Terry Jones' version of Kenneth Grahame's classic echoes Alan Bennett's successful stage play, but on the whole it's a dire miscalculation. Things start unpromisingly when Mole (Coogan, serviceably velveteen) quits his burrow, not to avoid spring cleaning, but to get away from the developer's bulldozer. Apart from turning up the impact on Toad's multiple car crashes and adding a big explosive ending, Jones introduces a nightmarish Dog Food Factory which, with its cogs and sprockets and steel-edged mincers, drags the gentle animals into its maw. It's showtime too, with a parade of stars bunged in to do tiny turns. The suitably threatening weasel dance in the woods is one of the film's few inventive moments.
The Wind in the Willows
Cast and crew