Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad [1949]

This 1949 Disney feature has never been available on video in its original form until now. The 68-minute film contains two shorts: The Wind in the Willows and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The former is a lively version of Kenneth Grahame's book of animal adventures, including Mr. Toad, a rambunctious sort with a passion for motorcars. Basil Rathbone narrates the story. Sleepy Hollow is the Washington Irving story of a stuffy schoolmaster and his ability to win the love of the fair Katrina from the brutish Brom Van Brunt. Many fans will see a resemblance to Disney's masterpiece created some 40 years later, Beauty and the Beast, in style and story. The end is still scary enough to send youngsters under the table. Bing Crosby supplies the narration, character voices, and songs. The opening number in a library including two stories has been included in this good-looking restoration. The shorts were made in Disney's prime, a year before Cinderella, and the look is wondrous. The exaggeration of Ichabod's skinny frame and his slumping horse is a glorious example. --Doug Thomas

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