On October 5, 1949, Walt Disney Productions released its 11th animated feature, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr.Toad as one of two segments, based on the stories The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, respectively. It was the last of the historic RKO Radio Pictures releases, which also included other early Disney classics such as Melody Time, The Three Caballeros and Saludos Amigos.
Film production began shortly after the release of Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs in 1938. Ironically, Walt Disney was not overly-enthusiastic about the original pitch to make an animated feature film based on what Walt described as “corny” animals. Nonetheless, Walt purchased the rights, but proposed the film be packaged together with another animated feature after he and his artists collectively agreed the anthropomorphized animals in the movie was not to the level of their satisfaction. Originally, it was to be paired with Gremlins and Mickey & the Beanstalk; however, Gremlins never materialized and Mickey & the Beanstalk was ultimately joined with Fun & Fancy Free. Meanwhile, the Adventures of Ichabod Crane was in development and eventually matched with J. Thaddeus Toad and friends.
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, one of the last remaining original Disneyland dark ride attractions, is loosely based on Disney's animated production. Voice legend Corey Burton provides every voice at the attraction (except for the usage of audio from the film.)
J. Thaddeaus Toad, MacBadger, Winky and the entire Wind and the Willows crew, coupled with Disneyland’s Wild Ride adventure, continue to be timeless cult favorites both on film and in the Park.