Ray Griggs Feels THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS; Peter Jackson’s Weta Will Handle the Visual Effects

     June 10, 2010


The 1908 Kenneth Graham children’s book The Wind in the Willows has been subject to many an adaptation — the 1949 Disney cartoon, the 1980s TV series, the 1996 Terry Jones film — but RG Entertainment thinks one more couldn’t hurt.  The studio has hired Ray Griggs (Super Capers) will direct and produce a new Willows feature with a script from Bill Marsilii (Deja Vu) on a $30 million budget.  Variety reports that Peter Jackson’s visual effects company Weta Workshop has signed on to do the special effects for the live-action/animatronic film.

I am fond of the inclusion of the word “animatronics” — the subject material seems to old-timey for the full CG treatment.  The Wind in the Willows follows the adventures of talking critters Mole, Rat, Badger and Toad; check out a full synopsis after the jump.

the_wind_in_the_willows_drawing_book_coverHere’s the synopsis via Amazon:

“[Mole] thought his happiness was complete when, as he meandered aimlessly along, suddenly he stood by the edge of a full-fed river. Never in his life had he seen a river before–this sleek, sinuous, full-bodied animal, chasing and chuckling, gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free, and were caught and held again.”

Such is the cautious, agreeable Mole’s first introduction to the river and the Life Adventurous. Emerging from his home at Mole End one spring, his whole world changes when he hooks up with the good-natured, boat-loving Water Rat, the boastful Toad of Toad Hall, the society- hating Badger who lives in the frightening Wild Wood, and countless other mostly well-meaning creatures. Michael Hague’s exquisitely detailed, breathtaking color illustrations on almost every generous spread–along with Kenneth Grahame’s elegant, delightfully old-fashioned characterizations of the animals–make this book a wonderful read-aloud.

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