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4.5 out of 5 stars54
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This review is from: The Adventures Of Ichabod And Mr Toad [1949] [DVD] (DVD)
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad was another of Disney's features that were really a compilation of shorts, although in this case its seven reel running time is made up of just two stories boasting star narrators. Basil Rathbone makes the case for Toad of Toad Hall being one of the greatest characters in English literature, though the half hour animated version of The Wind and the Willows loses much of the charm and whimsy of the original story in favor of something simpler and more energetic. It's not bad at all taken on its own terms, and Eric Blore is perfect voice casting as Toad, but a little more attention to the story would have been welcome: Toad's prison escape dressed as a washerwoman is all but skipped over when it should have been a gift for a comic sequence. Bing Crosby takes up the narrating duties for the second half, an adaptation of Washington Irving's Legend of Sleepy Hollow complete with 40s songs not far removed from Donald Duck's theme tune. Unfortunately this does feel a bit stretched out until the Headless Horseman makes his belated appearance for an impressive and fiery finale that's not quite impressive enough to take away the feeling that it would have worked much better as a one-reel short.

Unfortunately the picture quality on Disney's DVD isn't as impressive as it could be either, with a lot of white speckles on the picture. Still, with both films released separately for so long in the past - The Wind and the Willows turning up as a short supporting `feature' on Disney theatrical reissues like Alice in Wonderland and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow more often relegated to Disney's TV series - it's good to have them back in their original format. The classic Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy cartoon Lonesome Ghosts, which almost certainly served as the inspiration for Ghosbusters, provides a welcome extra alongside kiddie-friendly singalong, interactive game and storybook features.
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on 27 February 2011
As with Disneys older cartoon films, the animation is superb, and the characters quite beleivable. I also liked that classical extra cartoon called Lonesome Ghosts [of which i never tire of]. Marvellous Disney material.
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on 7 July 2009
I love these two Disney shorts. They are witty, clever and brilliantly put togther. We sometimes forget how good the early Disney animations were. I love Pixar too, but seeing these two old storis always makes me smile and cheer.

Watch Icahbod running away from the ghost of the Headless Horseman. Cheer as Rat, Mole & Badger help Toad recover Toad hall from the evil Weasels. It's good clean fun, and easy to watch over & over. Stories that we can all relate too.
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on 1 December 2009
This Disney cartoon featuring stories from The Wind In The Willows and The Legend Of Sleepy great fun for all the family. Dating from the Fifties the animation may not be quite up to Pixar standards but really that doesn't detract from the enjoyment.
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In the period immediately after World War II, the Disney studio was hurting financially. In an effort to turn things around, they released several features that combined two or more stories into one longer movie. Given the season, I decided now was a great time to rewatch The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad. It had been a few years since I last watched it, but my memories of the film pretty much held up, for better or worse.

The first of the two stories in this film is Kenneth Graham’s The Wind in the Willows. Or a small portion of the novel. (I haven’t read the book in probably 30 years, but I do remember it being much more involved than the story presented here.) Basil Rathbone is our narrator as we hear the tale of Mr. Toad (voiced by Eric Blore). He’s the heir and owner of the prestigious Toad Hall, but his constant desire for speed gets him into serious trouble. The focus of the film is his obsession with getting a car and the trouble that causes for his friends Ratty (Claude Allister), Mole (Colin Campbell), and Badger (Campbell Grant).

Honestly, this story is probably best known these days from Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disneyland (and the memories of the ride at Walt Disney World). Watching the movie again, I noticed several of the characters actually show up in the ride; I thought they were just random people in the ride with no real connection to the movie. Still, the ride goes off in a crazy direction that has nothing to do with any other version of the story.

But let’s get back to this film. There is a courtroom scene that, while essential to the plot, will probably bore the kids. I know I wasn’t that impressed with it, and I’m an adult. However, there are still some comedic action sequences that will definitely entertain kids, particularly the climactic battle against weasels for possession of Toad Hall. The animation is definitely on the dated side, but that was just the style of the time. It’s certainly good, and the voice work is fine as well.

Once this story is done, Bing Crosby takes over to tell us The Legend of Sleepy Hallow. We are introduced to Ichabod Crane, a single school teacher looking to find himself a rich woman to marry. A beautiful woman catches his eye, but unfortunately, there’s another man in town who wants to marry her, and this man will stop at nothing to get rid of his new rival. This all comes to a head at a Halloween party where the rival tells a spooky story about the Headless Horseman. But it’s just a story…right?

What’s interesting about this segment is that Bing Crosby does all the voices as well as sings a couple of songs that further things. Of course, really, the characters talk very little, it’s more Bing narrating things for us and occasionally changing his voice if a character is talking. Still, we are able to follow the story quite successfully, and the songs are fun if not very memorable outside the movie. They also definitely follow Bing’s style and 40’s style, which isn’t bad, but it also feels dated as you are watching.

While the final scene is the most famous, there is actually a bit of build up to it, introducing the characters and giving us the story of the Headless Horseman. In fact, I found parts of it quite funny in a slapstick way. It still might bore kids, but I have a feeling this will entertain them a bit more than the first segment does.

Even the final scene is a mix of chills and laughs. It’s a fine balance, and the two parts definitely battle it out the entire way through the scene as Ichabod tries to get away from the Headless Horseman. The result is a scene that will still scary the most sensitive kids, but that will entertain most kids with little chance of nightmares or other issues.

Still, I can’t fully recommend The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad to families. I think the dated elements and slower pace will turn off most modern audiences. However, DisNerds will still enjoy watching this piece of Disney history.
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on 2 October 2013
A few years ago i remembered having seen a scary cartoon about Sleepy Hollow when i was a child. It took me ages to track it down (mainly as i didnt know what it was called), & i've eventually got it from Amazon.
The title is deceiving, as it infers that Ichabod and Mr Toad are in one adventure - but it's two separate stories.

Of course, its not as scary to me now - but its still very good and you can scare the kids with it!

I now just need someone to help me find the other one i want from olden days - The Blue Danube - it's lovely little birds & woodland animals, squeezing the blueberry juice into the river to make it blue - all to the music of 'The Blue Danube'.
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on 6 September 2010
This dvd has two wonderful cartoon shorts dividing up the story of Mr. Ichabod and Mr. Toad. Mr. Toad winds up on some grand journeys with some great friends, and ends up reclaiming his good name after being framed. Mr. Toad's wonderful friends are instrumental in helping him reclaim his innocence. Mr. Ichabod plays a man full of charm and a love of life that gets along well with others. It is a great cartoon for both adult and kids, but there are certain scenes in the Ichabod cartoon that may be a little on the intense side for children under 3 years old. What I also like are the bonuses included. One of the bonuses involves playing a game where you must answer questions correctly to get to Toad Hall. If you can answer tham without getting four tires then you can get a nice bonus at the end in the form of another cartoon short. I played the game and thought it was pretty fun, plus the mini cartoon that I got to see as a result of it was pretty creative (a car version of the little engine that could). Watching this dvd is definitely worth it, especially considering the bonuses included.
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on 27 December 2011
This DVD presentation of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad is a charming adaptation of two stories made by Walt Disney in 1949.

I must admit that I don't like the second part of the film which is the Adventures of Ichabod section (Hence the reason for four stars rather than five) but the purchase of the DVD in my opinion is worth it just for Mr Toad segment which is the Disney version of The Wind In The Willows Story.

Although not as well animated or known as the era's other films such as Bambi or Pinochio the film is still entertaining and a low price worth adding to your Disney DVD Collection.
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on 27 February 2014
This is my favourite of the Disney 40's cartoon features with two classic stories (Wind in the Willows and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow) beautifully told with some great music. This, like the other 40's Disney's, has not dated.
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on 11 December 2014
Great seller. The movie itself is just not very good. It are two different stories. Oh well its a classic and I bought it for my classic collection. Maybe one day when my expectations aren't so high it will be a better movie
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