Mission 2: Disney - Mr. Toad's Wild Ride


Ahhhh Mr. Toad. Every Disney fan's favorite lunatic. Unlike the other Disney crazies, Cruella or Madame Medusa for example, Mr. Toad is a perfectly lovely person. He is kind and funny and absolutely insane.

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride is half of the "Ichabod and Mr. Toad" video release. The story of Mr. Toad is narrate by Basil Rathbone. I love his voice. The story is from Wind in the Willows and is an interesting look into mental illness. Although I didn't see it that way as a child. I thought it was an adventure.

Mr. Toad has a obsession with transportation. He lusts after every means of conveyance that can be had. The story opens with the recent purchase of a gypsy cart and horse. Mr. Toad drives it at break neck speed through the area, stopping only when a motorcar drives by and he decides he wants that instead. It is explained that he suffers from mania. The cartoon makes it sound like a perfectly acceptable affliction. The only problem is that he is slowly bankrupting his estate with his excessive and constant purchases.

His friends try to stage an intervention but he sneaks away to fulfill his need for the motor car. Chaos ensues, Mr. Toad is arrested and the weasels take over Toad Hall. I am skipping some of the details in order to get to my point more readily.

Here's my point. This whole cartoon is about Mr. Toad's mania. A mania that affects his friends and his house. There is a failed intervention, an arrest, a jail break, a huge fight involving weasels and eventually the purchase of an airplane, followed closely by property damage. I think the lesson that children can take away from this is that being crazy is a jolly good adventure. Makes me wish I could be crazy too.

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