Another anthology of sorts, this time just two stories, both adapted from popular children’s books, The Wind In The Willows and Tales of Sleepy Hollow, and both shorts excellently executed.
The Pastoral English tale of Mr. Toad of Toad Hall, that foolish fop, captivated by adventure and his poor put upon friends trying to reign him in. Toad decides one day, at the urging of the troublesome horse, Cyril, that he absolutely MUST have a motorcar. Meanwhile, back at Toad Hall, Angus McBadger, Mr. Mole and Mr. Rat are trying to make sense of this newest mania for their friend, but before they can, Toad has traded the hall to some duplicitous Weasels for their car.
They then take him to court, claiming he stole it. He’s thrown in the tower and a wild escape attempt later, the weasels are discovered and all is well…or at least until Toad brings home an airplane! Oh will he ever learn?
The Ichabod Crane half, which as a kid I never finished due to terror, is my preffered. Yes, I know a few weeks ago I railed against the American Folklore stuff, but I like this one. (Maybe it’s the Old East Coaster in me. The western stuff doesn’t do it, but give me those New York Dutch ghosts any old day.) Narrated by Bing Crosby (I mean REALLY!) We learn the story of the lanky school master Ichabod Crane, who comes to Tarrytown and sweeps the women of town off their feet with his intellect and cultured ways. When he starts pursuing the beautiful and rich Katrina VanTassel, town bully Brahms decides it’s time to put him in this place.
At a party Brahms relates the story of The Headless Horseman, a spook who rides through the Hollow on Halloween Night, searching for his head. The song that does this is really great, but I’m also super partial to Bing Crosby, as he was my mom’s favorite crooner, I grew up with his voice.
Leaving the party Ichabod has an encounter with the Headless Horseman, and the next day is gone forever from Sleepy Hollow, did he survive and just leave town, scared by his rivals warning? Or was he taken by the spirit?
It’s such a fun ghost story, and one that I’ve always loved, even if I couldn’t watch this particular version without nightmares as a kid.
Both shorts are charming out the butt, with creative animation and character design and fun music. I rate this one a win.
Next week we start into a pretty classic stretch and I’m very excited about it. We’re doing Cinderella, and I am so so ready for my favorite princess.