Mole, Badger and Toad are all present and correctly animated in this
handsome adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's
classic. As one would expect
of TVC, lavish attention is heaped upon the
project. It has a rich background
palette, a full-bodied score and a feast
of star voices filling the soundtrack.
The film is bookended by live-action scenes
featuring Vanessa Redgrave
boating on a river and reading the Willows
tale to a group of children. This
wraparound technique first surfaced
in TVC's animated adaptations of the
works of Beatrix
A few elements of William Horwood's literary
sequel "The Willows in Winter"
are also introduced, including a sequence
with Portly Otter being swept
away down river. TVC went on to
adapt that title too into
feature, in 1996.
"The Wind in the Willows"
was, and is still, a popular title for animators to
sink their teeth in to. Disney gave
us their Americanized version in the
forties. In the eighties Cosgrove Hall created
an award-winning stop-motion
tv series. Rankin Bass filmed a version
in 1987, then Martin Gates created
Christmas in 1994, and a sequel "The Adventures of Mole"
released in the same year as TVC's film.
To cap it all, one year on from all
of this came Terry Jones' theatrical
live-action interpretation. Even now there
is talk of yet another version on the
cards, blending live-action with cgi,
back at the studio who started
it all - Disney....
Just to continue the confusion between all
these films many terribly famous
British actors were involved in each, and
indeed, crossed over into other
versions - like Monty Python star
Michael Palin who voices 'Ratty' in our
TVC film but also appears in Terry Jones'
film as well. TVC's 'Mole' is voiced
by playwright Alan Bennett, who famously
adapted the work into a touring
stage production. This was first performed
at the NT in 1990 with director
Nicholas Hynter at the helm....
TVC's film was first broadcast on Christmas
Day 1995. It went on to collect
a Special Jury Prize at the Rockie Awards.
Willows In Winter
Wind In The Willows on DVD
Wind in the Willows Collection
TVC films / Region 2 / Carlton / November 1999
Wind in the Willows/The Willows in Winter
TVC films / Region 1 / Good Times Video / May 2001
from the book by Kenneth Grahame
exec prod: Jonathan
adapted by: Ted
Vanessa Redgrave (narrator)