The Wind in the Willows (TV series)


The Wind in the Willows (TV series)

"The Wind in the Willows" is a 52-episode TV series that originally aired between 1984 and 1987, based on characters from Kenneth Grahame's classic story "The Wind in the Willows" and following the 1983 film "The Wind in the Willows". It was made by animation company Cosgrove Hall for Thames Television and shown on the ITV network. An hour-long feature, "A Tale of Two Toads", aired in 1989, and further season of 13 episodes was aired in 1990 under the title "Oh! Mr Toad" in some countries, whilst retaining the title "The Wind in the Willows" in others.

The series stars Sir David Jason as Toad, Sir Michael Hordern as Badger, Peter Sallis as Rat (replacing Ian Carmichael who voiced Rat in the original 1983 film), and Richard Pearson as Mole. Ian Carmichael remained in the series, re-cast as the narrator.

The series is sometimes misidentified as being filmed in claymation, which is incorrect. The method used by Cosgrove Hall is a stop-motion animation process using scale model sets and poseable character figurines. The figurines are composed of an articulate metal skeleton (armature) covered in latex rubber, providing the flexibility and the detail which distinguishes the series.

Stone Roses guitarist John Squire worked on this series for Cosgrove Hall.

The popular theme song - based on the instrumental theme to the original film - was sung by British singer-songwriter Ralph McTell.

Episode list

Movie (1983)

"The Wind in the Willows (1983 film)"

eries 1 (1984)

eries 4 (1987)

A Tale Of Two Toads (1989)

eries 5 (1990)

"Oh, Mr. Toad"

Cast

* The Narrator (Ian Carmichael)

Main Characters

* Mole (Richard Pearson)
* Rat (Peter Sallis)
* Toad (David Jason)
* Badger (Michael Hordern)
* Chief Weasel (David Jason)
* Weasel Henchman (Brian Trueman) - the Chief's second-in-command; known for his catchphrase, "Very nice, very nice!".

Recurring Characters

* Otter
* Portly
* Billy Rabbit (David Jason) - "Billy" is present in all series. Billy is first a fieldmouse, voiced by an unknown actor - he appears in the episode "The Great Steamer" - and then by the familiar David Jason from "The Rescue" onwards. Jason's version famously says "Yes, Mr. Badger, no, Mr. Badger." Series 3 sees Jason's voice use the rabbit's model.
* Auberon Mole - Mole's cousin; in the series, is a well-known playwright, and the focus of the episodes "Mole's Cousin" and "Auberon's Return".
* Ms Carrington-Moss (Beryl Reid) - The magistrate in the movie; she appears in the episodes, "The Grand Annual Show" and "Burglary at Toad Hall".
* Reggie and Rosemary - The owners of the stolen motor car in the movie; they appear in the episodes, "The Grand Annual Show" and "Burglary at Toad Hall".

Credits

* From the Book by: Kenneth Grahame
* Written by: Brian Trueman, Rosemary Anne Sisson
* Voices: Richard Pearson, Peter Sallis, Sir Michael Hordern, David Jason
* Narrated by: Ian Carmichael
* Other Voices: Delia Corrie, Daphne Oxenford, Brian Southwood, Kate Lee, Brian Trueman, Jimmy Hibbert
* Animators: Andrea Lord, Paul Berry, Barry Purvis, Stewart Sutcliffe, Sue Pugh
* Model Characters Designed and Sculpted by: Brian Cosgrove, Bridget Appleby
* Model Characters Constructed by: Peter Saunders, Noel Baker, Colin Batty, Peter Bentley, Clare Elliott, Marcia Pidgeon, Bridget Smith, Ian Mackinnon
* Models, Sets and Props: Chris Walker, Graham G. Malden, Jim Bridge, Pippa Greenwood, Rick Kent, Paul Simpson, Jeff Spain, Rowena Watson, Jerry Andrews
* Costume Design: Nigel Cornford
* Costume Assistant: Helen Plaumer
* Illustration: Beverley Bush
* Stills Photography: Richard Smiles
* Music Composed by: Keith Hopwood, Malcolm Rowe
* Arranged by: Brian Ibbetson
* Wind in the Willows Sung by: Ralph McTell
* Lighting Camera: Jerry Andrews, Joe Dembinski
* Model Camera and Firework Effects: Bryan Parsley
* Rostrum Camera: Frank Hardie
* Dubbing Mixer: Ted Spooner
* Film Editor: Nibs Senior
* Assistant Editor: Leo Casserly
* Associate Producer: Chris Taylor
* Executive Producer: John Hambley
* Produced by: Mark Hall, Brian Cosgrove
* Directed by: Jackie Cockle, Francis Vose
* © Cosgrove Hall Productions Ltd

DVD releases

DVD (Region 2)

* The Movie (1983)
* The Four Seasons - A 4-disc boxset, split into the four seasons, with three episodes for each season, selected from the first four series of the show.
** Spring - "The Great Steamer", "The Lost River", "Paper Chase"
** Summer - "Grand Annual Show", "Toad: Photographer", "The Great Golfing Gamble"
** Autumn - "The Harvest", "Monster of the Wild Wood", "Remember, Remember"
** Winter - "Winter Sports", "The Rescue", "The Yuletide Entertainment"
* The Complete Series 1 - released on 26th March 2007
* The Complete Series 2 - released on 25th June 2007
* Wind In The Willows - The Complete Collection - released on 13th October 2008

DVD (Region 1)

* The Movie (1983)
* A Tale of Two Toads (1989)
* The Feature Films Collection - A compendium of "The Movie" and "A Tale of Two Toads".
* The Complete First Series
* The Complete Second Series
* The Wind in the Willows Four-Pack - Includes both feature films, and the complete first and second series.

External links

*imdb title|id=0086829|title=The Wind in the Willows
* [http://www.chf.co.uk Cosgrove Hall Animation Studio Site (under construction)]


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