Monday, August 11, 2014

Project Disney- The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Project Disney: The plan is to tackle all of the Disney films, re-reading the classic stories and tales that inspired many of them and to look at how the changes the filmmakers made, the new elements they introduced and the essential elements they kept. We will, of course, be talking about the films as movies as well, saying why we enjoy them and what some of our favorite moments are, but our focus will be on looking at them as adaptations. For the films that are not drawn from any one work we’ll be looking at some of the possible literary influences that we see in the stories. I am participating in Project Disney inspired by Picture Me Reading!

Project Disney this time around is the movie The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. This movie is based off the two stories The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving.The movie is actually two separate stories but into one film but is still part of the Disney Canon. I am sure if you grew up with Disney you have seen the Sleepy Hollow part of the film, especially since it was shown every year with A Disney Halloween (which I love and you can read all about my review on it here).  But the Adventures of Mr. Toad is a lesser known film. Each segment has a narrator who tells the story to us.

Let's start with Mr. Toad.  I really enjoyed reading The Wind in the Willows.  Though I must say, this is a book for a different generation of children.  I read it and thought to myself that as a child I might find it a bit boring.  The book actually focuses on all the characters you see in the film, Toad, Water Rat, Mole and Badger all have their own stories going on.  The movie really only follows Toad and the mischief he gets into.  Mr. Toad is a rich Toad who spends his money carelessly and his friends try to convince him to be smarter with his money.
Toad loves to take on hobbies and go crazy with them. He discovers motor cars and has to have one.  He gets one by purchasing it from a shady character but is later arrested for stealing a car. Turns out he is framed by the man who sold him the car, because the man secretly wants to take over Toad Hall where Toad lives.  Toad and his friends show up and fight and are able to get the deed back from the man and this part of the film pretty much ends there.  In the Wind in the Willows Toad's adventures are quite different.  He actually DOES steal the car.  We also get to spend time with him in prison when he breaks out. The battle to get Toad Hall back is a little bit more violent then the Disney movie shows.  Plus the humans aren't talked about in the book as much as they are in the movie. In fact.. they are a little more mysterious.  The animals even go one night to sit around and watch them through the windows.

The Wind in the Willows is a much larger story and I would recommend you reading it to get a much richer experience though I do love that Disney took Toad's story from it.  Though I don't think Toad will ever change who is he.. as you can see at the end of the film when you just know he is going to take up airplanes next. 

Next up is a film I love!  The Adventures of Ichabod! Of course... as I said above, I love a Disney Halloween so much so I have very fond memories of this one.  Surprisingly, I hadn't read the story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow before now so I was glad to read that story for this Project Disney also. The movie pretty much makes Ichabod Crane look like he is described in the book.  I love the music that Disney puts along with this film too.  This movie follows the story by Irving pretty well. Ichabod lives in Sleepy Hollow and is a school teacher there, using the parents of all the students to feed and shelter himself.  He then meets a lovely lady and tries to get her to like him.  Another man Bones also wants to marry her.  So they begin to compete for her love.

There is a party and the story of the Headless Horseman is told.  Ichabod goes home but is confronted by the Headless Horseman... this is the part of the story I really loved!  So many theories about the ending. What could've happened to Ichabod?  He and the Horseman get into a chase and the story ends with Ichabod falling from the horse and everyone guessing what happened to him?  Did he die?  Go somewhere else because he was embarrassed and become a lawyer? This story and move really do follow quite closely together.

The Adventures of Ichabod is so fun... a perfect creepy film.  Disney does a good job with it.  It is a short story and I read it in one sitting so you should for sure check it out and read it/watch it.  I enjoyed this film and thought the narration does a good job of keeping you feeling like this is one movie rather then two different films.

Be sure to check out my other Project Disney:
Snow White
Peter Pan
Treasure Planet
Sleeping Beauty
The Great Mouse Detective 
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Princess and the Frog
Beauty and the Beast
Lady and the Tramp
Alice in Wonderland
The Rescuers
The Rescuers Down Under
Oliver and Company
The Little Mermaid
101 Dalmatians
Fantasia 2000
The Jungle Book
The Emperor's New Groove
The Sword in the Stone
The Aristocats
The Lion King
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
Winnie the Pooh (2011)
Robin Hood
The Black Cauldron 
Mary Poppins
Lilo and Stitch 
Make Mine Music
Fox and the Hound
Melody Time


  1. I didn't know they put these two stories together in one film! Actually thought it was some weird crossover version of Sleepy Hollow and Wind in the Willows when I saw the title! :) I feel like I saw this when I was younger but I have very little memory of it. I'd like to see it though since I did read The Wind in the Willows recently and I want to compare. Although I agree that I probably would have thought it boring when I was a child. And Sleepy Hollow is a great story so it would be interesting to see it Disney animated.

  2. I am about to start reviewing the more "unknown" Disney movies coming up here soon. I think those will have the least visits and the least comments. These are the really old films and just weren't about princesses. You probably can actually find this film online. I had to get it through the library's interlibrary loan. They don't even own a copy. It is a good movie though and really does a good job of putting these stories into a movie.

  3. Well I'm sure people will still visit the link to your review later when they are googling these lesser known Disney films. Right now, it's easy to see the legacy of Disney, but it's interesting to look back and think about how Walt built up his company with these early animations. And how the studio adapted the stories for children.

  4. I love the Disney Halloween show too. I wish I could find it for my kids to watch when they get older. I also love the story of the headless horseman, but like you I haven't read the original. It is on my to read in the near future though and might be my Halloween read this year.

    Your project Disney posts are so fun but this is my favorite.

  5. You can find Disney Halloween on youtube.. in full. So if you have Cromecast or Apple TV you can project it onto your TV. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a short story, I think I read it in an hour or so. So you should totally try to read it. It was a good.

  6. We just got the bluray for this..we really need to get back to Project Disney I miss it! Great review :)

  7. It was hard to find... on August 18th it is going to be rereleased so you should have some good luck finding it now. I had to get it through my library's ILL.

  8. I look forward to you coming back! I miss the trading cards so much.

  9. I've seen The Adventures of Ichabod (Just called The Tale of Sleepy Hollow on the old VCR we have that it's on) and, whilst I don't think I'd read the original, at least not at this point, I'm interested that it's based on a novel/short story. I didn't actually know that, and it'd be quite interesting to see how it transferred. That must be the great thing about Project Disney, seeing how they all relate. It's a really neat feature.
    I've loved the Wind in the Willows for a long time and was amused by how different each film adaption was to the actual novel. They all change Toad so much!

  10. I would like to see more Wind in the Willow adaptations. Do you have any recommendations? I tried to google some but then was a little confused and gave up. I am going to miss Project Disney when it's done. I have really really enjoyed reading the books and then comparing to the movies. Plus there are a couple of Disney films I haven't seen in 20 years so watching them again is fun too. This is one of those.

  11. The Sleepy Hollow part is the best part of the movie. I have to admit... I liked the Mr. Toad part but if I had to pick one over the other it is Sleepy Hollow. What a cool story!! Plus I love Halloween.

  12. It's crazy, but I've never seen any of those, I think - well, I read the book, of course. I'll be checking it out :)

  13. I saw the title of the movie at the library the other day and thought that it was strange. I thought they were 2 different movies and I see I was right. I remember your review for The Wind and the WIllows and I'm looking forward to reading it myself. Next time I'm at the library I'll have to pick this one up. I think my 4 year old would love this one and if he doesn't I would!

  14. I am glad to get people checking out the more obscure Disney movies. This is one that was just re-released so you will have an easy time getting it.

  15. I would totally give it a shot. It is really strange to me that in the beginning Disney would mix up a few shorts and through them into one movie and then release it into the theater. Now-a-days that wouldn't probably sell. No one would probably go to the movies to see that. I look forward to seeing what you think.

  16. You're welcome, Angela! Let me know, if you watch any, what you think! I'd like to know which you liked the most! (:

  17. I totally remember watching the Ichabod part of the movie. I've seen the Toad side too, but I never really liked the Toad stories. I remember comparing the Johnny Depp Sleepy Hollow movie to the Disney version - I prefer Disney :)

  18. The Disney movie of Sleepy Hollow is really really great. I have always enjoyed it since I was a little kid. Just fun!