up by Disney in the 1950s and were usually seen as individual items. When first released on home video, the Ichabod segment was released as The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and the Toad segment as The Wind in the Willows, taking their names from the original stories.

Some of the scenes were cut when the segments were split up. For example:

  • The Wind in the Willows (*)
    • Part of the introduction was cut because of the new music added.
    • The part where MacBadger confronts the angry townspeople who are suing Toad.
    • The part where MacBadger, Rat and Mole are reopening Toad's case.
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
    • The only thing that was cut was the introduction of Ichabod Crane.

In 1978, The Wind in the Willows segment was re-released to theaters under the new title The Madcap Adventures of Mr. Toad to accompany Disney's feature film Hot Lead and Cold Feet. The Headless Horseman sequence from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, meanwhile, was featured in the 1982 television special Disney's Halloween Treat.

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad received its first complete home video release in 1992, when it was released by Walt Disney Home Video on laserdisc. A subsequent complete release on VHS followed in 1999 (and was the last video release in the Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection line), with a Walt Disney Gold Classic Collection DVD appearing in 2000.

Mr. Toad, the Weasels, Ichabod, Katrina, the Headless Horseman and Tilda were featured as guests in House of Mouse, as audience members/attendees and in various spots. Here, Mr. Toad was voiced by Jeff Bennett. Toad, Ratty, Moley, Mac Badger and two of the weasels also made an appearance in the Christmas Featurette Mickey's Christmas Carol, as Scrooge's old employer Fezziwig, the two Charitable Gentlemen asking for donations for the poor, an attendee of Fezziwig's party and two grave diggers, respectively. Mr. Toad and Cyril Proudbottom also made cameo appearances in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, while the Toon Patrol's designs were based on the weasels from the film.

Merchandising

In 2000 the Walt Disney Classics Collection, which is a collection of officially released Disney statue and pin merchandise (not to be confused with the Walt Disney Classics Collection, which was a video series of Disney animated features in the 80s and early 90s), released 3,500 limited edition statue sets of the two main Sleepy Hollow characters Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. The figures were originally sold for $695 together as a set. The pair have since been retired from the collection and its value has risen dramatically each year.

Voice cast

  • Bing Crosby - Narrator/various voices ("The Legend of Sleepy Hollow")
  • Eric Blore - J. Thaddeus Toad
  • Basil Rathbone - Narrator ("The Wind In the Willows")/Policeman
  • J. Pat O'Malley - Cyril Proudbottom/Policeman/Paper boy (unseen) that yells "Toad Guilty!"
  • Colin Campbell - Moley
  • John McLeish - Prosecutor
  • Campbell Grant - Angus MacBadger
  • Claud Allister - Ratty
  • Leslie Dennison - Judge/Weasel #1
  • Edmond Stevens - Weasel #2
  • Oliver Wallace - Winkie
  • The Rhythmaires

Directing animators

See also

External links








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