The Wind in the Willows (2006 film)

The Wind in the Willows is a 2006 live-action television adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's classic 1908 novel The Wind in the Willows. It was a joint production of the BBC and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and starred Matt Lucas (Mr. Toad), Bob Hoskins (Badger), Mark Gatiss (Ratty), and Lee Ingleby (Mole), with a cameo appearance from Michael Murphy as the Judge. Rachel Talalay directed. It debuted in Canada on CBC Television on 18 December 2006 in the United Kingdom on BBC1 on 1 January 2007, in the U.S. on PBS's Masterpiece Theatre on 8 April 2007 and in Australia on ABC TV on 23 December 2007. It was filmed on location in Bucharest, Romania.[1]

The Wind in the Willows
Written byKenneth Grahame
Lee Hall (adaptation)
Directed byRachel Talalay
StarringMatt Lucas
Mark Gatiss
Lee Ingleby
Bob Hoskins
Michael Murphy
Theme music composerBenoît Jutras
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
ProducersJustin Thomson-Glover
Patrick Irwin
CinematographyDavid Franco
EditorAnnie Kocur
Running time99 minutes
Original networkBBC
Original release
  • 18 December 2006 (2006-12-18) (Canada)
  • 1 January 2007 (2007-01-01) (United Kingdom)

Though the novel is considered children's literature, critics noted that this adaptation might not be appropriate for young children; Ginia Bellafante wrote in The New York Times that it "is ultimately too jaunty to be considered 100 percent safe for someone over 10",[2] and David Knox thought it "may well alienate children".[3] However, Variety's Brian Lowry said that its appeal "should run the demographic gamut for PBS, from Sesame Street to Bleak House."[1]


Critics praised Matt Lucas's portrayal of Mr. Toad. "In ordinary life Mr. Lucas’s frame does not suggest that he is a salad-and-pea-shoots kind of guy, and here he has fun with an exaggerated corpulence that seems to leave him channeling W. C. Fields," wrote Bellafante.[2] David Knox wrote that "Lucas’ performance positively swamps this treatment of the classic story".[3]

Director Rachel Talalay received the 2007 Leo Award for "Best Direction in a Youth or Children's Program or Series" for the film.[4] It was also nominated for the 2007 Satellite Award for "Best Motion Picture Made for Television"[5]


  1. ^ a b Brian Lowry (April 3, 2007). "Recently Reviewed: The Wind in the Willows". Variety. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
  2. ^ a b Ginia Bellafante (2007-04-06). "Creatures More Slothful Than You and Me". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
  3. ^ a b David Knox. "First Review: Wind in the Willows". TV Tonight. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
  4. ^ "Leo Awards, 2007 Winners". Archived from the original on 2009-02-09. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
  5. ^ Libby Mccarthy (2007-11-30). "Satellite nominations announced". Variety. Retrieved 2009-02-16.

External linksEdit