Disney (Wednes)Day: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Welcome to the last package film for a long time which also means the 1940s are finally over and I can start to watch movies people have actually seen before, again. Have some happy Thumper celebratory gif:

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Onto the actual movie though. This  one consists of two segments, just like Fun and Fancy Free which does work for me in general. We open in a library which naturally makes me squee because books!! The narrator asks who the most fabulous character in all of English literature is. His conclusion, Toad from The Wind in the Willows whom I have never heard of but that’s probably just my stupid continental european ignorance talking.

In a house a rat who is wearing a three piece suit (why do these things still surprise me?) and a mole are hanging out with each other. During the segment I did ask myself if they are maybe living together as life partner or not but maybe that’s a bit too much for this supposedly kids film. Moving on. They get their mail delivered from a real human being because obvs. Then the gentlemen go and visit Toad Hall where a very grumpy Badger, named MacBadger is trying to bring the Toad estate in order which seems like a never ending story as good old Mr. Toad is a happy-go-lucky sort of fellow with one mania after another.

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MacBadger informs the others where Toad is to be found and they go look for him. The wanted is riding around with his horse Cyril and going nowhere in particular. Rat and Mole try to talk sense into their friend but he seems to be immune to lectures. Then a motorcar drives by and he goes all crazy because BOOM! NEW OBSESSION! Good friends as they are, they take Toad home and lock him away in the hopes the mania will work itself out. Of course it doesn’t and Toad runs away from his prison. He finds himself a motorcar and ‘buys’ it, only to get arrested for stealing a car or something equally as dumb.

Commence epically long court session that fills us in on all we need to know. Apparently Toad traded in Toad Hall for the motorcar which nearly kills poor ole MacBadger. I feel you, bro. One of Toads witnesses screws him over and he gets thrown into jail where he stays many years until Cyril, dressed as an old lady, helps to break him out. All his remorse is gone in this instant and I groan.

Running away ain’t easy though and Toad finally ends up in the arms of his friends who have stood by him all this time even after his name was banned from speaking. (I didn’t quite get this part, whatever.) As it turns out, the original witness was in on the crime and they all form an elaborate plan to clear Toads name. It’s a ridiculous set up but in the end, they all succeed and Toad is owner of Toad Hall again. He may be over his obsession with a motorcar but has stumbled into a new one with planes. Oh the joy.

The second segment is a rendition of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow which I only heard of thanks to certain movies and TV shows but never watched or read. It starts with an introduction  of the greater New Yorker area and Ichabod Crane who comes to the town of Sleepy Hollow as a school master. He looks funnily, has giant feet, is skinny like a scarecrow and has a face like a pidgeon. He is extremely superstitious and always has his head in a book. Ichabod seems to be a good teacher who forgives easily as longs as the mothers of the kids are good cooks. In order to supplement his small income, he gives singing lessons but people also make a lot of fun of him because he is just an odd fella. I don’t care.

Then, of course, he meets the lovely only child and thus heir of her father’s wealth, Katrina, whom he falls madly in love with. Naturally, Ichabod is not the only one going for the woman. Girlfriend got a huge inheritance which makes all the fellas go mad, you see? Ichabod seems to be doing just fine with her though, he has only one more competitor, a ridiculously muscular man. They fight over her good will because that’s what men do, no matter the lady’s opinion. At first, Ichabod seems to have the upper hand until the night of Halloween where Muscle Man uses Ichabod’s superstitiousness to scare him senseless.

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On his way home though the deep dark forest, Ichabod gets a bit mad and then also followed by a crazy man on a horse. After the longest chase scene of EVER we learn that Ichabod disappeared and is possibly dead but rumours tells us that he probably just left for another town where he married a rich widow and lived happily ever after. Of course Katrina and Muscle Man got married, end of story.

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First of all, I can see how kids enjoy this movie whereas I have a couple of issues with it. Even though Toad rectified his issues and was screwed over by someone besides him, I didn’t like the idea that his materialism is treated as something so normal and okay. He may be able to afford it, even though I don’t think so when I look at MacBadger but that’s still no reason to go around the world like your an idiot. I may not be good at explaining why I don’t like Toad but that’s it. I don’t like him and how can anyone consider him a fabulous character? He is an idiot and just because his friends forgave him and stood by him doesn’t mean he is a right in the head. Toad is like and addict and just letting him continue to do his thing won’t help him in the long run. But that’s just my opinion, after all, materialism is as American as cherry pie.

Then there is this whole part about Ichabod who seems to only care for Katrina because of her large inheritance. What a great way to look at a woman. Awesome, thanks a lot Disney. I hate it when the fighting of men over a woman or just the presence of two man between whom the lady has to choose is a plot device. I know it happens all over the place, Twilight, The Hunger Games and many more. I groan each time. Ichabod is not a tragical character like Gatsby, he is just greedy and I don’t appreciate it. Also, just let the woman decide without pushing her, okay?

Like I said, I can see why kids enjoy this movie but I wasn’t too happy about it. It’s not something I hate like Saludos Amigos but it’s not on any top list either. I am, however, extremely excited that next weeks movie will be Cinderella because that’s finally a movie people have seen and are opinionated about again. Until next time!

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  • I’ve been thinking of watching through some of the older Disney movies, but I’d probably skip the package films. They hold no appeal for me.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Oh yes, the package films are nothing I could recommend. Skip ’em is a great idea. Otherwise, yay for watching old Disney movies :)

  • Vanessa

    I’ve always wanted to watch this, but it never seems to be released on video. Now thanks to your post I at least know the just of what happens. Yay!

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Yeah, I’m not as nice as you are…moving on. It’s okay to watch but there is no need to watch this movie in my opinion.

  • Return to the ’80s (Paul)

    I haven’t seen this in years. I remember first seeing this on The Wonderful World of Disney in the ’70s. I may have seen it on The Disney Channel when cable Television first became available. I don’t think I was too crazy about Mr. Toad. And the Sleepy Hollow one was boring to me back then, until the Headless Horseman shows up.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      The headless horseman was pretty awesome. Other than that, I was not a fan. Good to know I’m not alone in this.