The original film adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's classic 'The Wind in the Willows', made by Cosgrove Hall productions for television was a pure delight, and is highly regarded as one of the most faithful, successful and enjoyable ever attempted. The ensuing five series went on to prolong and expand that wonderful universe. There is no much else that I can say regarding this first series, except to point out that further chapters and characters of the original novel that were left out in the 1983 film were featured here. Indeed, some of the aforementioned chapters from the book were adapted into episodes, such as 'The Further Adventures of Toad', 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn' or 'Wayfarers All', and characters such as Otter and his son Portly appeared for the first time. Another element worthy of notice is that the tone of several episodes in this series is darker than in the other series, as there are many characters in distress, like Billy the field mouse in 'The Great Steamer', or Otter and Portly in 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn', or even Badger almost losing his home in 'Buried Treasure', and the utter sadness of Ratty in 'Wayfarers All'. The other series tend to be more cheerful and revolve around the antics of the funny and outrageous Toad of Toad Hall. These DVDs are not to be missed owing to the extraordinary quality of this Cosgrove Hall produced series, and I do hope the remaining series get to be released soon.
If, like me, you remember the original airing of this show on children's television, then (like me) you are possibly in the position of wanting to share the wonderful stories of Toad, Ratty, Mole & Badger with your own children. The animation is superb, with incredible attention to details relevant to the Edwardian life and countryside. The episodes are all very well written and the characters are voiced by some of our best-loved actors. I am so pleased that the copyright owners have finally decided to release this series on DVD. In the midst of today's violent or highly sarcastic animated character this DVD set stands out as charming, heart-warming and enduring.
I love this animated series and highly recommend it. It's best viewed with a comforting hot drink and a plate of hot buttered crumpets on a frosty winter evening. I have enjoyed each of the short tales, which are mainly based on chapters from the original book, again and again, they really are a treat.
I thought that as i enjoyed the book when I was at school in the 40's, I would introduce my Grand children to it, they gave it the thumbs up. So I rate it highly. a good story is a good story at anytime.