The Wind in the Willows

Drama · 
Family · 

Release Date: July 5, 1987

Status: Released

Running time: 1h 36m

Content Rating: NR


The Wind in the Willows is a 1987 American animated musical television film directed by Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass, co-founders of Rankin/Bass Productions in New York, New York. It is an adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's 1908 novel The Wind in the Willows. Set in a pastoral version of England, the film focuses on four anthropomorphised animal characters (Moley, Ratty, Mr. Toad, and Mr. Badger) and contains themes of mysticism, adventure, morality, and camaraderie. The film features the voices of Charles Nelson Reilly, Roddy McDowall, José Ferrer, and Eddie Bracken. The screenplay was written by Romeo Muller, a long-time Rankin/Bass writer whose work included Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964), Frosty the Snowman (1969), The Hobbit (1977), and The Flight of Dragons (1982), among others. The film's animation was outsourced to James C.Y. Wang's Cuckoo's Nest Studios (also known as Wang Film Productions) in Taipei, Taiwan.This was the last project produced by Rankin/Bass. The film was finished in 1983 and released on video in the UK in November of that year, but its US television premiere was delayed several times, before finally airing July 5, 1987 on ABC. In this version the horse pulling the barge is the same horse who pulls Mr. Toad's caravan, Portly is Badger's nephew, and The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Wayfarer's All chapters are included, although the events of Wayfarer's All occurs before the events of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, and Ratty actually leaves the Riverbank, only to be found later by Mole (alongside Portly).Rankin/Bass had previously produced a television show with the Wind in the Willows characters in 1970, The Reluctant Dragon & Mr. Toad Show, with the voices of Canadian actors Paul Soles, Donna Miller, Claude Rae and Carl Banas, the production artwork of Paul Coker, Jr., and the animation of Osamu Tezuka's Mushi Production in Tokyo, Japan.
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