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The Wind in the Willows: The Complete Second Series DVD Review by Marla Nowak

Based on the Kenneth Grahame novel
A&E
1 888 423 1212
http://www.aetv.com/

The Wind in the Willows, based on the Kenneth Grahame classic, is a charming DVD collection of stories for children and adults. Pour the tea, bring out the scones and enjoy delightful animated adventures.

Characters in this series are sculpted, realistic creatures adorned in whimsical clothing. You will meet Badger, the wise, no nonsense, yet humorous, patriarchal type. Mole is thoughtful, sensitive, and helpful (not to mention quite cute with his tiny spectacles). Rat is sensible, practical, and easy going for a rat. Indeed, he finds life "jolly well." Dapper, in his red and white checked suit, melodramatic, and attention seeking or rather paranoid/neurotic, Frog will amuse adults. The not quiet villainous weasels are sneaky tricksters, naughty enough to grab children's attention, but lacking at being truly dastardly.

Stories include titles such as "The Rescue," "Fancy Dress," "Patient Toad," and "Gadget Mad." For parents that like to limit viewing, this collection is the ticket. Each segment is about twenty minutes long. For those times when twenty minutes of distraction to settle down the little ones is needed, one would probably consider the cost, between $25-$30, worth it. With thirteen episodes, that can be watched a few at a time or individually, this seems a bargain. Some DVD's leave the aftertaste of wasted time in a parent's mouth. These, while not exactly educational, feel more worthwhile than most of the silly adventures we find. Quaint settings, good plots, Badger using a Proverb, Mole showing kindness - the series has a sweetness about it. Adults may find these too good to pass up and opt for family viewing.

Some families may be concerned with content in the episode "May Day." Frog is depicted as "foolish, wasting time," by friends who try to warn him of trouble. Frog's gullible manner in trusting Weasel, who is dressed up like a palm reader-- complete with crystal ball, is clear. Thankfully, before losing his home, Frog is rescued by his wiser friends.

For this series you may need to develop an acquired taste. My quality control team - four experienced viewers - were a little reluctant at first. I too found myself distractedly tuning out these little critters with British accents. The first story seemed to drag a bit. Yet, as I gave the episodes a chance, I really enjoyed them. Understanding the characters, seeing their unique and loveable ways, my fondness came quickly after viewing several episodes. If we had read the books recently, we may have taken to the shows immediately. Final thoughts--jolly good chap!


-- Product Review by Marla Nowak, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC

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