..

THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS

Review by Chastity Campbell

Director: Mark Hall
Video: 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo
Studio: A&E
Features: See Review
Length: 78 Minutes
Release Date: October 26, 2004

Film ***

The Wind In The Willows follows the antics of Mole, Rat, Badger, and Toad as they spend their days getting into trouble, and their nights figuring their way out of it. 

Mole is timid, and very content to enjoy his burrow.  Rat is not adventurous, but he is definitely always ready to see new places and try new things…within reason!  Badger is a fountain of knowledge.  However, he’s not the easiest to approach with questions, because he tends to get a bit grumpy!  Toad is rich, with no boundaries it seems.  Toad’s adventurous nature is the main reason behind the trouble he and his friends constantly find themselves in.  I have to say there is no doubt in my mind that adults and children alike will definitely be able to find something about this film to like!

The Wind In The Willows had been delighting children and adults around the world for decades in the written form.  In the early 1980’s, Cosgrove Hall Productions brought this wonderful story to life on film through the use of stop-motion animation.  Stop-motion animation is the very slow and painstaking process of positioning figures of each character individually, and filming that as a single frame.  Then very carefully, you alter each thing within the scene by less than a millimeter, and photograph the scene again.  This process is repeated over and over again, as the months and years pass by!  The final product is definitely worth the wait, however!

My knowledge of stop-motion animation is very limited, but from what I have read and seen, it is a truly fascinating genre.  The amount of work that goes into one of these films is more work than most actors put into three films!

I highly recommend this film as family friendly.  You and your family will definitely be able to appreciate this DVD over and over again!!

Video *

I was not visually impressed with the quality of this prints transfer to the digital realm.  

First, I have to say the standard 1.33:1 fullscreen format worked very nicely for this film.  I am a widescreen fanatic; however, there is never a time when you will feel like your missing anything on the screen. 

Now, I realize stop-motion animation is an extremely slow and painstaking process with many layers.  This does not make up for an extreme amount of visible dirt and graininess.   A film of this magnitude deserved a clean up.     

Audio **

The Dolby Digital Stereo was surprisingly well done.   The audio was clear and clean with very few problems. 

What captured my attention most about this DVD was the background sound F/X.   Those birds singing, the grass swaying with the breeze all resonated with a bold vibrant appeal, modern day filmmakers could learn a lot from! 

Features **

This DVD’s extras will blow you away!

To start things off with a little inside information, there is an interview with Producer Brian Cosgrove. 

Toad’s Road Trivia game will keep you hopping along until you come to the Photo Gallery, where you might want to slow down and take a look!

Full character descriptions are available so you can get to know everyone really well.  

Interactive menus and scene selection bring this DVD’s extras to a close!

Summary:

The Wind In The Willows breezes by on DVD and before you know it, you’ve had an experience that won’t be blowing your way again…well, at least until you reset the menu and push play once more!  If you enjoy stop-motion animation, then this is the film for you!

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from freestats.com