Friday, November 23, 2007

The Film that Became an Award-Winning TV Show

The Wind In The Willows has captured the hearts and imaginations of children and adults for nearly a century. Brought vividly and faithfully to life in this 1983 film adaptation, Kenneth Grahame's classic tales of Mole, Rat, Badger, and Toad are available to home viewers for the first time.

An award-winning creation from the legendary Cosgrove Hall Productions (Danger Mouse, Count Duckula), The Wind In The Willows features eye-catching stop-motion animation and dialogue taken directly from the pages of the beloved children's tale. Experience the lively, song-filled adventures of Mole, Rat, Badger and Toad in an enchanting production as magical as the original book.

Kenneth Grahame wrote The Wind in the Willows in 1908 I bet he never dreamed that it would be reproduced in so many forms. There are plays, book “sequels” by other authors, and of course films. Animated and live-action are the most common but in order to distinguish one above the rest; with so many different adaptations around, it would have to be dramatically different. So the people of Cosgrove Hall made their Wind in the Willows using stop-motion puppetry.

For some reason using such a different technique really did make the film stand out! It became so popular that Cosgrove made it into a TV series that ran from 1984-1987 then again in 1989-90. For the most part, that was before my time so I didn’t grow up with these characters like most people so I didn’t get the warm, fuzzy sense of nostalgia when watching it.

Actually, I didn’t find the film visually appealing at all. I thought it was very dated and the characters are kind of scary-looking! The movie did have one good thing about it and that was the music. The original dialogue and some of the songs from the book were used all throughout the film. I’ll even grudgingly admit that the voice work wasn’t too shabby either with the talents of the British actors Ian Carmichael as Rat, Richard Pearson as Mole, Michael Hordern as Badger, and David Jason as Toad.

However much I didn’t care for the overall look of Cosgrove’s Wind in the Willows, I have to admit that the story was (for the most part) a faithful rendering of the original tale. They did take a few liberties though and I still can’t stand the pompous Mr. Toad.

The End Credits Song:

River Theme Clip:

Part 1:


  1. Oh thank you for helping me remember this series. I actually liked it very much, probably because it was faithful to the book.

    I always enjoyed the song at the beginning of the show. It was so gentle, like the stories.

  2. Someone has posted some of the episodes from the show on youtube if you're interested.



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