The Basil Rathbone Blogathon – The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)

This post is the first of two reviews for The Basil Rathbone Blogathon being hosted by Pale Writer

Tnx for letting me participate!

“Don’t try to figure out a plan. You can’t reason with a headless man. ” – Narrator

Number of Times Seen – 1 (11 Jun 2020)

Brief Synopsis – Two literary works are given the Disney treatment as we get to see how the tales of Wind in the Willows and Sleepy Hollow are seen through the eyes of Walt Disney.

My Take on it – This is one of the very few Disney animated films that I had never seen before and when I found out that it features Basil Rathbone as one of the two narrators, I thought it would be a great opportunity to use it for this blogathon and finally see what it is all about.

This is a very uneven film because both of these stories are quite different in tone, mannerism and the way that they are presented.

Each has their own narrator and the use of an American (Gene Kelly) for Sleepy Hollow and a Brit (Rathbone) for Wind in the Willows helps set the tone for each story based on where they take place.

Of the two tales told here, The Toad one is much better because they are able to find a way to stay fresh and fun throughout the story.

The added use of he Disney theme of giving animals human characteristics and traits also helps make it even more enjoyable to watch unfold.

The Sleepy Hollow segment is a bit too buffoonish and a story that is meant to be told in a much darker tone and presence just doesn’t work when giving it this kind of Disney treatment.

Bottom Line – Very uneven film that has two stores that are quite contrast to one another. Each story has its own narrator and this helps show the differences between tales told in England and in the US. The narrators of both tales are Gene Kelly (For Sleepy Hollow) and Basil Rathbone (for Wind on the Willows) and they both add so much to the retelling of these famous tales. The Toad segment is the better of the two and stays fresh and fun throughout because we can easily relate to the characters who are animal embodiments with human traits and characteristics. The sleepy Hollow segment is a bit too buffoonish which takes away from the dark tone that this kind of story is meant to have.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Brom Bones later became the inspiration for the character of Gaston in Beauty and the Beast (1991). (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)


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5 thoughts on “The Basil Rathbone Blogathon – The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)

  1. Pingback: The Suave Swordsman has arrived! – Pale Writer

  2. Disney did a lot of compilation films in the 1940s, along with The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad there is Fun, and Fancy Free, The Three Cabelleros, Saludos Amigos, Melody Time, and Make Mine Music.

    Over the years, I have garnered a greater appreciation for the faux gravitas Basil Rathbone brings to Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows.

    I’m a huge Bing Crosby fan, and I think his narration of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is classic, as is the animation and in capturing the cheeky humor inherent in Washington Irving’s story.


  3. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z | MovieRob

  4. I’ve not seen this, mostly because The Wind in the Willows grates on me, and even the presence of Rathbone and Crosby as narrators can’t quite make me want to see it. You’re kind of confirming me in that choice 😉


  5. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1949 | MovieRob

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