Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Starring: Bing Crosby, Basil Rathbone, Eric Blore, J. Pat O’Malley, John McLeish
Director: James Algar, Clyde Geronimi & Jack Kinney
Release Date: 5 October 1949
Length: 68 minutes
Movie Rating: G
View Format: DVD
My Rating: 4/5 stars
“This Disney animated classic includes two features for the price of one. One is an adaptation of Washington Irving‘s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, while the other follows the shenanigans of Mr. Toad from The Wind in the Willows. In the first segment, Ichabod Crane crosses villainous Brom Bones, who frightens Crane with a seemingly tall tale of a headless horseman. In the second, car enthusiast Mr. Toad ends up behind bars on a trumped-up theft charge.” — Netflix.com
“Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride” – this is not my favorite Disney featurette, but there are those who really enjoy this mad-cap tale of adventure. Mr. Toad is a bit of a thrill seeker and is always out for the hot, new toy or experience. When he accidentally buys a stolen motorcar, he ends up in jail. Through a daring jailbreak, Mr. Toad escapes to return to his friends, who help him prove his innocence. This cartoon is just alright for me and I have a hard time watching it as Toad just never learns and never changes. He goes through his money like water and never has to learn to accept the consequences for his actions. To me, it is just another story of the privileged wealthy, born with a silver spoon in their mouths, who never learn to work or do anything to deserve their easy, luxurious lives. There are some fun moments and children will enjoy the antics of the animals as they try to battle the evil badgers. It is well animated and cheerfully presented so it is still enjoyable when you are in the mood to watch it.
“Ichabod Crane” – this is one of my favorite Disney featurettes and I watch it around Halloween every year. Bing Crosby narrates and sings throughout the cartoon and his voice is just gorgeous. He makes the story for me. The animation is also very fine, however, and it is fun to see this classic tale brought to life with Ichabod Crane, the peculiar schoolteacher, Brom Bones, the musclebound local, and Katrina, the most beautiful & richest girl in town. This story is a slice of Americana and such a treat for young and old viewers alike. There is plenty of humor to be found in this tale, as well as some spinechilling moments when the Headless Horseman is chasing Ichabod Crane through the woods at the end. There are countless movie versions of this tale, but this one is one of my favorites and the one that I remember the best.
This is a fun DVD to rent any time of the year, but I usually rent it around Halloween time so that I can watch Ichabod Crane and enjoy the slightly spooky storyline. The animation is very well done on both of the cartoons and children will find themselves thoroughly entertained. Parents will delight in madcap adventures of sprightly Mr. Toad and the gullible Ichabod Crane and can watch right along with their children and enjoy themselves, too!
There are a few scenes that feature mild violence, a chase through the woods by the Headless Horseman, and a few spooky moments of suspense. Recommended for viewers ages 3 and up.