Mister Toad - Mushroom Stories
Mr. Toad, of Toad Hall, is one of the main characters in the novel The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and also the title character of the A. A. Milne plays Toad of Toad Hall based on the book.
Mr. Toad is an anthropomorphic common toad who is the village squire, being the wealthy owner and occupant of Toad Hall. Toad is very rich and a bit of a fop, with a penchant for Harris tweed suits. He owns his own horse and is able to indulge his impulsive desires, such as punting, house boating and hot air ballooning. Toad is intelligent, creative and resourceful; however, he is also narcissistic, self-centered almost to the point of sociopathy, and completely lacking in even the most basic common sense. His reckless interest in motor cars leads to an episode in which he steals a car and drives it recklessly the result of that is a twenty-year prison sentence, but he escapes, dressed as a washerwoman, to regain his family seat of Toad Hall from the clutches of the weasels.
Although he has escaped from jail, and the police initially pursue him, he is never re-arrested. No reason is ever given for this, but in the 1949 Disney movie, he is shown being framed for theft when he should be in jail for twenty years. In the Willows in Winter, the sequel to the 1995 animated film, Toad is arrested again after being recognized by the Chief Judge as the criminal he convicted before and is hauled before a court, but he is released because of several good deeds he has done since his escape.
Ultimately, Toad has his heart in the right place, often showing kindness and strong loyalty to his friends. His characteristics have made him arguably the epitome of the stock character of the lovable rogue.
Film and Television
- In the 1949 Disney film adaptation, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (which also contains a version of Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow), the character's full name is given as "J. Thaddeus Toad, Esq." This version of Mr. Toad makes a cameo appearance in the 1988 movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit while riding a firetruck and dressed in a fire-fighter uniform. He also appeared as Fezziwig in Mickey's Christmas Carol and was featured as one of the guests in House of Mouse.
- The Reluctant Dragon and Mr. Toad Show, a 1970 show by Rankin/Bass.
- The Wind in the Willows, a 1983 animated film version with stop-motion puppets by Cosgrove Hall, in which the character is voiced by David Jason.
- The Wind in the Willows, a TV series (1984–1990) following the stop-motion film, done in the same style. There was a host of famous names in the cast, including David Jason, Sir Michael Hordern, Peter Sallies, and Ian Carmichael.
- The Wind in the Willows, in this 1995 animated film and its sequel The Willows in Winter, Toad is voiced by Rik Mayell.
- The Wind in the Willows, a 1996 live-action production (later released in the US home video market as Mr. Toad's Wild Ride) which featured four of the six members of the Monty Python troupe.
- The BBC produced a version of the Wind in the Willows in 2006, in which all the animal characters were portrayed in human form. Toad was played by Matt Lucas.
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