RKO RADIO PICTURES
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures Inc.
Walt Disney Presents:
"The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad"
Chorus: Ichabod and Mr. Toad!
Featuring Bing Crosby
Relating the Story of Ichabod Crane
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
By Washington Irving
Bing Crosby: Babababababa-boo-boo-boo...
Chorus: Ichabod and Mr. Toad!
And Basil Rathbone
Narrating the Story of Mr. Toad
The Wind in the Willows
By Kenneth Grahme
Chorus: Ichabod! Ichabod! Ichabod and Mr. Toad!
With the Talents of:
and The Rhythmaires
Color by Technicolor
Special Processes: Ub Iwerks
Sound Director: C.O. Slyfield
Sound Recording: Robert O. Cook
Film Editor: John O. Young
Music Editor: Al Teeter
Copyright MCMXLIX - Walt Disney Productions
All Rights Reserved
Musical Direction: Oliver Wallace
Vocal Arrangements: Ken Darby
Ichabod Songs by:
Orchestration: Joseph Dubin
Color and Styling:
Claude Coats Don da Gradi
Mary Blair John Hench
Charles Phillipi Al Zinnen
Tom Codrick Hugh Hennesy
Thor Putnam Lance Nolley
Ray Huffine Art Riley
Merle Cox Brice Mack
Fred Moore Harvey Toombs
John Sibley Hal King
Marc Davis Hugh Fraser
Hal Ambro Don Lusk
George Rawley Jack Boyd
(A stained glass window of a candle illuminating a book is shown which then lights up from inside the window. The camera moves closer to the window and appears inside a brilliantly nostalgic Tudor-style library, as its books are lined up on each shelf.)
Narrator 1: "If you were asked to choose the most fabulous character in English literature, who would it be?" (A row of books is shown as the narrator lists off the following selections.) "Robin Hood? King Arthur? Becky Sharp? Sherlock Holmes? Oliver Twist, perhaps?" (He comes to a stop and makes his choice of the story to read: The Wind in The Willows, as its binding shows Mr. Toad himself.) "Any one of them would be an excellent choice. But as the most fabulous character of all, I nominate a toad; J. Thaddeus Toad, Esquire." (The narrator pulls out the book and turns to the cover page of Toad riding on a penny-farthing/high-wheeled bike.) "Have you never met him? You'll find his story in "The Wind in the Willows". " (The next set of pages shows Toad climbing the Alps, Toad as a game hunter standing on the hide of a dead tiger and in the jaws of another living tiger, and Toad about to row in his boat off the edge of a waterfall.) "Toad was the one disturbing element: Incurable adventurer, mad, reckless, tried everything. A positive mania for fads, and he never counted the cost." (The last image shows Toad entertaining an elite.) "Had a host of fair-weather friends, of course. But, there were only three who had his best interests at heart. One was a badger. MacBadger." (MacBadger is shown writing down the costs in his large logbook.) "And then there was a water rat. A bit stuffy, perhaps, but really a fine fellow." (Ratty is then shown puffing on his pipe in the living room.) "And a mole. A creature, kind and sympathetic." (Mole is then shown sitting on a lawn chair as he watches a butterfly, as the camera shifts to the reeds of a river bank.) "They all made their homes in a quaint community along a riverbank." (Mole is then shown quickly rowing his boat to the dock to Ratty's house, where he rolls over in his seat, bumping his boat into the dock.) "Now, on that particular day, Mole was in a hurry because..." (Inside Ratty's house, the clock is chiming four o'clock in the afternoon.) "Oh, yes, of course. Because he was late for tea." (As Ratty feels impatient for Mole being late, he sees Mole come in. He hangs up his hat and runs for the chair while Ratty pours some tea into a teacup.) "A regrettable habit, still Rat had learned more or less to put up with it, and so, as usual..." (as Mole, taking his seat) "Sorry, Rat," says Mole." (as Ratty, forgiving Mole) "Quite alright," Says Rat." (He hands Mole his teacup.) "Two lumps if you please." says Mole." (Mole then grabs his teacup on a saucer plate.) "Then, just as they were comfortably getting settled..."
(Ratty hears a knock on the door and runs up to the door. He opens it and sees the postman giving him a letter.)
Postman: "Special Delivery, Mr. Rat."
Ratty: "Thank you, Postman." (He then opens the envelope.)
Postman: "How's everything on the river,today, sir?"
Ratty: "Dashed quiet, as usual. Thank you." (The postman then leaves, shutting the door.) "Mole, listen to this."(He reads the letter.) ""Dear Rat: You and Mole must come to Toad Hall at once. Urgent!! A. MacBadger.""
(The camera fades out on the note and opens on the riverbank. It pans over to Toad Hall with a pair of robins flying past.)
Narrator 1: "Now, Rat was certain Toad was making trouble again. Well, the answer to that lay just around the bend at Toad Hall, the ancestral home of J. Thaddeus himself. This impressive structure, by the way, was by all odds the finest home on the river. The animals were tremendously proud of it. They felt it gave the whole community an air of, uh, respectability." (The camera zooms in on the exterior of Toad Hall and shifts inside the hallway.) "To lose Toad Hall was, of course, unthinkable, and yet it was no secret that Toad's costly follies had brought him to the brink of bankruptcy. So, as a last resort, MacBadger had volunteered to take over and put Toad's house in order."
(The camera zooms in on Mr. Toad's study, where Mr. MacBadger lists off the following damages and costs in his logbook.)
Angus MacBadger: (calculating, as he hears knocking on the door) "Smashed fence. Two guineas." (As he tries to ignore the knocking and writes the cost on the page, he inspects the next bill.) "Damage, lamp post. Four pound six." (Badger writes down the cost as he hears more knocking. He then reads the next bill.) "Destruction o' hen house... " (He hears even more knocking on the door, which makes him lose his temper.) "Och! How can a man figure with all this hubbub?!" (He throws loose stacks of bills in the air. MacBadger then grabs his cane, hurries to the front doors, and opens it to see an angry mob holding their bills.)
Man 1: "I'll not be put off!"
Angus MacBadger: "Silence!"
Man 2: "You've got to pay my bill!"
Man 3: "I want my money!"
Angus MacBadger: (shouting) "Silence! You'll get your money in due course. Now, go along with you. I'll pay no more today." (He grabs their bills and slams the doors shut. As the mob leaves, Angus mopes to himself.) "Why did I ever assume... the responsibility of lookin' after..." (He hears more knocking on the door, believing the mob has returned.) "Och! Didn't I tell ya-?!" (He settles down when he sees Rat and Mole flinching away.) "Uh, ah. It's you, Rat. And Mole, too. Thank goodness, lads. You've come at last." (He slumps on the right front door.)
(Rat and Mole grab an exhaused Angus by the shoulders and drag him back to the study.)
Narrator 1: "Poor MacBadger. He'd reached the end of his rope. For, as he said himself..."
Angus MacBadger: (exhaustedly) "I'm practically a nervous wreck." (He slumps on the edge of the desk.)
Ratty: "I say, MacBadger! What seems to be the trouble?"
Angus MacBadger: (angrily) "Summat's got to be done about Toad!" (He tosses up another pile of bills with his cane, as Ratty and Mole watch the bills fall.) "This time, he's goin too far!"
Mole: (resting his hat on his heart) "But, he promised us-"
Angus MacBadger: (interrupting Mole) "Promises? What good are his promises when wild manias take him? Now, look. You're his closest friends, are you not?"
Mole: "Very dear friends."
Angus MacBadger: (firmly) "Then, lads, you've got to find Toad and stop him!" (He presses his cane on the floor.)
Ratty: "What's he doing?"
Angus MacBadger: "He's got a new mania; he's rampaging about the county in a canary-yellow gypsy cart." (He steps closer to Ratty and Mole.) "With a horse named Cyril."
(Meanwhile, Mr. Toad and Cyril are doing their usual hobby of speeding around the English countryside with their gypsy cart. A bunch of farm animals run for cover as the two friends and the cart speed through an open fence, splash through a duck pond, and charge across a field.)
Toad: (cracking the whip) "Tally-ho!" (singing) "Are we on our way to Nottingham,
to Brittingham, to Buckingham,
Or any hammy hamlet by the sea? No!"
Cyril: "Are we on our way to Devonshire,
to Lancashire or Worcestershire?
I'm not so sure,
We'll have to wait and see. No!"
(Toad jumps on Cyril's back and plays jump rope with the whip.)
Toad: "Are we on our way to Dover?
Or going merrily over,
The jolly old road that,
goes to Plymouth, Ho?"
(Toad then holds tight to Cyril's collar and then onto his mane.)
Toad & Cyril: "No! We're merrily, merrily,
merrily, merrily, merrily,
On our way to nowhere in particular!
We're merrily, merrily, merrily,
merrily, merrily on our way.
Though the roads are perpendicular."
(The two friends then climb a steep grade on the road.)
Cyril: "We're always in a hurry."
Toad: "We have no time to stall!"
(They plow through a series of hedge-row bushes with Cyril holding onto the traces on his hind legs.)
Toad & Cyril: "We've gotta be there,
We've gotta be there,
But where, we can't recall."
(Cyril, Toad, and the cart splash into a river, where they poke their heads above the water and come up the other side of the river bank with the cart in tow.)
Toad & Cyril: "We're merrily, merrily, merrily,
merrily, merrily on our way."
(A flock of ducks waddle onto the dirt road and then fly for their lives as Cyril and Toad charge ahead. The two friends also barrel through a clothesline, knocking over the washtub and sending loose clothing into the area.)
"And we may be going to Devonshire,
to Lancashire, to Worcestershire,
We're not so sure,
but what do we care?"
We're only sure,
we've got to be there!"
(At the same time, Ratty and Mole march down the dirt road, sternly, while Toad and Cyril smash their way through a greenhouse.)
We're merrily on our,
way to nowhere at all!"
(Down the road, Moley and Ratty wave for them to stop and then firmly fold their arms, as Toad and Cyril then come to a complete stop.)
Toad: (to Moley and Ratty) "Hello, you fellows! You're the very animals I was coming to see! Come along! Hop up!" (Mole runs over to a cart wheel and climbs up on its spokes, but Ratty holds him back.) "We'll go for a jolly ride! The open road, the dusty highway. Come! I'll show you the world. Travel, change, excitement! Ha-ha-ha!"
Cyril: (getting Toad's attention) "Ahem! Ahem!"
Toad: "How stupid of me! I want you fellows to meet my noble steed, Cyril."
Cyril: (in a Cockney accent) "Aye, that's me." (clicks his teeth) "A bit of a trotter, a bit of a rotter. How do you do, how do you do, how do you do?" (He brings his head so far that Ratty and Moley stumble away from him.)
Ratty: "How do you do?"
Cyril: (noticing Ratty's stern expression) "Say, guv'nor, your friends seem a bit on the stuffy side, what?"
Toad: (snickers quietly)
Ratty: (firmly) "Toad, we want to have a talk with you."
Toad: (ecstatic) "Oh, a visit! Splendid!" (He bounces off Cyril's back and lands to sit down on a trace.)
Ratty: "Toad, this is serious. You've got to give up that horse and cart."
Toad: (surprised) "Give up my... Oh, but my dear Ratty," (scoffing) "This is my career! Surely, you can't mean-"
Ratty: (slamming his fist) "I do mean it! You've got to stop this foolishness!"
Toad: (denying it) "No."
Ratty: "You must!"
Toad: "No, I won't do it!"
Ratty: "Your reckless behaviour is giving us animals a bad name!"
Toad: (arguing with Ratty) "I won't do anything!" (He plugs his ears.)
Ratty: "You're fast becoming a menace to society." (Toad lets go of his ears at fist and plugs them again as Ratty continues rambling.) "If you won't think about yourself, at least think of poor, old MacBadger!" (Toad opens and closes his ears repeatedly.) "And as for that horse, no good can ever come of gadding about with such a fast and irresponsible beast!" (Cyril extends his ears and plugs them, too, offended.)
Ratty: "Get him, Mole!"
Mole: "Come down, Toady!"
(Ratty and Mole tug on Toad's pant legs to get him down.)
Toad: "Stop it! Let me go!" (Mr. Toad flies out of his pants and gets back on board Cyril, as Toad is in his pink long-johns.) "Giddy up, Cyril! Giddy up!" (He tugs on Cyril's reins, and they take off down the road once more.) "It's no use. You'll never get me to give this up! Whee! Tally-ho! Yoicks!"
(Cyril and Toad pass a tree, as they hear the sound of a car horn. They skid to a stop with the gypsy cart bumping into them.)
Cyril: "Hey, look!"
(A blue-colored motorcar drives down the road with two men in overcoats, driving caps, and goggles.)
Toad: (seeing the motorcar) "Gad! What is it?"
Cyril: "Lummy, guv'nor!" (The motorcar pulls up for a moment, backfiring.) "It's a motorcar."
Toad: (curiously) "Motorcar?"
(The motorcar starts up and continues driving away. Cyril and Toad back up in surprise, splitting the traces in tow and crashing into the cart, as the motorcar leaves them in the dust. As soon as the dust clears, the gypsy cart is now damaged, as Cyril, unharmed, watches the motorcar leave. Toad raises his head as he sees the motorcar drive away.)
Toad: (hypnotized) "A motorcar. Gad! What have I been missing?" (His eyes beam with madness, as Toad starts imititating car engine sounds. He then raises his hands to pretend he's driving a motorcar and then starts bouncing down the road. Mole and Ratty have caught up with Toad at the last minute.)
Mole: (shocked) "Ratty, it isn't... He hasn't..."
Ratty: (stuffily) "It is, and he has. A new mania. Motor mania!"
(Toad knocks his two friends out of the way and continues bouncing down the street like a deranged lunatic. Mole and Rat then bolt after him.)
Narrator 1: "Mania. That's it. That's what it was. A positive mania." (Mole and Rat catch up with Toad and keep a firm grip on him.) "No telling where it would end either. Might linger for months." (Toad literally bounces them back to Toad Hall.) "And with Toad Hall at stake, well, Rat and Mole had no choice. There was only one thing to do: Lock the poor chap in his chambers and keep him there until the poison worked out of his system."
(Mole and Rat lead Toad up the stairs and also hold him back at the same time. Toad charges up the stairs and into his chamber, whipping Mole and Rat right with him. Inside Toad's bedroom, the three friends bounce on Toad's bedroom, as they change Toad into his nightgown.)
Ratty: "Hold him, Moley!"
(Mole and Rat fling Toad against the pillow, as he still continues pretending to drive a motorcar, until Rat throws a pitcher of water on him. Toad calms down, as he imagines putting on the car's brakes.)
Mole: "That's better."
Ratty: "And you can't escape, you know. Simply no use trying."
(Mole, holding Toad's clothes, and Rat leave a confused Toad in his bedroom, shutting the door behind him. Ratty locks up the door with a key. Toad won't stand for this as he bolts to the door and pounds on it.)
Toad: (pleading) "Let me outta here! Open up! Open up, I say! Please, Ratty! Moley! Open the door!"
(Rat and Mole ignore him as they take two seperate chairs to guard Toad.)
Narrator 1: "Now, of course, playing jailer to one's dearest friend wasn't exactly a pleasant situation." (Toad's knocking surprises Mole into thinking they should let Toad out.) "In fact, Moley weakened right at the start and wanted to call it quits." But, Ratty said, "No. Definitely not.". (Ratty sits there firm as he puts the key in his coat pocket and folds his arms.) "This time, they must be firm." (Moley follows his lead and folds his arms firmly, despite being annoyed by Toad's knocking.) "After all, it wasn't just a matter of saving Toad from himself. There was MacBadger to consider, and Toad Hall, and all that it stood for." (Later, it becomes nighttime above Toad Hall.) "Now, there was only one thing wrong with Ratty's cure for Toad's motor mania. It didn't work." (Toad is escaping out the bedroom window using a rope made out of bedsheets. He drops to the ground and checks to see if the coast is clear.) "You see, Toad was far too clever and, at the moment, completely mad." (Toad then tiptoes across the lawn and across the footbridge.) "He was determined to get a motorcar, even if he had to beg, borrow or..."
(A burst of light flashes, revealing it to be an issue of the London Journal reading, "TOAD ARRESTED".)
Newspaper Vendor 1: "Toad arrested!"
(An issue of London Courier reads, "CAUGHT IN STOLEN CAR", with a picture of Toad in the driver's seat and being held at gun-point by a police officer.)
Newspaper Vendor 2: "Extra!"
(Soon, Toad is put on trial in court, as the bailiff begins reading the following.)
Bailiff: (rambling) "Case of His Majesty's court of 'zises versus J. Thaddeus Toad, Toad Hall, Riverbank, Doodle-Bunton-Maxon-Morton, Surrey. 24th day of August, set forth in the following brief." (He clears his throat, and puts on his monocle. Toad sits in his own box, lightening up as he sees Angus MacBadger, Ratty, and Moley sit on a bench, bitterly about the whole disaster.) "Accused is J. Thaddeus Toad of stealing a motorcar and driving said stolen vehicle in a reckless manner in the public roads to the endangerment of sundry subjects of His Majesty, their life and limbs." (Toad waves at Moley, who waves back at Moley, until Ratty motions at Moley to stop it.)
Judge: (deadpan) "Counsel for the Crown, proceed with the case."
Prosecutor: (menancingly) "My lord, I call, as first Crown witnesses, Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole!"
(Mole and Rat walk down the aisle. Mole waves again at Toad, who waves at him using his forefingers. Rat and Mole climb a large stool and sit on a book as their seat, as the Prosecutor turns to speak to them.)
Prosecutor: (menancingly) "Is it true that you had the accused locked in his own house because he had threatened to get a motorcar?!" (His tone of voice scares Mole into falling down.) "Did you or did you not have him locked up?!"
Ratty: "We did."
(Mole climbs back up the stool.)
Prosecutor: "Thank you! That is all!" (Mole silently sticks out his tongue at the Prosecutor.) "Next witness."
Bailiff: "Mr. Angus MacBadger!"
Prosecutor: "As trustee of the Toad estate, you knew of the prisoner's mania for motorcars?"
Angus MacBadger: "Well, I, uh-"
Prosecutor: "And due to his extravagance, you cut off his allowance?"
Angus MacBadger: "Well, uh-"
Prosecutor: "That he was, to the best of your knowledge, without funds?"
Angus MacBadger: "Well, uh-"
Prosecutor: "That is all! Thank you! Gentlemen of the jury, the Crown rests."
Judge: "Counsel for the defence will present his case."
Toad: (clears his throat) "My lord, with the court's indulgence..." (He sweeps off a wig and puts it on.) "I rise prepared to plead my own defence." (Moley claps for Toad to cheer him on, as Toad bows to Moley.)
Ratty: "Moley, Moley, stop it."
Toad: (cooly) "Gentlemen of the jury, I call, as my first witness, Cyril Proudbottom."
Bailiff: "Cyril Proudbottom."
(Cyril then gallops to the box on cue.)
Toad: "Are you acquainted with the defendant, J. Thaddeus Toad?"
Cyril: "Lord love a duck, yes! He's one of the jolliest chaps I've ever run across and simply tons of money."
Prosecutor: (sneaking up from behind Cyril) "Good fellow, eh? Throws it away. But, he wasn't throwing it away that day!" (He glares at Cyril, menacingly.) "You heard Mr. MacBadger testify that his allowance was cut off!" (The Prosecutor continues glaring at Cyril so long that he extends his neck inside the box.) "Then, how did he get a motorcar?"
Cyril: (having crouched down to the bottom of the box) "The only way a gentleman gets anything: The honest way."
Prosecutor: "And what is the honest way?"
Cyril: "Ha-ha! I thought you wouldn't know that, guv'nor!"
(The crowd then laughs at the Prosecutor.)
Prosecutor: "Your Lordship, I-!"
Judge: "The witness may testify in his own words."
Cyril: "Righto, guv'nor. Now, I'll give you the facts of the case." (A flashback starts with Toad escaping Toad Hall the other night.) "For when Toady escaped from his boudoir, he'd come headin' straight for my place." (Toad and Cyril are walking down the road the next morning.) "Soon, we was off down the highway, but we hadn't gone far, I confess, when, with all of a sudden, and a rush, and a roar..." (Toad and Cyril hear another motorcar coming with a louder engine and get out of the way just in time as the motorcar passes.) "Something passed like the London Express." (Toad studies the motorcar curiously from a road sign, as he sees the motorcar head for a tavern.) "It was big, it was red, it was beautiful." (Toad pretends driving this new car once more.) "A motorcar. A bit of alright." (Toad jumps down onto the road.) Toady was transfixed with, uh, rapture." (Toad puts on his monocle that lets off a glow as it falls off his eye.) "You could tell it was love at first sight. The motor pulled up to a tavern, wherein was located a bar." (At the tavern, a weasel jumps off the driver's seat. He slinks across the driveway and stops at a doorway.) And we watched while some tough-looking weasels got out of that lovely red car." (He whistles for a large group of his fellow weasels that the coast is clear, and they all hop out of a hidden compartment with bags of money in their hands and rush inside the bar. The first weasel makes sure no one is watching them and slinks his head inside. His hat is left in mid-air, prompting the weasel to grab it inside the building.) "Now, weasels, I know, are deceitful and not to be trusted, at all. But how could I know they'd stolen that car? I didn't have no crystal ball." (Toad and Cyril walk over to the motorcar, and Toad sniffs in the exhaust smoke from the tailpipe, causing him to float in the air and his eyes to beam like mad.) "And the guv'nor is not one to dally. He made up his mind like a flash. He says..." (As Toad) "Try it for size, my good Cyril, while I see what they'll take for it, cash." (He marches straight inside the tavern, while Cyril hops onto the motorcar and leans back.) "So, into the tavern he saunters, where the barman was back at the bar." (The weasels watch Toad come up to the bar.) "And he said," (as Toad) "Cheerio, keeper. Who's the owner of that, uh, hot-looking car?" (The Weasels hide under the table and pull out their guns.) "The barman, a codger named Winky, leaned over the bar and said," (as Mr. Winky) "Why?" (continues narrating) "The guv'nor answered," (as Toad) "That car must be mine! Whatever the price is, I'll buy." (The Weasels huddle together for a game plan, while Toad digs through his pockets and finds nothing.) "But, Toad found he hadn't no money. So, he promptly offered a trade. The weasels appeared to be willing." (Toad gets an idea, as the First Weasel zips over to Toad and winks to one of his friends.) "In a moment, the bargain was made." (The First Weasel and Toad rush over to the table, and Toad creates a deed.) "Toady drawed up a paper, with almost incredible speed. He called on old Winky the barman to pop over and witness the deed." (Toad motions Mr. Winky to come to the table and sign the deed, to which Winky does, as Toad rubs his palms greedily The flashback fades back to the present as Cyril finishes his testimony.) "Now, the guv'nor is not a bit stingy. He never does anything small. The weasels gave him the red motorcar, and he gave the weasels Toad Hall."
(MacBadger, alarmed, rolls off the bench and faints on the spot.)
Prosecutor: "Traded Toad Hall? An estate worth 100,000 pounds for a motorcar?!" (He walks over to the Judge, and they share a hearty laugh, while Toad stands there, nonchalanty.) "You expect me to believe that?!"
Toad: "I don't expect you to believe anything. Fortunately, I can produce a witness." (to the bailiff) "Call Mr. Winky!"
Bailiff: "Mr. Winky! Mr. Winky!"
(The crowd turns to see Mr. Winky come into the courtroom, and Winky and Toad then basically wink at each other.)
Toad: "My lord, gentlemen, facing you in the witness box is a citizen of substance and standing. A man of unimpeachable honesty." (The Judge eagerly shakes hands with Mr. Winky.) "Now, Mr. Winky, do you recall an incident that took place in your establishment last August 12th, that I was a party to?" (Toad grabs his cane and hat, puts on his gloves, and prepares to leave.)
Mr. Winky: "Yes, sir, that I do."
Toad: (preparing to leave court) "Well, then, just tell the court what actually happened."
Mr. Winky: (lies) "Well, guv'nor, you tried to sell me a stolen motorcar."
(Toad is shocked at this, as the doors slam behind him on cue.)
Cyril: (enraged) "That's a deliberate lie, you monkey-faced, little rum pot!"
(Toad backs into a group of policemen who grab him.)
Toad: (desperately) "I've been framed! Let me go! Help! Help! Help!"
(Ratty and Mole watch in horror as they watch Toad being dragged off to prison. The whole court goes into an uproar, causing the judge to bang his gavel to keep order. Newspapers are then shown announcing Toad's false guilt, with an issue of The Star reading, "MR. TOAD GIVEN SEVERE SENTENCE".)
Newspaper Vendor: "Toad guilty!"
Narrator 1: "News of Toad's disgrace rocked the nation. Seems the court was determined to make an example of him. Course, Toad's friends tried to help him, but they were blocked at every turn. Why, they must've reopened the case a dozen times. Appealed to this court, that court, any court." (Newspaper editorials are shown announcing Toad's friends trying to reopen the case.) "But, the decision stood." (Another gavel is heard banging.) "The case of J. Thaddeus Toad was closed." (The gavel is heard banging one last time.)
(Several months later, it is Christmas night, as a group of carolers stand under a lamppost, singing a carol.)
Chorus: "Merry, merry Christmas time,
Bind every heart with happiness.
Narrator 1: "Yes, once again, it was a white Christmas. The melodies of Yuletide hung sweet upon the winter's air. Hearts were gay and spirits high." (The camera pans up from the streets of London to the Tower.) "Indeed, in all the city, only one spot was untouched by the warmth of Christmas cheer: The Tower; grim monument to despair. Cold, cruel, forbidding, and the abode of Toad for a good many Christmases to come." (The camera zooms in on the highest tower in the prison and shifts inside where Toad is put inside.) "Poor Toad. Alone with memories of his wasted life. What a fool he'd been!" (Toad sheds a tear into a puddle, which shows the face of Angus MacBadger.) "With many a pang, he recalled the kindly face of Angus MacBadger, and his sage advice, so often scorned." (Another tear drops into the puddle, showing the face of Moley.) "A tear for Moley, too, for his loyalty, sympathy, understanding." (One of Toad's last tears shows the face of Rat.) "Toad wept for Rat, and all those little lectures so often laughed at." (Toad flicks the last of his tears away, standing up, and palms his face in shame.) "Yes, within the dark confines of his miserable cell, a new Toad was born. A reformed Toad, a repentant Toad. In a flood of remorse, he vowed to forsake the follies of the Primrose path. Never again would he give way to those mad, foolish manias that had brought him to this sorry end." (Toad creeps to a corner covered with hay in his cell and buries his face in his arms, weeping. Just then, a prison guard unlocks Toad's door.)
Prison Guard: (sympathetically) "Bein' as it's Christmas, you're allowed a visitor. Your grandma's here."
Toad: (confused) "Grandma?"
(Toad's "grandmother" rushes into Toad's cell.)
Cyril: (as Toad's grandmother) "Merry Christmas, sonny! Granny wouldn't forget her little Toady boy!" ("She" takes off her disguise, revealing "herself" to be Cyril!)
Toad: (surprised) "Cyril!" (weeps again) "Cyril."
Cyril: "Look, Christmas gift." (He hands Toad a disguise, as the prison door closes again.)
Toad: "What is it?"
Cyril: "Don't you get it? A disguise." (Cyril puts the disguise on Toad and brings him closer to listen to Cyril.) "Now, all you've got to do is put on this natty little costume and..."
(Cyril whispers an escape plan in Toad's ears, causing Toad's eyes to beam wildly.)
Narrator 1: "Alas for good intentions. Toad was incurable. One whispered word, and all his high resolve vanished in the mad whirl of this new adventure. This new mania: Escape!"
(A bunch of prison whistles sound off loudly.)
Prison Guard #2: (on the phone) "Toad's escaped!"
(The police turn on the searchlights, spreading them across London, and turn on the siren, as the city turns on its lights. More police officers ride their bikes into the streets, and a horse pulls a wagon load of police officers drawing out their guns. In another part of the city, Toad runs for his life and stops at an empty bar, when he sees a group of police dogs coming his way. Seeing that the coast is clear, Toad runs off again, with another group of police dogs at his heels. Toad looks at a stair case for any sign of police officers and continues again, until he runs into the flashlight's beam of a police officer.)
Policeman 1: "Halt!" (Toad turns to see the policeman greeting him politely.) "Good evening, ma'am."
Toad: (as an old woman) "Good evening to you, Officer." (He walks away from the policeman.) "We're merrily, merrily, merrily on our-" (Toad's prison chains fall out of the dress, surprising the policeman.)
Policeman 1: "Begging your pardon, me lady, but you..." (Toad turns around upon hearing the policeman call his name, but Toad's prison ball drags Toad down the stairs.) "'Ey!" (Toad bounces on the prison ball down the stairs, as the policeman angrily blows his whistle.)
(Toad's prison ball drags him across the walkway and through the lining of a brick wall. The policemen are shouting as they shine their lights along the wall.)
Policeman 2: "I say, you fellows over there, you see 'im?"
(At a railway station, a train engineer is oiling the rods of his steam train engine, as Toad watches him from a luggage pile with curiosity.)
Narrator 1: "Gad, what perfectly ripping luck! Trap Toad, would they? Ha-ha! Never!"
(Toad tiptoes across the platform and sneaks into the cab. He opens the throttle, and the train engine rockets out of the station, shocking the engineer, who is oiling nothing when he sees his engine now gone, as the policemen come and scatter around the platform.)
Policeman 3: "There he goes!"
Policeman 4: "Where? Where?"
Policeman 3: "Over there!"
(Another policemen whistles for another train engine to come, which it does. The policemen climb aboard and take off after Toad, who has fun on his own engine, as he smells the steam, plays around with the levers and gauges, and blows the whistle, as the train engine streaks into the dark countryside after Toad's engine. As Toad blows the whistle again, the policemen's engine shines its light on him, as the policemen shoot their guns at Toad. Toad ducks down from the bullets impact, as he shovels coal into the engine's firebox. He waves at the policemen, but ducks down from another round of bullets. As the policemen keep firing away, Toad stands in front of the cab windows.)
Toad: (imitating gunhots) "Br-r-r-r-r-r, bang, bang, bang!"
(Toad then peers ahead and sees a bridge crossing a river. He grabs his prison ball and swings it around, as he then jumps off the engine and splashes into the river, watching the policemen pass.)
Narrator 1: "Blockheads! Let them scour the countryside." (The policemen's engine crosses the bridge.) "Once more, J. Thaddeus Toad had the last laugh."
(Toad laughs at himself for fooling the police officers, along with a buck-toothed fish. Toad then realizes he's underwater. He swims up to grab a branch, which breaks under his weight. Toad then tries grabbing his prison ball out of the riverbed and then tries to grab anything else he can hold onto. The camera then shifts along the riverbank.)
Narrator 1: "That Christmas Eve, along the riverbank, the name of Toad was banned from conversation, lest the memory of his disgrace becloud the merriment of the season. And yet, there was one home, at least, in which two loyal hearts still held the warmth of Christian charity."
(Ratty and Mole are then seen inside enjoying their Christmas dinner.)
Ratty: (saying Grace) "Bless this good food we are about to enjoy. Bless us, every one. And bless poor Toad."
Mole: "And may he get time off for good behaviour." (He sheds a tear, as a gust of wind blows out the candles. Ratty and Mole see Toad still in his disguise at the door, as he passes out on the floor.) "Why, it's a poor old lady. Let's take her over by the fire."
(The two friends begin carrying Toad over to the fire, until Toad's ball drops on Ratty's foot.)
Ratty: (yelping) "Ow!" (He clutches onto his foot, as the two friends notice Toad.)
Ratty: "What are you doing here?"
Toad: (chuckles) "Well, I was just, uh, sort of-"
Mole: "Well, this is a merry Christmas! But aren't you afraid of the police?"
Toad: (bragging) "Afraid of the police?" (laughs) "I, Toad, afraid of the police?" (He laughs, until he hears a knocking sound on the door.)
Angus MacBadger: (from outside) "Open up, I say!"
Toad: (mortified) "The police!" (Rat and Mole look at the door, as Toad struggles to hide and grabs on Ratty's coat.) "Hide me, Ratty!"
Ratty: (firmly) "Sorry, but you owe a debt to society, and you've got to pay." (to Mole) "Mole, let them in."
(Toad grabs his ball and finds some place to hide in the house.)
Mole: (asking Rat) "But, Ratty, don't you think, maybe-"
Ratty: "Open the door!"
(Mole reluctantly opens the door as told, as MacBadger stands in the doorway.)
Mole & Ratty: "MacBadger!"
(MacBadger takes his seat in front of the Christmas tree.)
Angus MacBadger: "Aye, lads! I've just made a verra important discovery. Toad Hall is ablaze with lights..."
(Toad Hall is then shown with weasels raising their glasses and singing "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow".)
Weasels: "For he's a jolly good fellow,
for he's a jolly good fellow."
Angus MacBadger: (voiceover) "...And in possession of a pack o' weasels."
(Inside the mansion, a weasel carries a platter of beer mugs to a pair of weasels sitting at their table, until he reaches another table where the weasels are singing their praises.)
Weasels: "For he's a jolly good felloooooow!"
Angus MacBadger: (voiceover) "And the leader of the gang is none other than Mr..."
(They toast their beer mugs together and pull them away, revealing to be Mr. Winky as their leader!)
(Winky pulls out the deed and kisses it.)
Weasel #1: "Hip, hip!"
(The camera fades back to the present.)
Angus MacBadger: "And so, you see, he did trade Toad Hall for the motorcar!"
Ratty: (remorseful) "Then, Toad was innocent all the time."
Angus MacBadger: "Aye, lads. And if he were only here right now." (Toad, having listened to their conversation, drops from the Christmas tree and lands in Angus' arms.) "Toad!"
Toad: (happily) "Angus!"
Ratty: (remorseful) "Sorry, Toad, I misjudged you."
Mole: (choking up) "I hope, someday, you'll find it in your heart..."
Toad: (warmly) "Tut-tut. Not another word. To err is human. To forgive-"
Angus MacBadger: "Thaddeus!" (He drops Toad on the floor.) "Not so fast! You're still guilty in the eyes of the law. To prove your innocence, we've got to get that paper away from Winky!" (He pounds his fist in his palm.) "Now, I have a plan. We'll sneak in through the secret tunnel."
(As Angus explains the plan to his friends, the camera pulls away from Ratty's house, and shifts to an area of the river where Toad, Angus, Rat, and Mole row their boat quietly downstream.)
Narrator 1: "It was an expert plan, cunningly contrived but extremely dangerous. It would work only if each did his part." (Rat strokes his oars in the water, and Angus points up the guard on the bridge.) "There was no margin for error. The odds against them were tremendous, but the stakes were high. But now, steady's the word. One false move and four lives hang in the balance."
Angus MacBadger: (noticing the guard) "Careful, lads. There is a guard."
(The Weasel Guard paces around with a bayonet.)
Toad: (wielding a shotgun) "I'll pop him off!"
Ratty: "Stop it!"
Mole: "Stop it!"
Ratty: "Toad, don't shoot!"
(Rat, Mole, and Angus dog-pile on Toad to stop him from shooting the guard. However, their combined weight causes Toad to shoot his gun in the water, propeling them down the river and leaving a bubble that pops open, attracting the Weasel Guard.)
Weasel Guard: (hearing the sound) "Who goes there?" (He shines his flashlight on the riverbank and almost near the secret tunnel, where Toad and his friends are safely inside.)
Narrator 1: "Phew! That was a close one. Trust Toad to start things off on the wrong foot." (The Weasel Guard turns off his flashlight and then goes to investigate, whiel Toad and his friends walk up the stairs inside the tunnel.) "Well, no turning back now. Nothing for it but to push on. What new and greater perils lay ahead, no one could say. For with Toad already getting out of hand, anything could happen."
(They come to a secret chamber door, where Angus presses a button disguised as a piece of wall decoration. The button triggers a lock that opens the door to reveal the main hall, where they see the Weasels sleeping around the floor. Some of the Weasels sleep inside a bear-skin rug, a vase, and even inside a wall painting.)
Mole: (noticing the Weasels) "Oh, look. They're all asleep."
Angus MacBadger: Nay, lads. They're drunk. They've been hitting the bottle.
Ratty: "But where's Winky?"
Toad: (noticing Winky) "There he is!"
Angus MacBadger: (whispering) "Shhh! He's got the paper on him!" (Winky is asleep, as the camera zooms in on the deed tucked in his coat pocket.) "We'll have to climb up on the balcony."
(The gang creeps across the floor, climbing the staircase and evading the sleeping weasels. At the same time, the Weasel Guard from earlier shines his flashlight inside the secret tunnel, following the gang. Toad and his friends climb up the stairs and reach the balcony, where they look down and see Winky resting on the couch. Angus whispers a plan in Moley's ear, while the Weasel Guard investigates their boat. He peers his flashlight up the stairs. Mole is tied up to a series of bedsheets, as Angus and Rat hoist Moley down to retrieve the deed from Winky. Soon, Moley reaches Winky, who snores, causing his hat to float up. Moley puts it back on his head and readjusts indignantly. He reaches for the deed and motions Angus and Rat to hoist him down further. Moley lands on Winky's stomach, where he tries to grab the deed, but Winky cuddles him up like a teddy bear, making the mission harder, as Moley gulps nervously. The Weasel Guard shines his light on the door and notices the combo lock! Moley tugs on Winky's ear to let him go and is able to snatch the deed. He waves the deed in front of his friends, and Angus and Rat pull Moley up to the balcony. Before their mission is through, the Weasel Guard comes through the door and panics upon seeing Moley hoisted up and then handing the deed to MacBadger. He throws a dagger that cuts the line and dropping Moley onto Winky. They stare at each other for a moment, until Moley grabs the deed and takes off running with it in his hands.)
Mr. Winky: (checking his pockets) "The paper! It's gone! Hey!" (He slaps the Weasels to wake them up.) "Get him, you blokes! Get him!"
(Four more of the Weasels sees Moley pass by. Before Moley can continue down the hallway, he crashes into a mirror, knocking him over and causing Rat to face-palm, as Toad and Angus stand there gaping. Moley then sees an army of Weasels brandishing their weapons and splits away with the deed, readjusting his hat. Another Weasel snatches the deed from Moley. Ratty takes matters into his own hands by sliding down the bannister, where he reaches the bottom and grabs the deed from the Weasel.)
Ratty: "I beg your pardon!"
(Another Weasel clubs him on the head and grabs the deed, until Moley snatches the deed from the Weasel, until he dodges Mr. Winky slinging a sword at him. Moley turns around and sees a Weasel holding a large club. He runs away from him, just as the Weasel clubs Mr. Winky instead. Further down the hall, Moley turns around, running away from another gang of Weasels throwing their daggers at Moley. One of the daggers stings Moley on the seat of his pants, to which Moley pushes it aside and taps the blade of the dagger. He continues running, until he crashes into a door where the daggers and knives pin him here. As the Weasels come closer, Moley pries himself and the deedoff the door, bowling down the Weasels, until he stops, sitting upright and feeling dazed.)
Toad: (offscreen) "Moley!" (Toad bounces on a coffee table, whistling and waving his hands for Moley.) "Moley! Moley, over here!"
(Moley folds the deed into a paper airplane, distracting the Weasels, as they try grabbing it. Toad seems to grab the tip of the deed, but it slides out of his forefingers.)
(Toad tries grabbing the deed, which sails over to the fireplace. Toad grabs a pair of bellows to suck the deed in and runs off with the bellows.)
Weasel #2: "Get him!"
(The Weasels chase after Toad and tackle him, letting go of the bellows. Angus bounces on the bellows' handle to blow out the deed.)
Mr. Winky: "After it!"
(Angus, Rat, Moley, Winky, and his Weasels chase after the deed. They crawl under the rug and crash into a chair, destroying it along the way, and crashing into a grand piano. The deed continues flying, as they leave Moley behind but find that he is able to catch up with them. Toad stands on the balcony with a stack of papers, seeing another Weasel being tackled by Moley, as only the Weasel's hat, gloves, and shoes gallop after the deed. Mr. Winky then grabs the deed and opens, but ends up becoming surprised to see nothing, as it is a sheet of paper. Another paper airplane flies by Winky, causing Winky to see Toad flying a bunch of paper airplanes at Winky and his Weasel goons. They all grab each paper airplane, checking to see if it's the deed and then tearing it up.)
Toad: (laughing) "Just one more!"
Mr. Winky: (pointing to Toad) "There he is! Get him!"
(Before Toad can throw the last bunch of paper airplanes, he dodges a variety of knives and daggers being thrown at him. Toad leaps off the balcony and hangs by his feet on a chandelier. Back on the floor, Angus sees two Weasels charging at him, each with a dagger and an axe. Before they can kill Angus, Toad grabs Angus from being sliced by the Weasels. They swing over to Rat and save him from being clubbed by the Weasels and Moley from being chopped off of his head by Mr. Winky, who throws the axe. The blade cuts the chandelier chain, as Toad, Rat, and Angus fly through the air and land back in front of the chamber door. Meanwhile, Moley runs from the weapons being thrown at him, as an axe hits the door, causing it flip the other side, as Angus tries to push it back the other side, to which the knives and daggers pin against its surface.)
Ratty: (alarmed) "Where's Moley?"
(Moley continues running as his hat is chopped off into pieces by various daggers. Angus presses the button, as Moley stumbles over an axe handle and rolls right into the chamber door, where Angus, Rat, and Toad are right on the other end, as they see the Weasels charging at them! Moley, recognizing where his friends are, presses the button, and the door brings Toad, Rat, and Angus back inside the tunnel and Mole right in front of the Weasels! At the last second, Angus grabs Moley and closes the door, to which the Weasels crash into a pile, followed by falling books and knight statues that topple over them from the crashing impact. Back inside the tunnel, the four friends run down the stairs and back to the boat.)
Angus MacBadger: (sadly, wiping his brow) "Well, laddies, we saved our skins. But we did nae get the deed."
(Toad clears his throat and then proudly shows the real deed to his friends.)
Ratty: (proudly) "Well done, Thaddeus!"
Angus MacBadger: "Hip, hip!"
All: (cheering) "Hooray!"
(Soon, Toad has proven his innocence. An issue of The Daily Express announces, "TOAD EXONERATED. GOOD NAME CLEARED", and New Year's Day has rolled around.)
Chorus: "Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?"
Narrator 1: "So, it was a happy ending, after all. Toad's friends were dreadfully proud of him. And why not?" (Ratty folds the newspaper away, as he and Moley look proudly at a painting of Mr. Toad above the fireplace.) "He was a new Toad, now. Completely reformed, through with gypsy carts and motorcars for ever. And so, on this happiest of New Years, a toast was in order."
Angus MacBadger: (holding a platter of champagne glasses) "To the New Year! And..."
All: "To the new Toad!"
(They all toast their glasses together, until a loud crashing noise is heard, shattering the glasses. Angus, Rat, and Moley, cringing from the sound, look out the window to see what has happened.)
Toad: (offscreen) "Hello, you fellows!" (His friends rush up to the window, where they seen a Wright Flyer plane soaring above the mansion, and this time, it's Toad at the stick with Cyril as his passenger, waving to them!) "Come! I'll show you the world! Travel, change, excitement! Ha-ha-ha!"
(Poor MacBadger faints on the spot, while Toad steers his plane over a statue, knocking it halfway down, and flies off into the sunrise.)
Narrator 1: (chuckling) "And, that was the fabulous Thaddeus Toad. But, let's weigh our judgement carefully. We Moles and Rats and Badgers, really now, don't we envy him a bit?" (The shot turns into the last image in the book.) "I know I do. And so, when we speak of fabulous characters, the most fabulous of all will always be, uh, to me at least, the master of Toad Hall." (The first narrator closes the book and puts it back on the shelf.)
Narrator 2: (introducing himself, chuckling) "Yes! J. Thad was quite a lad! Speaking of fabulous characters, England has produced a bumper crop." (The camera pans away from "The Wind in the Willows" to an open gap between a pair of books in a bookcase. Through the bookcase, a new row featuring American books is shown.) "But, here in the colonies, we have a few of our own: Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, Johnny Appleseed, Black Bart, Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone. And, of course, the one and only Ichabod Crane. Ichy was the country schoolmaster dreamed up by Washington Irving. He had a way with a yarn did Mr Irving." (The second narrator opens the book, showing off the cover page, and then flips to an image of New York in its colony days, as it transforms into the actual location inside the page.) "If we could journey back to that period in history when Manhattan was but a market town, we would discover, in one of the coves which indent the shores of the Hudson, the little village of Tarry Town. And just beyond, nestled deep in the low rolling hills, a sequestered glen. It's a quiet, peaceful place, and yet, somehow... foreboding." (A small chapel and a cemetery are shown deep inside a dark corner in the woods.) "It abounds in haunted spots, twilight tales and local superstitions." (The camera pans away from the cemetery, out of the woods, and focuses on the shadow of Ichabod Crane, who is then shown walking to the town of Sleepy Hollow as he reads a book while carrying a bindle on his umbrella.) "The best-known story concerns an itinerant schoolmaster who once frequented these parts. Some say his melancholy spirit still haunts the vicinity. The pedagogue was described as a most unusual man. To see him striding along, one might mistake him for a scarecrow eloped from a cornfield. He was tall, but exceedingly lank. His head was small and flat on top, with a long, snipe nose. It looked like a weathercock perched upon his spindle neck. Altogether, he was an apparition seldom to be seen in broad daylight. Late one drowsy autumn afternoon, this strange figure first approached Sleepy Hollow." (The village of Sleepy Hollow is then shown as the camera stops at Ye Olde Schnooker and Schnapps Shoppe, where a group of village boys and a bunch of dogs sleep at a table outside the building.) "As usual, there had gathered at Ye Olde Schnooker and Schnapps Shoppe a group of rustic lads, the Sleepy Hollow boys." (A holler is heard in the backgrounds, attracting both the dogs and the boys, as a large, broad figure, Brom Bones, rides into town on his horse.) "Their self-appointed leader, Brom Bones, was a burly, roistering blade, always ready for a fight or a frolic." (Brom and his horse leap over their table and run up to the innkeeper, who is scared off by Brom's horse neighing at him. The boys laugh at the innkeeper, as Brom leaps onto a beer barrel and rolls on it to his followers' table.) "And though Brom was much given the madcap pranks and practical jokes, well, there was no malice in his mischief. (He grabs the barrel and pulls the cork off with his teeth and pours some beer into their kegs.) "Indeed, with his waggish humour and prodigious strength, Brom Bones was quite the hero, all the country round."
(Brom passes the kegs to this friends. Brom's horse and the dogs are then thirsty, so Brom punches the slats open and gives the barrel over to the animals who drink the beer out of the barrel. Brom and his gang give each other a toast and drink their keps. Brom then sees Ichabod walking into town through the keg glass and spits out his beer.)
Brom Bones: (spoken) "Odds bodkins!
Look at that old spook of spooks."
(Brom's gang, the dogs, a pair of horses, and the townspeople then stare at Ichabod walking down the street.)
Chorus: "Who's that coming down the street?"
Narrator 2 (sings): "Are they shovels or are they feet?
Chorus: "Lean and lanky,"
Narrator 2: "Skin and bone,"
"With clothes a scarecrow,
"Would hate to own."
(A black cat walks out of a gap of a brick lining, until Ichabod uses his umbrella to turn the cat around.)
"Yet, he has a certain air."
Chorus: "Debonair and devil-may-care."
Tilda: It's the new schoolmaster!"
Woman 1: What's his name?"
Ichabod Crane: Ichabod, Ichabod Crane."
Both Girls: "Ichabod! What a name!"
Shop Owner: "Kind of odd,"
Woman 2: "But nice just the same."
Chorus: "Funny pan, funny frame."
"Ichabod, Ichabod Crane."
Narrator 2: "Ichabod may be quaint,"
"May be odd, and maybe he ain't."
(A woman is walking outside, carrying a tray of pies. Ichabod opens the door to let her out, only to steal one of her pies using his book!)
"Anyway, there's no complaint,"
"From Ichabod, Ichabod Crane."
(The townspeople watch Ichabod disappear over the hill.)
Narrator 2: (spoken) "And though the arrival of the pedagogue gave rise to mixed emotions,
The townspeople all agreed,
They'd never seen anyone,
Like Ichabod, Ichabod Crane!"
(At the schoolhouse, Ichabod is keeping his class under control by holding a rod behind his back, while he reads a book.)
Narrator 2: "The schoolroom became Ichabod's empire, over which, with lordly dignity, he held absolute sway." (Ichabod catches a schoolboy drawing a caricature of Ichabod as his friend watches him at work.) "Truth to say, Ichabod was a conscientious man, and ever bore in mind the maxim spare the rod and spoil the child." (Before Ichabod can swat the schoolboy, he notices the boy's lunch box and opens with his foot. The kids see Ichabod and go back to studying. Ichabod pats the boy on his head just to be generous.) "Still, he was careful to administer justice with discrimination." (Soon, the boy has invited Ichabod to dinner at his home, as he chews on a chicken leg that his mother cooked for tonight.) "For it behoved him to keep on good terms with his pupils. Especially if their mothers happened to be good cooks." (Back at the schoolhouse, Ichabod is wearing his pajamas, as he enjoys eating the chicken leg and writes down the activities in his schedule.) "As time went by, it may be seen that the pedagogue got on tolerably enough. Moreover, Ichabod found ways to increase his slender income and, at the same time, awaken the cultural interests of the sleepy little village."
(The next morning, a loud scream rocks the village, scaring a cat and a dog into running, as the townspeople look outside to hear the source of the noise. Inside the schoolhouse, Ichabod is holding a choral session with Tilda and two other women. Ichabod motions them to hold out their high notes, until Ichabod motions the women to stop. Then, Ichabod plays the piano, and the women start their vocalizing talents, followed by Ichabod. As each of them take turns vocalizing, Brom Bones and his gang watch them from outside a window. Brom gets an idea and tries to get a dog to howl to throw off the choral session. As Ichabod and the women continue vocalizing, Ichabod reaches his "high note", to which the dog is howling outside, while Brom snickers silently. The prank has worked, as the girls swoon over Ichabod for his "high note" and faint on the floor. A confused Ichabod makes some vocal cues to see if he really could make that high note. Unknown to him, Brom and his gang laugh at Ichabod outside the building. Ichabod doesn't know about this, as he steps over the women and eats some vegetables as a snack.)
Narrator 2: "It was inevitable that a man like Ichabod would become an object of ridicule to Brom Bones and his gang. Yet, to Ichabod Crane, these were small matters. He possessed a remarkable equanimity which remained quite undisturbed until that fateful day, when his path was crossed by a woman." (A woman, Katrina Van Tassel, is riding on her horse-drawn carriage into town, as her father, Baltus, sits in the driver's seat, smoking on his pipe.) "A certain woman. Katrina Van Tassel, only child of Baltus Van Tassel, the richest farmer in the county. She was a blooming lass, plump as a partridge. Ripe, melting and rosy-cheeked."
(As Katrina sniffs a rose, the men look at Katrina and fall head over heels for her. They welcome her as the carriage comes to a stop, and they part way for her, as Katrina flirts with each one of the men.)
Narrator 2: "Once you have met that little coquette Katrina,
You won't forget Katrina."
(Katrina struts to a spot near the picnic site and poses off for the men, who grab the supplies and bring them over to the picnic site.)
"But nobody yet has ever upset Katrina,
That cute coquette Katrina."
(She moves toward the right and points the direction for the men to set up the picnic site there. As the men set up the picnic site, Katrina has an inquisitive look on her face. The men nod "No" to her, until Katrina points the men the other way.)
"You can do more with,
Margaret or Helena,
Or Anne or Angelina."
(The men set up the picnic at the other spot. Katrina looks at the picnic, and the men nod "No" to her, as Katrina cheekily abandons them.)
"But, Katrina will kiss and run,
To her, a romance is fun."
(She walks flirtatiously along the rocks in the creek, as the men grab the picnic supplies and catch up with Katrina. Ichabod is having a picnic with Tilda, until he sees Katrina for the first time.)
"With always another one to start,"
(Katrina sashays to Ichabod and flirts at him. Ichabod stares at her, as Tilda grabs his coattails to keep Ichabod away from Katrina, as he sits in the cake instead. Ichabod eats his hat instead of the chicken that's on his head.)
"And yet when you've met that,
Little coquette Katrina,
You've lost your heart."
(Back at the schoolhouse, the class throws a playful riot, as Ichabod's gloves, book, and pointer are propped up. Ichabod sits behind his desk and fantasizes about Katrina.)
Narrator 2: "There was no doubt the fair Katrina was the richest prize in the countryside. The schoolmaster, being an ambitious man, began to fill his mind with many sugared thoughts and hopeful suppositions."
Ichabod: (voiceover, dreaming) "Katrina, my love. Who can resist your grace? Your charm? And who can resist your father's farm?" (Baltus' farm is then shown.) "Boy, what a set-up! There's gold in them acres, and that ain't hay." (The fields of wheat turn into fields of gold coins, as Ichabod then whistles upon visioning a cabbage patch.) "Not to mention that lovely green stuff." (The cabbages then turn into dollar bill cabbages.) "Katrina, my sweet. My treasure. Treasure. That barn's a gold mine." (The barn then overflows with gold coins.) "How I'd love to hit the jackpot. Dear Katrina. Papa's only child. Papa! The old goat can't take it with him." (A vision of Baltus is seen in his chair and smoking on his pipe, and when he fades out, Ichabod takes his place, showing off his gold tooth.) "When he cuts out, that's where I cut in. Sweet Katrina, poor little rich girl." (As Ichabod plucks off each feather off a feather duster like a bouquet of flowers, he then envisions Katrina dabbing her tears over her father's passing.) "But don't worry, Katie, Ichabod will protect you. Yes, Katrina, you've won me. I surrender."
(He sees the vision of Katrina and grabs it, ready to kiss Katrina, until the illusion fades back into the feather duster. Ichabod sneezes, destroying the feather duster.)
Chorus: "And yet, when you've met that little coquette Katrina,
You've lost your heart."
Narrator 2: Every portal to Katrina's heart was jealously guarded by a host of rustic admirers. But Ichabod was confident he'd soon ride roughshod over these simple country bumpkins. But the most formidable obstacle he had failed to reckon with. That was the redoubtable Brom Bones. The ease with which Brom cleared the field of rivals both piqued and provoked the fair Katrina. She often wished that some champion would appear and take the field openly against the boisterous Brom. A wiser man would have shrunk from the competition, but love is blind. Ichabod was aware only that Dame Fortune was at last thundering at his door. It's true that Brom liked a joke as well as the next, but enough was too much. It was time for open warfare. He'd double that schoolmaster up and lay him on a shelf in his schoolhouse! But this was easier said than done. No doubt of it, this was Ichabod's lucky day. The schoolmaster was a man of hidden talents, a rival to be reckoned with. Still, wars are neither won nor lost at the first encounter. The high-flyer might yet be brought to earth. For Brom Bones was never a man to cry quits. On the occasion of her father's annual Halloween frolic, Katrina chose to stir the embers of the smouldering rivalry. One invitation in particular carried a most personal summons. The worthy schoolmaster was in a transport of joy. To him, this could mean but one thing. Ichy, you sly old dog, you! What is this strange power you have over women? Well, tonight's the night, boy! Just turn on the old charm. The fair Katrina is yours for the asking. Gaily bedecked and nobly mounted on a horse he had borrowed, Ichabod issued forth like a knight errant of old to keep a tryst with his lady fair.
Narrator 2: There was nothing to equal the merry-making at Mynheer Van Tassel's farm. To Ichabod, here was a perfect field for his endeavours. How would he put his best foot forward! Beyond all his other talents, he prided himself upon his dancing he prided himself upon his dancing. Unhappy Brom, already bested at every turn, saw himself once more outmatched. For as he watched the posturing pedagogue, he had to admit that here was a flawless picture of ease and grace. There was no doubt that Ichabod was the man of the hour. Brom had to concede his rival another victory. Yet, there was still a chance his time would come. For when the hour grew late, Van Tassel would call on his guests to tell him ghostly tales of Halloween. Brom knew there was no more potent believer in spooks and goblins than Ichabod Crane.
Brom Bones: (spoken) Just gather round and I'll elucidate,
What goes on outside, when it gets late.
Long about midnight,
the ghosts and banshees,
they get together for nightly jamborees.
There's things with horns and saucer eyes,
and some with fangs about this size!
Woman 1: (spoken) Some are fat.
Woman 2: (spoken) And some are thin!
Old Man: (spoken) And some don't even wear their skin!
Brom Bones: (spoken) Oh, I'm telling you, brother,
it's a frightful sight,
to see what goes on Halloween night.
When the spooks have a midnight jamboree,
They break it up with fiendish glee.
Ghosts are bad, but the one that's cursed,
Is the Headless Horseman, he's the worst.
Chorus: That's right, he's a fright on Halloween night!
Brom Bones: When he goes a-joggin' across the land,
Holdin' his noggin in his hand,
Demons take one look and groan,
And hit the road for parts unknown.
Chorus: Beware, take care, he rides alone!
Brom Bones: And there's no spook like a spook who's spurned,
Chorus: They don't like him and he's really burned.
Brom Bones: He swears to the longest day he's dead,
Brom Bones & Chorus: He'll show them that he can get ahead.
Brom Bones: They say he's tired of his flamin' top.
He's got a yen to make a swap,
So he rides one night each year,
To find a head in the hollow here.
Female Guests: Now, he likes them little, he likes them big,
Male Guests: Part in the middle, or a wig,
Chorus: Black or white, or even red,
Brom Bones: The Headless Horseman needs a head.
Brom Bones & Chorus: With a hip-hip and a clippity-clop,
He's out lookin' for a top to chop,
So, don't stop to figure out a plan,
You can't reason with a headless man!
Brom Bones: Now, if you doubt this tale is so,
I met that spook just a year ago.
Now, I didn't stop for a second look,
But made for the bridge that spans the brook.
For once you cross that bridge, my friends,
Chorus: The ghost is through, his power ends.
Brom Bones: So, when you're riding home tonight,
Make for the bridge with all your might.
He'll be down in the hollow there.
He needs your head. Look out! Beware!
Brom Bones & Chorus: With a hip-hip and a clippity-clop,
He's out lookin' for a head to swap.
So, don't try to figure out a plan!
You can't reason with a headless man!
(The moon shines bright through the clouds, as the camera travels from the clouds down to the woods, where Ichabod and Gunpowder walk meekly down the dirt road and into the woods.)
Narrator 2: "It was the witching hour of night as Ichabod pursued his travel home. The sky grew darker and darker. One by one, the stars winked out their lights. Driving clouds obscured the moon from sight. Never had the schoolmaster felt so melancholy, so utterly alone. The nearer he approached the hollow, the more dismal he became." (As they continue through the forest, Ichabod taps his umbrella on Gunpowder's hide to get him to move faster. He looks at the bare trees with their branches almost looking like bare hands, and now then looks at the moon being sealed by a pair of clouds resembling hands.) "Once inside the murky glen, Ichabod's anxiety increased one-hundredfold. The forest seemed to close in behind him. Every small detail of Brom's awful story returned to haunt his recollection."
(Ichabod nervously whistles a tune to keep himself calm amidst the sounds of crickets chirping, the wind whistling, and a crow cawing. A gust of wind blows some scattered leaves in front of Ichabod, as he shields himself from the leaves. Ichabod screams upon running into a phantom ahead and hides behind Gunpowder's rump. Fortunately, it turns out to be the open hollow of a tree, as a pair of fireflies fly past him. Ichabod then hears some chirping sounds that almost sound like his name.)
Crickets: (chirp chanting) "Ichabod Crane! Ichabod Crane! Ichabod Crane!" (chanting continues)
(Ichabod starts sweating, as he then sees an owl hooting at him. Ichabod and Gunpowder start off again. As they pass by a pond, he hears the sound of a bullfrog almost croaking the Headless Horseman's name.)
Bullfrog: (croak chanting) "Headless Horseman. Headless Horseman. Headless Horseman. Headless Horseman." (The chanting continues, as the bullfrog leaps into a pond.)
(As Ichabod and Gunpowder cross a bridge, the chanting gets louder, scaring poor Ichabod into hiding under his saddle again. He then sees a variety of scary looking branches, as the atmosphere takes its toll on Ichabod. A gust of wind then loosens a tree branch that hits Ichabod on the seat of his pants. He screams, leaping into a spider web, and gasps. A crow hovers in front of Ichabod and flies away above the graveyard. Ichabod tries motioning Gunpowder to go faster, but his rump is seated on the top of a gravestone. Ichabod hears loud hoofbeats and believes the Headless Horseman is coming. He tries pushing Gunpowder's rump to get him moving. He then tugs on Gunpowder's bridle, but it snaps off of Gunpowder's snout, as Ichabod goes sailing onto a fallen tree. He sees a bunch of cattails and realizes that they were making the sounds. He grabs the cattails and laughs at himself for believing in ghosts. Gunpowder starts laughing as well, as Ichabod rejoins with Gunpowder. They share a good laugh together, until they stop laughing when they hear the sounds of evil laughter. They nervously turn their heads to their left and panic when they see the Headless Horseman! The two friends panic, as the Headless Horseman swipes his sword to get Ichabod, but misses when they duck from the sword's blade, as Gunpowder takes off running. Ichabod catches up to Gunpowder and holds tight to his hind legs. They run for their lives with the Headless Horseman close behind. Gunpowder whinnies in terror, as the Headless Horseman nears to him and runs faster. Ichabod, hanging tight to the reigns, sees the Headless Horseman's horse snorting on him and screams. He is yanked above Gunpowder and holds tight in front of Gunpowder's head, motioning him to move even faster. Through the woods, as Ichabod and Gunpowder slide down a slope, the Headless Horseman and his steed leap above the gorge, landing right in front of Ichabod and Gunpowder. Ichabod, thinking he's lost the Headless Horseman, pats Gunpowder's head for having good luck. That is, until the Headless Horseman slashes his sword at Ichabod, who ducks away from the blow. Ichabod and Gunpowder slide down another slope, where Gunpowder slides underneath a pond. Ichabod tries to stay above the water, but ends up splashing into the water anyway. Gunpowder hits a tree near the bank of the pond, and as they emerge from the water and run back across dry land, they continue to battle their onward to escape their worst enemies. They see the bridge ahead, but are stopped the Headless Horseman reappears. They skid to a stop and dodge another blow from him. They then turn around another way with the Headless Horseman following him. Ichabod grabs a tree, and pulls them around, as the two friends swing around it, going back the right way. Ichabod then sees the bridge ahead.)
Brom Bones: (flashback) "Once you cross that bridge, my friends, the ghost is through, his power ends."
(Ichabod motions Gunpowder to move faster, but is unaware they they skid across a muddy pond. Ichabod's face is covered in mud, and when shaking it off, he sees the bridge disappearing from his view. He sees Gunpowder running the wrong way, when the Headless Horseman charges ahead. The friends skid to a stop and collide into the Headless Horseman's steed. Ichabod takes one good luck at the Headless Horseman's body, as he laughs loudly and sinisterly at Ichabod, who is terribly frightened. He takes several blows at Ichabod and Gunpowder, as they all run around a tree. Ichabod leans up to see if he's gone, only to hit the branch and land on the Headless Horseman's steed instead. As he sits behind the Headless Horseman, he looks at Gunpowder and turns away, smiling. He takes another look at Gunpowder and gulps nervously. He gets back on Gunpowder, and as they both run for the bridge, cross it, and finally get away from the Headless Horseman, Ichabod gains the opposite side and turns to look to see if he is safe. However, the Headless Horseman isn't finished yet. Ichabod screams in terror, as the Headless Horseman rises in his stirrups and flows a flaming pumpkin in front of Ichabod, who tries to duck, but is too late when it flies forward and bursts into flames.)
(The next morning, Ichabod's hat and the remains of the Headless Horseman's pumpkin lie scattered on the ground.)
Narrator 2: "Next morning, Ichabod's hat was found. And close beside it, a shattered pumpkin. But there was no trace of the schoolmaster." (Meanwhile, a church bell is ringing, and inside the church, Brom Bones and Katrina have finally married each other.) "Shortly thereafter, Brom Bones led the fair Katrina to the altar." (Meanwhile, Ichabod is then shown saying grace with his new family, as he opens a pot lid and looks at some chicken to eat.) "Rumours persisted that Ichabod was still alive, married to a wealthy widow in a distant county." (The shot of the clouds covering the moon reappears, followed by the Headless Horseman appearing on the scene.) "But the good Dutch settlers refused to believe such nonsense. They knew the schoolmaster had been spirited away by the Headless Horseman."
(The shot turns into the final illustration in the book, which closes its cover. The camera then zooms out of the library and right back outside.)
Brom Bones & Chorus: "With a hip-hip and a clippity-clop,
He's out looking for a head to swap.
But, don't try to figure out a plan,
You can't reason with a headless man!"
(The light inside the window goes out.)
Narrator 2: (cowardly) "Man, I'm getting out of here!"
A WALT DISNEY PRODUCTION