Lost in the Movies: The Wind in the Willows - Conclusions

The Wind in the Willows - Conclusions

This is a directory for the microseries devoted to Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows and its film and television adaptations.
"After this climax, the four animals continued to lead their lives, so rudely broken in upon by civil war, in great joy and contentment, undisturbed by further risings or invasions." 
-from The Return of Ulysses
And so the Willows series comes to a close. I've already summarized and synthesized my observations, so I'll let this entry serve primarily as a directory. For easy navigation between the different chapters in my series, here are links to all the posts, with an explanation of each piece's purpose.

Brief history of the book's creation and reception, an explanation of the series, and capsule reviews of the different film adaptations - plus links to other Willows posts
Celebration of the story's central location, focusing on the tension between the river's comforts and excitements, with a digression on the Piper at the Gates of Dawn
Meditation on Willows' "heart of darkness" and its psychological implications
Examination of the Wayfarer's "call of the South" - what the world "beyond" represents in the tale, and why its siren song must be resisted
Drive down Toad's highway to hell, using his motormania to discuss Edwardian society and what it represents in the book
Exploration of Toad's ancestral manor, its seizure by the weasel rabble, and its social and political resonance - from conservative aristocracy to liberal preservationism
Digression on the subject of Grahame's wacky yet clever anthropomorphism
Reflection upon the importance of home in Wind in the Willows, including a short biography of Kenneth Grahame and a synthesis of all the previous entries in the series


  1. I'm curious to know if you will now do an analyasis on William Hardwood's sequel The Willows in Winter( which I've never read, but I have wanted to ever since seeing the adaption done as a sequel to the Vannesa Redgrave version,)

  2. I haven't read The Willows in Winter though I have a copy readily available to me and plan to check it out in the near future. (I'll also check out the Willows in Winter film as well...) Nonetheless, I'm not planning on any more Willows pieces with one exception - I recently acquired the extremely rare Julee Cruise theatrical version on videotape and will be doing a brief piece on that one in the new year.

  3. Though it seems pointless to update now, I see Martin Gates Productions is looking to do a new TV series based on Wind in the Willows coming soon (two decades after having done those previous specials).

  4. Good news. Whatever happened to te proposed Weta project, I wonder? They had a trailer and everything.

  5. Who knows, these deals fall through very easily. Looking at the designs they appear to be using for the new show, I suppose I don't have much interest in it given the route they're going with (it's a kids thing), though I'll give them credit for wanting to expand on the original book with the additional characters.

    A lot better than what Rankin/Bass once did for Saturday morning in the 70's (and another loose take on Badger as a Scotsman).

  6. Woah, somehow only just caught up with these links now! What a riot...especially considering I really like Rankin-Bass' take on Wind in the Willows in the following decade.

  7. I enjoy the way Rankin/Bass went with the ending of Toad finding a new craze to be involved with than simply hang it up the way Grahame intended. It just seemed TOO easy.

  8. The ending is one of the rare areas were pretty much every adaptation has actually improved upon the original.

  9. OMG...I remember watching "The Wind in the Willows" for the first time as a teenager.My 2 all time favorite versions are the Martin Gates version and the Disney version.Those two versions are always my favorite versions of the story itself^^

  10. The ones I remember seeing as a little kid were the Rankin-Bass, stop-motion (which shared a home-recorded VHS tape from about 1988), and the Disney and then when I was a little bit older, say 11 or 12, the Vanessa Redgrave-narrated one and the Monty Python version. For some reason, when I was doing the screen-caps for this series, the Redgrave one was the hardest to find! I had to transfer it from a local library's tape.

  11. Speaking of Rankin/Bass, their version of The Wind in The Willows will be coming out on DVD via Warner Archive's burn-on-demand service. Appears to be going for $17.99