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The Wind in the Willows

Encounter with Terry Jones

Terry Jones, former member of Monty Python and writer, director and star (as Toad himself) of The Wind in the Willows was in town and JT was lucky enough to have a few words with him. Here's what Terry had to say about the American theatrical release of the film, ruthlessly paraphrased, unless quoted.

Apparently Disney had the rights to release the film in theatres, but they wanted to dump it straight to video. Columbia was looking to release something they could just quietly plop down on to few theatres, to fulfill some obligation or other, so they got the rights to do so from Disney.

Though Columbia did almost nothing in the way of advertising, "to their horror", the film received great reviews in the few cities in which it could be found. Terry mentioned that perhaps someone out there could start a web campaign to put the movie into more theatres.

I managed to find someone out there in cyberspace willing to do the work, but his page never went anywhere. Another site took up the slack, but has since disappeared. It never really built up any momentum anyway.
Even though I only had a few moments to talk to Terry, he seemed like a terribly nice guy. (I also got to meet Douglas Adams, who was extremely cool as well.) Terry seemed reasonably interested in our cause and gave me his e-mail address so I can contact him. I gave him a copy of the City Link Magazine with our article that has our website listed on it.

Since that meeting, I've been in contact with Terry off and on. I sent him a Save Toad t-shirt, which he was "tickled green" to receive (and claimed to be wearing as he wrote me). I'll respect his stature (as an artist) and not tell you what size.

He also told me that he's filled out his SAVE TOAD postcards as well.

He's one of the good ones.

The latest news is that the video was finally released under the title Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. There was some concern about it ever being released, since it was slated to come out some time ago and then mysteriously disappeared.

But it is out now and available for rental at your local video store, after getting a fresh round of great reviews from both critics and friends of this site.

In fact, you can buy it right here online.

It is a shame the way this film's release was handled, but at least now you have a chance of seeing it for yourself.

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