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Movie Review

Wind in The Willows

Reviewed by: Brian Nigro
CONTRIBUTOR

Good
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
All Ages
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
90 min.
Year of Release:
1997
PG

Starring: John Cleese, Steve Coogan, Eric Idle, Terry Jones / Director: Terry Jones / Released by: Columbia Pictures

Contrary to popular misconception, there are many contemporary movies that are clean and suitable for Christian audiences (perhaps more so than any other time in film history). The problem is, few of them get theatrical release from major studios—and, if they do, they are dumped into theatres with virtually no publicity or promotion. Case in point: “Wind in The Willows”.

Based on the classic children’s book, Wind in The Willows is a whimsical live action tale of Mole (Steve Coogan) and Rat’s (Eric Idle) adventures with talking clocks, stolen cars, old-fashioned, dig-out-a-hole prison escapes. If Columbia didn’t want to compete with “Flubber” versus “Anastasia,” that’s understandable—however, there is definitely an audience for this movie.

In an old Bugs Bunny cartoon, a construction crew shows up uninvited to build a shopping plaza and freeway over his humble abode. That same dated, retro-capitalist theme permeates this film. It'll fly over most kids' heads, but most adults can easily smell the java, however minimal the scent.

As directed by Terry Jones, “Wind in The Willows” is a respectable showcase for most of the Monty Python gang. There’s a great courtroom scene that features John Cleese as a lawyer defending Toad (Terry Jones)—who, by the way, called a cop a “nincompoop.” Comedy, drama, action, and even a dash of musical all figure into this most unusual movie.

“Wind in The Willows” is presumably rated PG for the bad guys, the Weasels, that might scare younger children. There is no violence, profanity, or adult content. If this missed your local theatres, then look for it on home video. It’s a real treat for all ages.