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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Toot-Toot! Hooray For Mr Toad!
This must be the finest production of "Wind in the Willows" ever likely to be made. Perfect casting, the clever decision not to hide the actors behind animal masks, and a witty script make it ideal viewing for the whole family - as the BBC knew when it proved central to their Christmas schedule in 2006.

Matt Lucas is a delight as Toad - bombastic, sly,...
Published on 31 Mar 2007 by Scots Lass

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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly boring!
My two 8-year old granddaughters found this adaptation slow, drawn-out and boring with very few exciting highlights. Not sure who the intended audience is - children or adults - but it falls between two stools.
Published on 7 Aug 2009 by Lawrence McNulty


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Toot-Toot! Hooray For Mr Toad!, 31 Mar 2007
By 
Scots Lass (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kenneth Grahame's The Wind In The Willows (Standard Edition) [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
This must be the finest production of "Wind in the Willows" ever likely to be made. Perfect casting, the clever decision not to hide the actors behind animal masks, and a witty script make it ideal viewing for the whole family - as the BBC knew when it proved central to their Christmas schedule in 2006.

Matt Lucas is a delight as Toad - bombastic, sly, innocent and insufferable he brings real warmth to the character and proves he has a good singing voice for the simple little ditties that feature in the programme. His promises to never ever-ever-ever-ever-EVER etc do something again are comedy gold! The action begins with underground-dwelling Mole (Lee Ingleby) escaping from his Spring Cleaning to travel above ground where he meets the laid-back English gent Rat (Mark Gattis) and his gruff, growly chum Badger (Bob Hoskins). The glorious summer English countryside is provided by Romania and the boating, fishing and caravanning scenes are as perfect as could be.

But it is Toad and his love of motor-cars which provides the centre for this story as his 3 friends try to stop him killing himself with his shocking driving - not to mention wasting his inheritance on more and more vehicles.

Extra Featurette "Further Adventures of Toad" is NOT as the title would imply a further little story, but instead a good look behind-the-scenes of the making of this production. From the baking heat of Romania to the stunning news that Matt Lucas cannot drive in real life (!) cast and crew provide interviews and insights into what must have been one of the happiest, funniest dramas to be part of in recent years.

"Wind in the Willows" is a childhood favourite for millions - and often the very first school play they ever participate in. This production would surely win the support of Kenneth Graham - his characters are brought to life with all the faults, failings and personalities fully intact. The fight between our heroes and the dastardly Weazels is a joy of stunt work and comedy - and the ending predicts that Wonderful Mr Toad will soon have another venture in mind.....

No home should be without a copy of this classic.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it ..., 5 Mar 2009
By 
Liz G (New Zealand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Kenneth Grahame's The Wind In The Willows (Standard Edition) [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
For me this is a wonderful film. It completely captures the magic of the original story (much loved since childhood) and without being precious about it. The humour, the atmosphere and characterisations are perfectly pitched and the setting is beautiful. I'm not a great re-watcher of films but I watched this one twice as soon as I'd received it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff..., 4 Mar 2013
By 
DR (Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kenneth Grahame's The Wind In The Willows (Standard Edition) [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Matt Lucas makes a fantastic Mr Toad and the rest of the cast keep the standard high.

This is a terrific version of the ageless classic.

Poop poop.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film. Lots of laughs and no gore., 17 Jan 2013
By 
S. L. Long (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kenneth Grahame's The Wind In The Willows (Standard Edition) [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
This was purchased as a gift for my father. He saw it when it came out and really liked it. My wife and I watched it with him on Christmas day and thoroughly enjoyed it. I would happily watch it again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous production, 28 Aug 2010
By 
R. E. Stothers "xxRosiexx" (Norfolk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kenneth Grahame's The Wind In The Willows (Standard Edition) [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Inspired casting and imaginative production - a real 'feel good' movie for the whole family. True to the original Kenneth Grahame book, my 4 grandkids (ages 3 to 11)and I were well entertained by this wonderful film. Highly recommended. Poop poop.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wind in the Willows, 23 Mar 2009
By 
P. Pemberton - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kenneth Grahame's The Wind In The Willows (Standard Edition) [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Easy to select and received this item on the day specified. A wonderful adaption of a classic story - loved by all the family.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An echanting version of a magical tale, 17 Feb 2007
By 
This review is from: Kenneth Grahame's The Wind In The Willows (Standard Edition) [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Kenneth Graham's story is a childhood classic whose charm I believe has been eroded by various 're-imaginings' and plasticine figure short films that do not resemble the characters or stories. This adaptation reminded me how much Graham had to say about friendship, courage and adventure. So much so that I went to buy the book to read again. That this version moved me to go back to Graham's tale as an adult is the greatest praise I can give it.

The production standards, script and direction are absolutely enchanting with not a single jarring note. However, the central performances of Matt Lucas as Toad, Mark Gatiss as Ratty and Lee Ingleby as Mole and Lee Hall's script are what eleveate this to one of the best features I have seen on television in years. The producers wisely kept any makeup to a minimum, merely suggesting animal features, and allowed the actors to physically portray their characteristics. This restraint pays off and every performance in utterly convincing but does not get in the way of what is essentially a very human tale of friendship and adventure. Instead the CGI effects which are used are always appropriate and contribute seemlessly and relevantly rather than appearing for the sake of it.

Although it is hard to single out an individual in a project so successful that clearly a great team worked on it I have to say that Lee Ingleby both carried and stole the show. As Mole he leads the audience through the tale and conveys the perfect mix of anxiety when faced with the unknown but enough courage to overcome his hesitation and be rewarded with friendship and new experiences. I think all of us can relate to that timidity and aspire to overcoming it and forming connections with the people and world about us. Mole's myopic horizons become with the help of his friends and his own resources a vista of possibilities and Lee Ingleby convinces you of this with a charming performance that is never heavy-handed. If I seem to be reading a little too much into the portrayal of an animal in a children's story I can only recommend that you buy this DVD and watch Mr. Ingleby's performance. He is the extra special element in an absolutely fabulous production.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have DVD!!, 2 April 2007
By 
D. Wells (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kenneth Grahame's The Wind In The Willows (Standard Edition) [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
This was the best thing on TV throughout the entire Christmas holiday, possibly the entire year! This was a wonderful show, sweet and delightful with great humour. I laughed all the way through it! I was so impressed with all the performances, but Matt Lucas stood out especially. He was born to play Toad. He absolutely steals the show as he is spot on perfect. Mark Gatiss, Lee Ingleby, Bob Hoskins and all the cast were also perfect in their parts and were a joy to watch.

At first, I felt a little silly watching a "kid's" show (as our children are in their late teens/early 20s). But I realised very quickly, this was a production for everyone. Do not mistakenly think this is for kids. You will be missing out on a wonderful experience.

Get this DVD, sit back and enjoy! You will not be disappointed!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 13 Sep 2013
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My favourite all time version of Wind In The Willows, since my childhood. Have bought for myself and reatives. Very happy with buyer.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly charming, 26 Jan 2007
This review is from: Kenneth Grahame's The Wind In The Willows (Standard Edition) [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
A friend of mine was kind enough to burn me a DVD from the TV presentation, and send it to me in America. I was delighted, as I had been looking forward to it for some time and take for granted it will not come to the US.

I was not disappointed. This film is completely wonderful, from the saturated colors of the landscapes to the marvelously witty and creative camera work, to the absolute perfection of the actors in their roles -- each one entirely believable as the creature he was meant to be. Mark Gatiss' Rat was a bit underplayed--it was only on second viewing that I became aware of the subtleties of his performance: the little ratlike twitches of the nose and the occasional baring of the teeth. Bob Hoskins gave a workmanlike performance as Badger, and of course Matt Lucas' Toad fairly stole the show.

But the absolute revelation of the film was Lee Ingleby as Mole. Somehow in watching him I was able to see two presences onscreen at the same time: the full-scale human and a tiny shadowy creature of delicacy, timidity and great vulnerability. The humble little Mole, so earnest and willing to please, is of course the center and the heart of the story, and Ingleby brought him to life with extraordinary grace, sensitivity and humor. His parting line, "Perhaps there's room in the world for all sorts of creatures" [paraphrased] is a lesson to be lived by even today.

This is not the "Wind in the Willows" you grew up with. This is live actors in limited make-up, breathing life into the characters through their own talent, rather than through special effects. (Though there are a few of those too, and quite clever ones at that.) As soon as a commercial release of the DVD becomes available (March 26), I have every intention of buying it. My first copy will likely be well-worn long before then.
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