HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
Sweat
Quiet Place Part II, A
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
Shorta
Knocking
Bloodthirsty
When the Screaming Starts
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Lions Love
Demonic
Night Drive
Luca
Prospect
   
 
Newest Articles
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
   
 
  Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad, The Pick A Season To Watch It
Year: 1949
Director: James Algar, Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney
Stars: Bing Crosby, Basil Rathbone, Eric Blore, J. Pat O’Malley, John McLeish, Colin Campbell, Campbell Grant, Claud Allister
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Animated, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Here are Bing Crosby, the popular American singer, and Basil Rathbone, the popular British actor, who are here to guide us through the shelves of this library and tell us the stories of Mister Toad and Ichabod Crane, two literary characters from either side of the Atlantic who they each believe exemplify the best their respective nations have to offer in the realm of fiction. Mr Toad's tale is up first, an account of how his love for travelling at high speeds landed him and his three friends in danger, while second is Ichabod who arrived in Tarry Town to fill the position of teacher there, but as an outsider was never going to be as accepted as he would have liked, though his endeavours wound up in spooky circumstances...

This was one of those anthology movies that a cash-strapped Disney studio released in the nineteen-forties, not willing to spend the budget on full length stories when it was cheaper to condense them into just over half an hour and stick them together on what effectively was a double bill combined into seventy minutes or so. As it turned out, this was the last of them as the company's fortunes improved throughout the fifties and they were able to focus more attention on telling a longer form animated yarn. Maybe because this was rumoured not to have made much of a profit, was another reason these two-for-one episodes fell out of favour there: audiences liked to feel as if they had seen a full feature.

Not two half-features, as it were, but while not at the forefront of Disney's classics, Ichabod and Mr Toad did pick up a fair following eventually, thanks to the appreciation of the adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, a classic of children's literature that it would be difficult for them to mess up. The second half was less loved, thanks to really the only good bit being when the titular character meets The Headless Horseman on his way home from a Halloween party, and that was regarded as terrifying to many little children at the time, and indeed for decades after when its full-blooded telling was seen as strong stuff, too strong in many quarters, especially as Ichabod may not have survived.

It did make for a neat Halloween treat, well that latter part anyway, and in a similar fashion the Wind in the Willows was a neat Christmas treat since it took place around that time of year as Mr Toad (voiced by Eric Blore, a great choice) is swindled out of Toad Hall and sent to prison for stealing a motor car to feed his speed addiction. His friends Rat, Mole and "Angus MacBadger" (with a curious Scottish inflection) seek to assist, but when it seems he is guilty they can only step back: however, all is not as it seems, and those weasels may have something to do with his incarceration, not to put too fine a point on it, he was framed! With the animation fluid and vividly coloured, even atmospheric, particularly as winter makes its presence felt, this was a condensed but well-staged version.

After Basil (who would be paid tribute over three decades later by Disney with The Great Mouse Detective) has promoted Grahame's finest achievement in writing, it’s time for Bing to bring Washington Irving's most famous story, unless you're a big Rip Van Winkle fan, to us as he sings his way around the angular protagonist’s life, complete with bah-buh-buh-boms where deemed appropriate. The main issue here, and it has been a bone of contention ever since the initial release, was whether Ichabod was the hero or not, for he seems a very avaricious and greedy soul who is only out to better himself through marriage, while his enemy, Brom Bones, is a bully who has his sights set on the same woman Ichabod is wooing, and may even be behind the climactic encounter with that horseman. This is the highlight by far, as almost everyone in this half was strangely unappealing, so it was good to go out on some well-crafted horror in cartoon form. If this didn't eclipse Mr Toad, they both made for a decent enough entertainment.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2393 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Jason Cook
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: