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HISTORY

This film is sometimes referred to as Ichabod and Mr. Toad by both contemporary and modern sources. Working titles for the picture, which at various times in its production history was to include other characters that do not appear in the completed film, were Wind in the Willows , The Magnificent Mr. Toad , Three Fabulous Characters and Two Fabulous Characters . According to a HR news item, producer Walt Disney purchased the rights to Kenneth Grahame's classic children's book in late Jun 1938, and 1941 news items note that the studio originally intended to produce the subject as a single, feature-length picture called Wind in the Willows . Due to a variety of factors, including a labor strike at the Disney Studio and the studio's work on war-related shorts during World War II, production plans on the feature were dropped until after the war.
       A 5 Jul 1946 HR news item noted that Gracie Fields had been signed by the studio to sing in and narrate the "Wind in the Willows" segment of the film. A 10 Feb 1948 HCN news item stated that Charles Laughton was "wanted" for the "Wind in the Willows" segment. Neither Fields nor Laughton contributed to the final picture, however. According to a 1 Mar 1948 HR news items, Bing Crosby's four sons--Phillip, Gary, Dennis and Lin--were signed by the studio to work on the "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" segment. A 1 Mar 1948 NYHT news item added that the boys were to be seen "in a Halloween scene, ... More Less

This film is sometimes referred to as Ichabod and Mr. Toad by both contemporary and modern sources. Working titles for the picture, which at various times in its production history was to include other characters that do not appear in the completed film, were Wind in the Willows , The Magnificent Mr. Toad , Three Fabulous Characters and Two Fabulous Characters . According to a HR news item, producer Walt Disney purchased the rights to Kenneth Grahame's classic children's book in late Jun 1938, and 1941 news items note that the studio originally intended to produce the subject as a single, feature-length picture called Wind in the Willows . Due to a variety of factors, including a labor strike at the Disney Studio and the studio's work on war-related shorts during World War II, production plans on the feature were dropped until after the war.
       A 5 Jul 1946 HR news item noted that Gracie Fields had been signed by the studio to sing in and narrate the "Wind in the Willows" segment of the film. A 10 Feb 1948 HCN news item stated that Charles Laughton was "wanted" for the "Wind in the Willows" segment. Neither Fields nor Laughton contributed to the final picture, however. According to a 1 Mar 1948 HR news items, Bing Crosby's four sons--Phillip, Gary, Dennis and Lin--were signed by the studio to work on the "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" segment. A 1 Mar 1948 NYHT news item added that the boys were to be seen "in a Halloween scene, listening to their father's voice on the radio." Other news items noted that the younger Crosbys were to be filmed in Aug 1948 for the intended live-action sequence, and a Mar 1948 NYT article stated that the Crosby family would receive five percent of the "gross revenue" from the picture, up to $200,000, in lieu of a straight salary. The Crosby children do not appear in the completed film, however, nor are there any live-action sequences. The Mar 1948 HR news item also noted that the Washington Irving segment was "in line with Disney's plan to produce a slate of features based on American folklore, a program which he started with Melody Time " (see below). Although one modern source credits Ollie Wallace with supplying the voice of "Winky," other sources credit Alec Harford with the part. Other actors included in the cast by modern sources are Leslie Dennison ( Judge/First weasel ) and Edmond Stevens ( Second weasel ).
       The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad , which won a Golden Globe for Best Color Cinematography, was the last of a number of "package features" produced by the studio in the 1940s. For more information on the "package features," which were comprised of two or more individual segments, see the entry below for Make Mine Music .
       Although The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad has never been theatrically re-issued, as most other Disney animated productions have been, the two segments have been released separately under the titles "The Adventures of J. Thaddeus Toad," "The Madcap Adventures of Mr. Toad," "Wind in the Willows" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." The shorts have been re-issued both on television and theatrically. Other filmed versions of Washington Irving's story include a 1908 Kalem Co. short (see AFI Catalog. Film Beginnings, 1895-1910 ; A.08532); a 1958, one-hour episode on the television show Shirley Temple's Storybook ; and a 1986, one-hour installment in Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales & Legends television series. Other filmed versions of Kenneth Grahame's children's book, all entitled The Wind in the Willows , include an animated 1985 Rankin/Bass feature for which Charles Nelson Reilly, Roddy McDowall and José Ferrer supplied voice characterizations; another animated feature, also released in 1985, which was directed by Mark Hall; a 1997 Allied Filmmakers live-action production, which was directed by Terry Jones and starred Jones, Steve Coogan, Eric Idle, and John Cleese and the 1999 Paramount release, Sleepy Hollow , directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Billboard
17 Sep 1949.
---
Box Office
3 Sep 1949.
---
Daily Variety
1 Mar 1948.
---
Daily Variety
15 Oct 1948.
---
Daily Variety
26 Aug 49
p. 3, 13
Daily Variety
26 Sep 1949.
---
Film Daily
25 Aug 49
p. 6.
Hollywood Citizen-News
10 Feb 1948.
---
Hollywood Citizen-News
15 Oct 1949.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jun 38
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Aug 41
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jul 46
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jul 46
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jan 48
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Mar 48
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Apr 48
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jan 49
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Mar 49
p. 1, 11
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 49
p. 3.
Life
21 Nov 1949.
---
Motion Picture Daily
23 Aug 1949.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
27 Aug 49
p. 4730.
New York Herald Tribune
1 Mar 1948.
---
New York Times
26 Oct 1941.
---
New York Times
30 Jul 1946.
---
New York Times
6 Mar 1948.
---
New York Times
6 Jun 1948.
---
New York Times
10 Oct 49
p. 18.
Pasadena Star-News
14 Nov 1949.
---
Variety
24 Aug 49
p. 18.
Washington D.C. News
6 Oct 1949.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod supv
WRITERS
Story
Story
Story
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus ed
Mus dir
Voc arr
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec processes
PRODUCTION MISC
ANIMATION
Col and styling
Col and styling
Col and styling
Col and styling
Layout
Layout
Layout
Layout
Layout
Layout
Background
Background
Background
Background
Background
Dir anim
Dir anim
Dir anim
Dir anim
Char anim
Char anim
Char anim
Char anim
Char anim
Char anim
Char anim
Char anim
Eff anim
Eff anim
Anim
Anim
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving in his The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (1819--1820) and the book The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (London, 1908).
SONGS
"Ichabod," "Katrina" and "The Headless Horseman," music and lyrics by Don Raye and Gene de Paul
"The Merrily Song," music by Frank Churchill and Charles Wolcott, lyrics by Larry Morey and Ray Gilbert.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Ichabod and Mister Toad
The Magnificent Mr. Toad
Three Fabulous Characters
Two Fabulous Characters
Release Date:
October 1949
Premiere Information:
Washington, D.C. opening: 5 October 1949
New York opening: 8 October 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Walt Disney Productions
Copyright Date:
1 June 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2432
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
67-68
Length(in feet):
6,117
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
12133
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Two competing narrators, one English and one American, relate the stories of their countries' most fabulous characters: The first tale begins with Mole, a sweet but not very bright little animal, who is visiting his best friend, Water Rat, at his cozy den along an English riverbank. Mole and Rat are enjoying their afternoon tea when they are interrupted by a special delivery letter from Scottish financial advisor Angus MacBadger, who summons them to Toad Hall. The pair hurry to the hall, which is the grandest home on the riverbank, and belongs to their unconventional friend, J. Thaddeus Toad. Mole and Rat arrive as MacBadger is dismissing creditors who are demanding payment of Toad's debts, and MacBadger informs them that Toad's latest obsession is a yellow gypsy cart drawn by a horse named Cyril Proudbottom. Rat and Mole succeed in apprehending Toad as he and Cyril wreak havoc during their latest jaunt, but Toad is distracted from his friends's pleas for restraint when he sees a shiny motorcar. Toad quickly develops a mania for automobiles, and although his friends lock him in his bedroom, he escapes and acquires a car. Toad is then arrested for stealing the car, and acts as his own lawyer at his trial. Toad calls Cyril as a witness, and the horse describes how he and Toad bought the car from a dangerous gang of weasels drinking at a tavern presided over by Winky, the barman. Although Toad states that he traded Toad Hall for the car, the sly Winky lies on the stand, saying that Toad tried to sell him the stolen automobile. After Toad is convicted and ... +


Two competing narrators, one English and one American, relate the stories of their countries' most fabulous characters: The first tale begins with Mole, a sweet but not very bright little animal, who is visiting his best friend, Water Rat, at his cozy den along an English riverbank. Mole and Rat are enjoying their afternoon tea when they are interrupted by a special delivery letter from Scottish financial advisor Angus MacBadger, who summons them to Toad Hall. The pair hurry to the hall, which is the grandest home on the riverbank, and belongs to their unconventional friend, J. Thaddeus Toad. Mole and Rat arrive as MacBadger is dismissing creditors who are demanding payment of Toad's debts, and MacBadger informs them that Toad's latest obsession is a yellow gypsy cart drawn by a horse named Cyril Proudbottom. Rat and Mole succeed in apprehending Toad as he and Cyril wreak havoc during their latest jaunt, but Toad is distracted from his friends's pleas for restraint when he sees a shiny motorcar. Toad quickly develops a mania for automobiles, and although his friends lock him in his bedroom, he escapes and acquires a car. Toad is then arrested for stealing the car, and acts as his own lawyer at his trial. Toad calls Cyril as a witness, and the horse describes how he and Toad bought the car from a dangerous gang of weasels drinking at a tavern presided over by Winky, the barman. Although Toad states that he traded Toad Hall for the car, the sly Winky lies on the stand, saying that Toad tried to sell him the stolen automobile. After Toad is convicted and sentenced to twenty years in prison, Cyril helps him to escape, and he flees to Rat's den. Rat, Mole and MacBadger then decide to help Toad retrieve the deed to Toad Hall from Winky and the weasels. After a daring encounter, the friends succeed in obtaining the deed, and later, Toad is exonerated of the charges against him. Although Toad promises to reform, he and Cyril soon develop a new mania for airplanes.
       Another fabulous character from American literature, is schoolteacher Ichabod Crane, who lives in Sleepy Hollow, New York, in the late 1800s. An unusual, superstitious man, Ichabod becomes infatuated with beautiful heiress Katrina van Tassel. Ichabod's chief rival for Katrina's affections is bully Brom Bones, who is extremely annoyed by the attention Katrina bestows on the skinny Ichabod. At the van Tassels' annual Halloween frolic, Ichabod and Brom dance feverishly to capture Katrina's favor, and when it appears that Ichabod will win, Brom tells the chilling story of the Headless Horseman in order to scare his superstitious competitor. At the party's end, a subdued Ichabod rides home on his horse, and as Brom's story echoes in his head, the shadows and scary noises of the forest become all the more upsetting. Suddenly, Ichabod sees the Headless Horseman astride his fiery steed, riding madly behind him. Ichabod and his terrified nag race toward a covered bridge, which must be crossed in order to escape the fiend, but their fright turns them around and they run straight into the horseman. Finally turning his horse the right direction, Ichabod reaches the bridge, but the horseman throws a flaming pumpkin head at him. The next morning, all that can be found at the site of the mysterious proceedings is Ichabod's hat and a shattered pumpkin. After Katrina and Brom marry, rumors spread that the vanished Ichabod settled down elsewhere with a rich widow, but believers in the Headless Horseman legend persist in their conviction that the fiend spirited away the hapless schoolteacher. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.