Wind in the Willows (1969) Wind in the Willows is a 60’s Children’s TV show which followed the tried and tested Jackanory format - get a storyteller, get a number of still pictures, get the camera to pan across them while telling the story and viola, a cheap programme for TV. The stories of the Wind in the Willows were taken from the books of Kenneth Grahame. This programme was adapted, narrated and produced by Paul Honeyman, who had been a news presenter in Newcastle.   John Worsley did all the paintings for the show, a total of 550 of them, which took him six months. These fantastically portray the 4 animal friends and their adventures. I was quite surprised when watching the programme how I was caught up in the wonderful stories and how the narration and music put the icing on the cake. It was Directed by John Salway.     Story   This is the story of 4 great friends - Mole, Ratty, Toad and Badger. They are quite different to each other, which is good, or life would become too boring. Mole, used to live a solitary life, until he met Ratty, who introduced him to his friends. Ratty showed Mole what it was like to be a river banker and Mole liked what he saw. But the river bankers don't like to visit one place, the Wild Wood. This is because of the unsavoury characters that live there, such as the Weasels, Stoats and Foxes. Not everyone is unsavoury, as Badger lives there.   One person you would never see in the Wild Wood, is Toad, who is rather plump and lives in a splendid place called Toad Hall. Now lets find out more about these 4 great friends and others... Wind in the Willows (1969) Characters      Mole He is a short sighted mole who lived in an underground house, at Mole End, and he wasn't very adventurous. He was not an out of doors person. That was until one spring, when he decided to stop Spring cleaning his house and go outside to enjoy the weather and watch all the animals and insects enjoying themselves. This was the day when he would meet Water Rat, who was going to become one of his best friends.   He'd never seen a river before and thought it was marvellous and while watching it, he noticed the entrance to another underground house. The owner of the house didn't wait long to show themselves. It was Water Rat and he showed Mole what it was like to live near the river and they became good friends. Once Mole had met Ratty and Toad, he became more confident and didn't want to spend all of his time on his own. So for a while, he stayed at Ratty's house, until he returned to Mole End. His home was small compared to Ratty's, but it was cosy.     At its entrance, which was underground, was a number of benches that congregated around a wooden skittle alley, just right for entertaining, together with a small round pond, and during his first night back his home was full with field mice. The influence of Badger and Ratty has really rubbed of onto him, and he has become quite brave and even spoke to some of the Weasels, disguised as a washer woman, where he proceeded to tell them that an army of animals were on the way to kick them out of Toad Hall (see below for details). This put them all in a right state of panic to the pleasure of his friends.     Water Rat (Ratty to his friends) As mentioned earlier, Water Rat lives in an underground house, which leads out onto the river. The river was his life and he loved nothing more than rowing up and down it in his boat.   He was pleased he could share his experiences with Mole and even offered to take a picnic with them on the river. But Water Rat doesn't do things by halves and packs the hugest picnic you've ever seen, it could be for a party of four!     He's a kind rat and he asked Mole if he would like to stay with him, and he would teach him to row and swim. He likes poetry, and even composes some himself. He gets upset with Toad and how he wastes his money on new fads. Ratty doesn't like the Wild Wood, even if it means he doesn't see Badger too often. If he has to, then he makes sure that he is prepared and takes a couple of pistols and a cudgel with him, to defend himself from the evil critters that lurk there.     Toad He is a good natured toad, who loves visitors to his house. House is probably not the right word, Mansion is sounds more like it and it is known as Toad Hall. His father left him Toad Hall and a large amount of money, so he is quite rich. He is very adventurous and loves to try things out, but he does get bored too easily and they soon become forgotten fads (like the many types of boats he's had).   He likes to be surrounded by friends, as long as they are doing all the hard work. Toad is simple, affectionate, not very clever, boastful and conceited. But Toad has a passion, an expensive passion - Motor Cars. Since he was nearly run down by one, he has only had eyes for them. He loves the thrill of going fast and doesn't notice how much chaos he causes behind him. You see, Toad isn't a good driver and crashes his Motor Car and he is always being patched up.   Badger had tries to deprive him of his lovely motor car and this came to a head when Toad saw a motor car parked at the local Pub. Poor Toad could not control himself and thought it would be nice to take the car for a spin, but the proper owners didn't think so. Nor did the Police when they caught up with him and he was sentenced in court to 20 years imprisonment, for stealing, dangerous driving and foul language to the policemen. So he was locked up in one of the harshest prisons in England.   But that wasn't the end of Toad, as he befriended the Jailers daughter, who felt sorry for Toad and hatched a plan for him to escape, disguised as the Prison's Washer Woman who was her aunt (for a fee of course!). Yes, Toad did escape the prison, but he accidentally left his money behind, so couldn't afford a train ticket. But resourceful Toad convinced the Train Driver that he was a poor Washer Woman who couldn't afford to get back to her family. Luckily the train driver allowed him to catch a lift on the engine of the train, but soon found they were being pursued by a Train full of policemen.   Toad confessed and the Train driver agreed to help him and slowed down after a tunnel to let poor Toad run free back to the riverbank and Ratty. Once Toad had spoken to Ratty, he found out that the Stoats and Weasels had taken over Toad Hall. Luckily Badger came up with a plan to get it back.     Badger He lives in the centre of the Wild Wood, in a set at the bottom of a tree, but is was a cosy place. He has lots of rooms to store his winter food and he even told Mole that some of the rooms were from a long buried ancient city, which he discovered. Also there are tunnels that stretch in different directions, so he can quickly get around the Wild Wood. He hates social gatherings and tries to put on a rather grumpy tone of voice, but in fact he is very kind and will put himself out to help others. Badger is well respected, and Mole and Ratty look to Badger for advice.   One thing that Badger promised, was to take Toad in hand and teach him not to be as reckless as he is (as Badger was a dear friend of Toad's father). Once the winter had passed, he was true to his word and he went to Toad Hall and told Toad a number of home truths he didn't want to hear about himself and motor cars. Poor Toad sobbed his heart out, but it was only for show, to Badger's disgust. So Badger, Ratty and Mole, decided to lock Toad in his room until the Motor Car craze was out of his system. As mentioned earlier, it didn't work and Toad was eventually put in Prison for stealing a Car!   Badger was shocked when Toad Hall was taken over by the Wild Wooders and set out to come up with a brilliant plan to get rid of them. He told the others of an underground passage that went straight into Toad Hall and that there was going to be a Banquet for the Chief Weasel, to honour his birthday, plus they would be unarmed. The friends decided they would storm into the place armed to the teeth and scare them all away, and that is exactly what they did.     Mr Otter He lives in the centre of the Wild Wood and moves throughout the countryside and can tell the animals what is happening in the outside world. His son, Portley, went missing for a number of days and he was really worried. Portley couldn't swim well, but liked to look at the weir, where his father was teaching him to swim. Luckily Ratty & Mole found him asleep on an island near the weir, at the feet of a vision of the great god Pan (a faun), who was watching over him.     The Stoats, Ferrets and Weasels These are the most horrible creatures from the Wild Wood and forcibly took control of Toad Hall, when they had heard that Toad was in prison. They fought with Mole and Badger who were looking after the place, in Toad's absence, and threw them out. They are so horrible, that they even fired rifles at Toad when he tried to get back into his home. They laughed when he ran away, but their laughing stopped, when Mole (disguised) warned them of an animal army that was coming to take Toad Hall back.    They were in a total panic when Badger, Ratty, Mole and Toad burst in on the Chief Weasel's Birthday Party, with weapons drawn. They fled the scene after a number of battles. The encounter became folklore and the 4 friends were respected by the Stoats, Ferrets and Weasels. They had tamed the Wild Wood. Wind in the Willows (1969) - Toad In Disguise Wind in the Willows (1969) - Toad Wind in the Willows (1969) - Mole Wind in the Willows (1969) - Mr Otter Wind in the Willows (1969) - Badger Wind in the Willows (1969) - Water Rat (Ratty) Wind in the Willows (1969) - The Stoats, Ferrets and Weasels Wind in the Willows (1969) T-Shirts - NONE Wind in the Willows (1969) DVDs Region 2 (Europe) - Wind In The Willows DVDs Region 1 (USA) - NONE Wind in the Willows (1969) Video Wind in the Willows (1969) - The Weasels Are Captured Wind in the Willows (1969) Episodes Series 1 (1969)  1. The River Bank  2. More Adventures on the River Bank  3. The Open Road  4. The Motor Car  5. The Wild Wood  6. Mr Badger  7. The Home Sick Mole  8. Visitors at Mole End  9. Mr Toad  10. The End of the Road  11. The Piper at the Gates of Dawn  12. Mr Toad Once More  13. The Chase  14. The Barge Woman  15. The Luck of Toad  16. The Goings on at Toad Hall  17. The Secret Plan  18. The Battle of Toad Hall Wind in the Willows (1969) - Badger Visits Wind in the Willows (1969) Images (click to enlarge) Wind in the Willows (1969) - Ratty Is Worried Wind in the Willows (1969) - Toad Loves Driving Cars Wind in the Willows (1969) - The Weasels Shoot At Toad Wind in the Willows (1969) - Time To Retake Toad Hall Wind in the Willows (1969) - Toad Is Ready To Ride Wind in the Willows (1969) - Time For Tea Wind in the Willows (1969) - Mole Is Chased By The Police Wind in the Willows (1969) - Toad Asks For Help Wind in the Willows (1969) - Mole Sping Cleans Wind in the Willows (1969) - Ratty And Mole Meet Wind in the Willows (1969) - Titles Wind in the Willows (1969) - Badger's House Wind in the Willows (1969) - Mole Looks After The Kids NO VIDEO...YET ©
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