Wind in the Willows, The

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +2

Content: +3

Made in England from a well loved children's classic, WIND IN THE WILLOWS is a very unique fantasy comedy. Its most unique feature is that its characters are all humans portraying various types of animals. It all begins in a beautiful grassy meadow in England in the early 1920's when a bulldozer virtually destroys the underground home of Moley, (Steve Coogan impersonating a mole). It seems some dastardly weasels have purchased the meadow and plan to develop it into a residential site. And they have their eye on the nearby estate and mansion of Mr. Toad (impersonated by Terry Jones) as a site for a dog food factory. But Mr. Rat (impersonated by Eric Idle) and Mr. Badger (impersonated by Nicol Williamson) come to the aid of Moley and together launch a counter attack to foil the plans of the Chief Weasel (impersonated by Anthony Sher). Wild auto and carriage rides and wrecks provide excitement, along with a string of physical confrontations between the weasels and their antagonists. Overall this action packed comedy fantasy is rather clever and amusing, but it still may not have enough action and excitement to appeal to American youth.

The producer of this film reportedly wanted to avoid intense violence and action. The purpose was to give children a break from the often excessively violent films being made for them today. He also has avoided any crude language, profanity or sexual content. However, there are a variety of comical chases, shooting, rock throwing and other confrontation scenes. People are kicked, hit on the head, knocked over, and caught up in a rowdy mob brawl involving rough treatment and whiskey drinking. But all the slapstick action is in a comical vein. At the same time, the animals band to together to help each other and represent the need to protect the environment. However, the story seems to imply that all land development is undesirable. None of the slapstick action seems excessive, but the action hardly ever slows down. With the possible exception of very young children, WIND IN THE WILLOWS provides an lively action fantasy which is appropriate for young and old alike.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd.,Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: Many Times - Moderate (Auto and carriage chases and wrecks, people knocked down, hit on head with stick, thrown around, hit by bridge, mob brawl at banquet, house invaded and damaged, hot water sprayed in man's pants, shooting and rock throwing threats, factory blown up)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once: Comical reference to taking off clothes

Drugs: Few times - Social drinking and drunken brawl

Other: Man wears dress as disguise.

Running Time: 80 minutes
Intended Audience: Children ages 5 to 11

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