The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Animation / Comedy / Family / Mystery
Narrated and sung by Bing Crosby and Basil Rathbone
Produced by Walt Disney
Directed by Jack Kinney, Clyde Geronimi and James Algar
Bing Crosby as the voice of Ichabod and Brom Bones
Eric Blore as the voice of J. Thaddeus Toad
Basil Rathbone as the voice of Policeman
J. Pat O'Malley as the voice of Cyril Proudbottom, Winkie, Policeman and Paper boy
Colin Campbell as the voice of Moley
John Ployardt as the voice of Prosecutor
Campbell Grant as the voice of Angus MacBadger
Claude Allister as the voice of Ratty
Leslie Dennison as the voice of Judge and Weasel #1
Edmond Stevens as the voice of Weasel #2
Pinto Colvig as the voice of Ichabod screaming
The film centers on two stories, “The Wind in the Willows” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. The first story centers on J. Thaddeus Toad who owns Toad Hall who runs into problems with the wrong people. The second story is about Ichabod Crane who lives in a small New England town and is in love with Katrina Van Tassel, the most beautiful girl in town. Yet Brom Bones does everything he can to stop anything from happening between them.
The film is composed of two different segments, each based on popular works of literature and told by English and American narrators, respectively. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad trailer
The first story, based on Kenneth Grahame’s “The Wind in the Willows”, follows Mr. Toad, an adventurous upper class toad that believes in fun all the time. However, he has begun to accumulate debt from disregarding his financial responsibilities. His desires also tend to cloud his judgment, and the newest fad that he wants is the automobile. His friends Rat, Mole, and Angus MacBadger attempt to talk some sense into Mr. Toad, but his obsession will not fade and he wishes to obtain an automobile by any means necessary. His friends lock him in his bedroom during his car mania, but he escapes and acquires one. He is then arrested for stealing a motor car after trading the deed for Toad Hall to the tavern keeper Mr. Winky and his gang of weasels for one. Serving as his own lawyer, the other characters try to determine his guilt or innocence. Mr. Winky lies on the stand and Mr. Toad is sentenced to twenty years in prison. He manages to escape on Christmas Eve with help from his friends. Together they find the real crooks and recover the deed to his estate. Mr. Toad promises his friends he is reformed, but he quickly develops a mania for airplanes.
The second tale is taken from Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. It focuses on Sleepy Hollow, New York’s new school teacher, the odd and superstitious Ichabod Crane. He becomes enamored with Katrina Van Tassel, one of the town’s wealthiest and most beautiful eligible ladies. He likes her for her wealth as well as her good looks. Ichabod’s rival for the affections of the lovely Katrina is bully Brom Bones. At the Van Tassel’s Halloween party, Brom and Ichabod compete for the young lady’s attention. When Ichabod seems to have the upper hand, Brom tells him the story of the Headless Horseman to scare him. On his lonely horse ride back home, Ichabod becomes exceedingly frightened as he rides through the forest where Brom told him the ghost was. His head echoes with Brom’s story, and suddenly he sees the Headless Horseman ’s spirit. The ghost chases Ichabod, but stops once the man crosses a bridge near the graveyard. The Headless Horseman hurls his detached head, which is a flaming jack-o’-lantern. The next morning, all that is found by the bridge is a smashed pumpkin and Ichabod’s hat. Shortly after, Brom marries Katrina. Rumors later circulate that Ichobad married a rich, plump widow and had lots of kids, but the townspeople of Sleepy Hollow all believe that he was chased away by the spirit of the Headless Horseman that Halloween night.