The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad Movie Poster Image

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Two classic stories told in the best Disney style.
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1949
  • Running Time: 68 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Families may be inspired to read and discuss the book The Wind in the Willows, from which Mr. Toad's story is drawn, and Washington Irving's classic tale The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Positive messages

This movie encourages a love and appreciation for two classic works of literature.

Positive role models

Men compete to marry "coquette" (as she is called in the movie) Katrina von Tassel. Bram Bones uses trickery to "win" her. Ichabod is charming but also scheming as he seeks to win Katrina and her father's wealth.

Violence & scariness

Occasional cartoon violence. Characters fire rifles and guns and throw knives, swords, and hatchets. The Headless Horseman attempts to behead Ichabod Crane with a sword multiple times. The horseman is never actually revealed to be the town bully in disguise, so some kids may find him quite terrifying.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters smoke cigars and pipes. Cartoon weasels are shown passed-out drunk, with bottles and mugs by their sides. Characters hoist mugs of beer into the air before drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there is some slapstick violence in the two tales. More extreme is the Headless Horseman's multiple attempts to behead Ichabod Crane with a sword. The horseman is never actually revealed to be the town bully in disguise, so some kids may find him quite terrifying. Characters smoke cigars and pipes. Cartoon weasels are shown passed-out drunk, with bottles and mugs by their sides. Characters hoist mugs of beer into the air before drinking.

What's the story?

This Disney double-feature offers animated adaptations of two children's literature classics: Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows and Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. In the first tale, Thaddeus Toad, adventure-loving master of Toad Hall, becomes enamored of a shining motorcar and falls afoul of a group of scheming weasels. Friends Rat, Mole, and Badger try to save Toad from himself and from losing Toad Hall. The second story is set in a colonial New York village, where gangly schoolteacher Ichabod Crane and roughneck Brom Bones vie for the hand of heiress Katrina Van Tassel. Just when it seems that Ichabod has won with his refined grace, Brom plays on his rival's superstitious nature with a Halloween tale of the headless horseman, a legend that terrifies Ichabod on a long nighttime ride home.

Is it any good?


Often overlooked even by Disney fans, this is classic Disney animation at its best and features Basil Rathbone and Bing Crosby as narrators. With a cozy Edwardian setting, a dollop of slapstick violence, and a variety of British stereotypes, the tale of Mr. Toad is an endearing foray into Merrie Olde England.

The American tale is a bit more ambitious and not without its drawbacks. Some of the animation and design owe as much to Van Gogh as to Disney's own Fantasia. With his long limbs and oversize ears and nose, Ichabod Crane is certainly a memorable creation; Katrina and Brom Bones seem dull by comparison. The climactic sequence of Ichabod and the pumpkin-headed horseman is truly gripping, making it too intense for younger or more sensitive children. The Bing Crosby songs that pad it out are by far the weakest part of this otherwise first-rate tale.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the dated stereotypes of the "coquettish" woman and strutting men who compete to "win" her. 

  • Families also may wish to read and discuss the book The Wind in the Willows, from which Mr. Toad's story is drawn, and Washington Irving's classic tale The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. How do the stories change between the book and the screen?

  • How is bullying shown in this movie? Think about when Brom Bones mocks Ichabod Crane's appearance.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 5, 1949
DVD/Streaming release date:October 3, 2000
Cast:Basil Rathbone, Bing Crosby, Eric Blore
Director:James Algar
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Book characters, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Run time:68 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad was written by

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Parent of a 2 and 4 year old Written byMerryJ July 19, 2009
This movie is based very loosely on two famous works of literature. The first is based on "The Wind in the Willows". The movie doesn't live up to the book, but my 4 year old enjoyed it. I think most of the plot went over his head. Be aware that Toad is gripped by "mania", put on trail, sent to jail, escapes from jail and is up to mischief. We suggested we turn it off before the second story, because we thought it would be too scary. It is based on "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and we knew to expect a headless horseman. We tried it, and he didn't find it too scary, but I think it was because he didn't really understand what was going on. He kept giggling at the funny faces Ichibod was making while he was scared. The "romance" in this part was not particularly nice, and I hope some of the messages went over my son's head. The female character is a flirt; Ichibod and his rival compete for her attention, and are unkind to each other; Ichibod dreams of marrying her for her beauty and her money. We didn't really enjoy the movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 13 years old Written byAlix Jamieson January 6, 2013


Mr Toad and his antics are always funny, as are all of the gang from the Wind in the Willows. However, the second story, is based on Washington Irving's classic American tale, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," a story known for being downright terrifying. It is for this particular reason, that I warn parents of very sensitive children to maybe wait until their child is older. Some may disagree with me, but that cartoon scared the bejesus out of me when I was little! Basically, Ichabod Crane is the new schoolmaster at a town in New England, he is admired by everyone, but gets picked on by the local town bully Bown Bones, or something. They both compete for the love and attention of Katrina, a beautiful and rich young woman, and when it appears that her and Ichabod are growing ever closer, Bown tells him the story of the legend of the Headless Horseman, making Ichabod terrified of his journey back home, (which just happens to be through the woods! Great huh?!) Seriously though, it's good. Cartoonish, mild, slapstick violence. But it is WAY past the usual Disney standard, FAR from the cutsie-kidsie pie stuff, and I mean the kind of thing you see in the greatest of horror movies, in fact, they may as well be doing a reactment of Tam O Shanter, the Scottish tale, because it's really that frightening! (I should know, I come from Scotland, :) ) and in a way, you could almost belive it is, because of a very terrified man on a jumpy horse, riding through the woods at a very late hour, with witchcraft and devil's work on his mind. If you're an 8-17 year old who loves Disney cartoons or any other cartoon and at the same time, are looking for a good scare, then this is the movie for you!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 11 years old January 22, 2012

It's ok.

This movie is kind of boring. I would say it's for kids 7 and up. Just because of the headless person.