Walter Mencken 9 a.m., May 23
Contrary to G-Rated Expectations, I Predict Mr. Toad's Wild Ride Movie Will Earn Its PG-13 Rating
So they're gonna make a movie out of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland. It was probably inevitable, even if the ride itself was based on a movie they'd already made.
(We will not mention the original book, which is too sublime in its pleasures to be sullied here.)
Kids' stuff, eh wot? Classic Disney animation, Basil Rathbone narrating, etc. etc. Except the Disneyland designers were not, it seems, entirely satisfied with the storyline's mild thrills, axe-hurling weasels or no axe-hurling weasels. I discovered this upon my first-ever visit to Disneyland this year.
The ride is situated in Fantasyland, quite near the carousel and the Dumbo sky-soaring thingy. Again, kids' stuff. The two-year-old and I ventured merrily inside, expecting Toadian folly.
But toward the end of my wild ride, sh*t got real. As in the movie, a judge pronounced me guilty.
But instead of jail, I was then sent into a tunnel, headed straight toward an oncoming train:
Stygian darkness followed, then flashes of hellfire. Then a vision of the same judge, only this time, he was a demon, which made his pronunciation of guilt a wee bit more significant:
Where was Demon Judge pointing? Why, toward the mouth of hell, er, the mouth of the great dragon:
The two year old was, shall we say, not pleased by this course of events. But it does free up Disney to get creepy with the film version. You know, sort of like they did with Pirates of the Caribbean, which gave us some marvelously creepy stuff...
Hello. My name is Bootstrap, and I'm pretty much a damned soul.
...while simultaneously pushing the franchise as $uper Kid Friendly:
Genius! Can't wait to see what they come up with for Old Mr. Toad. At least we know there will be explosions - I mean, how could they pass up this classic moment from the ride?