Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

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From the book The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The Weasels have an evil plan to destroy the meadow and the river and it’s up to Toad, Ratty and Mole to stop them!

Follow this recipe:

  1. For the script, take a classic of children’s literature that has been done one too many times (it helps if it’s a book that few people have actually read)
  2. Remove the boring parts and the long windy descriptions, rewrite where needed.
  3. Next, pick several ripe actors known for their characterizations, such as Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Steven Coogan and Nicol Williamson
  4. Prepare these actors with ears, tails and a bit of makeup, but not too much costuming…let their natural colors and flavors predominate in the mixture.
  5. Fold in some small but hilarious roles for John Cleese, Stephen Fry, and Michael Palin.
  6. Mix actors generously into script, allowing their talents to mingle freely.
  7. Season with explosions, witty song and dance numbers, scary bad guys, and a happy ending.
  8. Serve often.

We have to thank Railroad David for this gem, and have been waiting for it to come out on DVD for YEARS. Reading The Wind in the Willows as an adult, I liked it but not nearly as much as those who were indoctrinated earlier in their lives seem to…although, come to think of it, I don’t know ANYONE who talks about loving this book the way people talk about To Kill A Mockingbird or Little Women or (my fav) A Little Princess or (Mr. Otter’s) The Secret Garden. Maybe you have to be English…anyway. It’s a cute story, fun to read, but nothing to get passionate over, really.

But this movie. What a joy. Lovely characters, amusing songs, a good plot, just a whole lot of fun to watch. Especially if you have kids of any age around, don’t wait another minute, run right out and get this one.

It’s delicious.

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