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British Movie Toons

       Poop! - Poop! - It's Toad...

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The Wind
  in the Willows
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producers: TVC / HIT / Carlton UK
2D animation
       run time: 74 mins



Ratty, 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 Potter.

     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 a fully-fledged 
     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
     Mole's Christmas in 1994, and a sequel "The Adventures of Mole" was
     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.


     See also

The Willows In Winter


     The Wind In The Willows on DVD

     UK DVD
The Wind in the Willows Collection
                Both TVC films / Region 2 / Carlton / November 1999

     USA DVD
The Wind in the Willows/The Willows in Winter
                Both TVC films / Region 1 / Good Times Video / May 2001


from the book by Kenneth Grahame

        Dave Unwin
     producer:       John Coates
     exec prod:     Jonathan Peel   
     adapted by:   Ted Walker
     music:           Colin Townes 
     voices:           Vanessa Redgrave (narrator)
                          Alan Bennett (Mole)
                          Michael Gambon (Badger)
                          Rik Mayall (Toad)
                          Michael Palin (Rat)
                          Enn Reitel
                          Mark Lockyer


      On the web

AWN - Animation World Network
       AWN is the world's leading site for all things animated, able to draw
       on a myriad of resources to create informative and entertaining content
       for animators and fans of animation alike. This here article on TVC
       by Jill McGreal is one such example. A well-researched, detailed
       piece on the history of this top flight British company...

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© TVC/ HIT / Carlton UK / F2006