Ichabod Gets His in This Stylish Package-Era Production
It was 1949, and the world was beginning to recover from World War II. New auto models finally were coming out of Detroit, television was starting to take hold, and the Cold War was gaining momentum. Walt Disney Productions saw that it was time to start returning to its pre-war mission of bringing fairytales to life, but it still had one more Package Era film to deliver.
"The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad" (1949) was a good transition film, as it edged back towards telling classic tales in a longer format, but it still retained the unstructured format of the previous Package Era films such as "Saludos Amigos" and "Make my Music." It also features some top Hollywood names, a look past near-term plans and a foreshadowing of animation films in modern Hollywood.
|Mr. Toad was in trouble with the law.|
He follows the fads of the day to his detriment and wants one of the new motorcars that he sees being driven about. He trades the deed for Toad Hall for such a car, but the deal turns sour and he is sentenced to twenty years in the Tower of London for supposed car theft due to false testimony by Mr. Winkle, a tavernkeeper.
|Nobody messed with Basil Rathbone.|
Toad and his friends fight the fraudsters, and Toad manages to recover his deed to the Hall. He promises to become more responsible, but the segment ends with his friends seeing Toad captivated by a new-fangled airplane and flying off in it with Cyril.
|Toad Hall: It was a dark and stormy night...|
Crosby narrates the tale of Sleepy Hollow, in which Ichabod Crane moves to Sleepy Hollow in order to become the new schoolmaster. Crane is tall, lanky, gluttonous and extremely superstitious, but women are attracted to the eligible new schoolmaster.
|Ichabod has a nasty ride home.|
|As always, the artwork on the DVD is superb.|
The Headless Horseman supposedly lost his head during the war and returns from the grave every Halloween seeking it. Brom claims to have seen the Headless Horseman the previous year but eluded him by crossing a nearby bridge. Katrina thinks that the whole thing is a joke, but superstitious Ichabod takes it seriously.
|Ichabod is quite polite - is that a good thing?|
|Brom tells a tale.|
|Ichabod has a way with the ladies.|
|Ichabod enjoys Katrina's company.|
|Brom really gets into his tale of the Headless Horseman.|
|Ichabod's resemblance to his horse cannot have been accidental.|
|Ichabod loves to dance with Katrina, but she has eyes for another....|
|Ichabod loses his nerdy cap.|
|Don't they make a handsome couple?|
|Katrina is probably the most classically pretty woman who is not a princess in the Disney oeuvre.|