Kenneth Grahame was born in Scotland in 1859 and wrote several children’s books and novels. His most famous book was The Wind in the Willows, published in 1908, which has established itself as one of the most popular children’s books ever written. It started as a short bedtime story for his son’s fourth birthday, written in several letters. The popularity of the book also shows in its numerous movie adaptations.
- Disney was one of the first to turn The Wind in the Willows into a movie. In 1949, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, was released. It featured Grahame’s story, as well as Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
- John Driver also released a TV movie adaptation in 1983 titled The Wind in the Willows, filmed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
- That same year, another version was filmed in the UK, also titled The Wind in the Willows, a Tale of Two Toads. They expanded on the original story, giving more background information and rounding out the story.
- In 1987, The Wind in the Willows was released again with its own theme song this time. It also only came out as a television movie.
- One year later, in 1988, another version of Wind in the Willows came out, this time in an Australian production.
- A few years later, in 1995, The Wind in the Willows was turned into a movie once again. This time with Michael Gambon (yes, Dumbledore) as the voice of Badger and Michael Palin (from Monthy Python) as Rat.
- Also in 1995, Monty Python turned it into a motion picture that wasn’t animated for the first time. The Wind in the Willows starred Steve Coogan, Eric Idle, Terry JOnes, John Cleese, Stephen Fry, Michael Palin, and others.
- The most recent movie adaptation came out in 2006. That version of The Wind in the Willows also features the characters as humans, and isn’t done in animation.
The Wind in the Willows is a fun children’s story about animals with very human traits and the adventures they get up to. It’s more suited for boys than girls, in my opinion, and is perfect to read aloud at bedtime. There are more adult layers to the story, turning it from a boring, predictable children’s book to a book even adults who read it to their children can enjoy. There is, of course, a moral to the story and it’s just a lovely little children’s book. The book itself has also been published in too many versions to count, each one with more lovely drawings than the other.
Have you read The Wind in the Willows? Or did you see one of the several movie adaptations? You’re welcome to let me know in the comments!