Thursday, February 4, 2010

Walt Disney Animation Studios Part 11: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Series Intro: Here's Part 11 of this multi-part retrospective of Walt Disney Animation Studios' endeavors. They'll mostly be in release date order, save for those that aren't available on DVD at Netflix. (Numbers will be skipped to note missing movies)

Some background info (compiled from Wikipedia and imdb and my own knowledge of the movie).

Official Title: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Release: October 5, 1949
Running Time: 68 minutes
Estimated Cost: n/a
Estimated Revenue: n/a
Overall Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Plot Summary:
Wind in the Willows: Something happens to Mr. Toad where he squanders away his family's vast fortune and his love of cars drives him quite mad. Other things happen, but as with all of the other "package films" from WDAS, this film had a hard time keeping my attention.

The Legend of Sleepy Hallow: Standard story of The Headless Horseman, with a fun little twist involving Ichabod and a local woman.

Although I can't recall any stay out song, the soundtrack from this movie (particularly Sleep Hallow) was great.

Plot Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Considering that the narrators heaved the bulk of the story, the music was really important. I've got to say, that by this point, WDAS really had a knack for these package films. It has big stars (that are still recognizable today), longer "shorts" with none of the "Fab Five" (Mickey and gang). But thank goodness this "package" era is over. (I see a future post after my retrospective is finished comparing all the eras of WDAS movies).

Animation Rating: 2 out of 5

Grant it, the cartoonyness of many of the previous releases worked great for "Toad." The same can't be said for "Ichabod." As I was watching the bully in "Ichabod" - Brom Bones - tell the story of the headless horseman, I thought it was reminiscent of Gaston in Beauty and the Beast and I long to see that style of animation, the crisper lines and darker colors. 

The Test of Time:

Mr. Toad did get his own "Opening Day Attraction" in Disneyland (Anaheim) and a clone on "Opening Day" of Walt Disney World. I rode the one in WDW in 1997, about a year before the VHS release in the Masterpiece Collection. I had no clue who this character was, but did enjoy the ride. While Mr. Toad Disneyland is still going on his "Wild Ride." Down in Florida, he's handed the deed over to Owl from Winnie The Pooh. I enjoyed this ride much too (2007 and 2008). Considering Pooh's staying power, I believe this was a good change.

Mr. Toad and Ichabod will probably continue the vault-ing cycle (every 10 years) with little fan fare (as it's past releases). And I'm fine with that. This was probably the best of the "package films."

Next Up:
Should be Cinderella (but did that one already) so next is Alice!


1 comment:

janice said...

Mr. Toad where he squanders away his family's vast fortune and his love of cars drives him quite mad.

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