Wind in the Willows is one of the great children's novels of all time. Grayson Ponti tells story of how the Disney adaptation came into being:
“Wind and the Willows is one of the studio’s neatest cartoon efforts,” wrote Leonard Maltin in his book Of Mice and Magic. “Like all great Disney films, this one artfully built a believable set of characters and situations on a fantasy foundation. ...
The idea for making a feature out of Kenneth Grahame’s Wind and the Willows came from Jim Bodrero, a member of Joe Grant’s model department during the 1940s.
“I had read the book,” stated the artist in an interview with Milt Gray. “I wanted to do it, a long time before Walt. Walt thought it was awfully corny, but we finally got him around to it.”
[Bodrero] and fellow model department member Campbell Grant (best known for the visual development work he did for the Night on Bald Mountain segment in Fantasia) put together a Lucia reel going over the story and characters. ...
Mr. Ponti relates how WITW was conceived as a low-budget feature prior to Pearl Harbor, but ended up as a featurette in the late 1940s. (The studio was at a low financial ebb at the time; it's last full-length animated feature had been released during the war. Cinderella's debut was a year away.)
Bur read the whole post. You'll learn some interesting factoids about the film.