The Wind in the Willows (1949)

credit: www.dvdizzy.comAfter his friends lock him in his bedroom, an unruly toad sneaks out to do business with a bunch of weasels and then his horse has to dress up like his grandma to break him out of prison. It’s a…wild ride.

 

I believe this one is on Netflix…and probably at least one channel on YouTube created by one of those unsavory copyright criminals who upload Disney cartoons all day.

I must confess I haven’t read Kenneth Grahame’s classic children’s book on which this short film is based, but it’s on my list of books I’ve always intended to read but haven’t yet because I’m busy with other important pursuits, such as watching Cupcake Wars on the Food Network.

There’s a character named Cyril (the horse) whom I believe was created just for this film. Are his scenes alone worth watching this film? Yes. If horses could talk in real life would I demand they speak with English accents? Yes. Will I regret the pun I’m about to make? Neigh.

OH, SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: The name “Mr. Winky” makes me uncomfortable. Sorry, that’s all I got.

credit: trueclassics.net

credit: trueclassics.net

As I said before, I haven’t read the book, so my little spiritual insight for the week is based purely on Disney’s adaptation of the story, and it’s about self-mastery.

Mr. Toad is the epitome of unrestrained self-indulgence. He becomes so obsessed with buying the newest, latest form of transportation that he completely ignores how his actions are affecting himself and those closest to him.

Harmful addictions are easy to come by: alcoholism, drugs, eating disorders, masturbation, pornography — all are selfish habits that will destroy our relationships and slowly sap our self-confidence and spiritual sensitivity.

A man named Spencer W. Kimball wisely said, “The Natural Man is the earthy man who has allowed rude animal passions to overshadow his spiritual inclinations.”

We are not helpless or hopeless in our struggle to overcome the natural man. We are not victims because we hold the power to change.

This week we start a new year. What better time to resolve to building up a better version of ourselves?

“He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” – Proverbs 25:28

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