Disney Canon-Forgotten/Minor Characters #11: Mr. Winky

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Yes! We’re finally at Disney’s last package film and probably my personal favorite amongst them! Applause, people, applause!

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Released in 1949, we have Disney’s 11th feature, “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad”! The film is similar to “Fun and Fancy Free” in the fact that it only consists of 2 segments: “The Wind and the Willows” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”.

The second short is based upon Washington Irving’s story of the same name in which a schoolmaster enters a town, seeks a lady’s hand in marriage, deals with a bully, and comes face-to-face (uh..well…if he had a face) with the Headless Horseman!

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The short is quite popular and is noted for being sufficiently true to the story and has even been sold separately from this package film. Tim Burton also took a lot from this segment for his film, “Sleepy Hollow”!

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But, the forgotten character of today is found in the first segment, “The Wind in the Willows”! Based on the book by Kenneth Grahame, a toad becomes obsessed with motorcars and gets convicted of a crime that he didn’t commit. And it’s up to his friends: a rat, a mole, and a badger to help prove him innocent. A simple enough story, really! And who is our forgotten character, Mr. Winky? He’s the villain of the segment!

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And to the fans of this segment, yes I know that you definitely remember Mr. Winky! But the general public doesn’t and that’s the reason he’s the choice for today! He’s forgotten as a villain, his voice actor is uncredited, and his looks are probably an Italian stereotype or something, but I just LOVE this character! Maybe it’s the mustache, lol!

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Admittedly he’s quite an average, if not sub-par villain and doesn’t really do much besides succeed in his plan of convicting Toad and obtaining Toad’s mansion. His motives aren’t really mentioned, besides the fact that he’s just…the villain! But, that’s the main reason that I love him and he should be remembered. He’s just a bad guy being bad and being good at being bad! And since the best Disney characters are its villains and since most of them are memorable; it’s great to honor a forgotten one! All these are the reasons that he’s my pick for the forgotten/minor character of this film!

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Phew! Done with the package films! Applause people, applause!

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3 thoughts on “Disney Canon-Forgotten/Minor Characters #11: Mr. Winky”

  1. I have this movie to thank for introducing me to THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW (and also to the talents of Bing Crosby), but I had previously seen the WIND IN THE WILLOWS segment as a stand-alone short on video.

    Of course, as fun as Disney’s take on Grahame’s story is (I especially love the scene that introduces us to Toady and his horse, Cyril), I much prefer the original book, as well as the British-produced 1995 made-for-TV animated film (which is much more faithful to the source material): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0192802/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wind_in_the_Willows_(1995_film) In fact, this latter animated telling was my introduction to it, before I read (and subsequently re-read time and again) the book; if you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it.

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