THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS
Review by Chastity Campbell
Director: Mark Hall
Video: 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo
Features: See Review
Length: 78 Minutes
Release Date: October 26, 2004
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!!
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.
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!
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
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!