Tuesday, April 17, 2012


While we were consumed with negotiations, this story broke:

... Disney has feature film plans for Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, one of its longest-running theme park rides. The studio has set iconic commercials and video director Pete Candeland to develop a live-action/CGI mix feature that will bring to life a theme park ride that originated in Disneyland on its opening in 1955. The twisting, turning ride was also popular at Walt Disney World in Florida ... Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride is based on Disney’s adaptation of The Wind In The Willows. ...

Disney's original '49 release, a half-hour featurette paired with The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, was originally conceived as a feature. But that was before World War II, before the studio fell on tough times. Long-form animation was put on a back burner in favor of "package films" through much of the 1940s, and Mr. Toad found his way to the big screen paired with Ichabod Crane in the final months of the decade. The picture was entitled The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.

Jack Kinney, usually a shorts director, was tasked with the job of remolding The Wind in the Willows feature material into a briskly-paced half-hour. This meant taking the footage that had already been done, whittling it down, and creating new bridges to telescope and complete the story.

Kinney's handiwork was successful enough to merit multiple re-issues, theme park rides, and now a big-budget hybrid feature that will likely cost a few dollars more than the original. Not bad for a picture that didn't seem good enough to make into a full-blown feature back during the Golden Age of animation.

(And the book on which all the above enterprises are based? One of the great kid novels of all time.)


Chris Dardis said...

That's interesting news Steve. I know the old Thames/Cosgrove hall stop mo version was one of the first awakenings of the animation bug for me (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wind_in_the_Willows_%28film%29). Will be tough tough to top from my sentimental POV :).

Chris Dardis.

The Jerk said...

didn't they do this already, and wasn't it called..."mr toad's wild ride"?

Anonymous said...

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily on their way to no where in particular.

Ryan Summers said...

Cynicism be damned, Pete Candeland has been churning out amazing work for years at Passion Pictures. Between the Gorillaz videos, Beatles Rock Band, and the BBC Olympics piece, this guy knows how to direct animation whether it's 2D, 3D, or accompanying live-action.

I can't wait to see what he pulls off here.

Anonymous said...

But he can't tell a story or create compelling characters.

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