Saturday, April 18, 2009

Toad in the Hole

We've just received word that Mr. J. Thaddeus Toad, the fabulous motorcar-stealing amphibian from Kenneth Graham's classic Wind in the Willows, is deceased and buried in - of all places -  the Haunted Mansion's pet cemetery at Walt Disney World.  Gosh, we didn't even know he was sick!

Reportedly, the graveyard statue (seen in the gloomy photo above from is Disney's tribute to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, the much-loved WDW attraction which closed forever in 1998.  

But wait a minute!
That's our Mr. Toad Big Fig,  painted over to look like moldy stone (kinda) and stuck amongst the weeds!  Well, I suppose a tribute's a tribute (even a cheesy one done on a zero budget) and Jody and I are nonetheless strangely flattered by WDW's gesture.

 Our Mr. Toad was released in 2004, and though we pushed the sculpt through seemingly endless revisions to get his likeness on model,  Toad is my personal favorite of all the character figurines we've done...and the only one displayed in our home.
Mr. Toad Big Fig Sculpt Revisions
As for Toady's appearance at Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion, let's hope, as Mark Twain once famously said, "The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

Tally Ho!


Matt said...

very cool - I'd display that in my house too.

it must be incredibly satisfying to see a large project like that through to completion, standing on your floor.

nice work.

Major Pepperidge said...

So cool that you noticed Mr. Toad in the Mansion's graveyard! Obviously they decided that they couldn't improve upon your sculpt. I would be flattered as well! Do you think they really just repainted an actual Big Fig, or could they have recast it in something more durable, like cement?

Pete Emslie said...

Was death the last and greatest mania pursued by our friend Toad in his motorcar? Did he end up in a comic hell, surrounded by funny little devils like all of the doomed passengers who rode the WDW incarnation of "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride"? I'd like to think that he went out with that sort of flair...

Donnie said...

I have the Toad big Fig in my house!!!

Skipper Jane said...

I'd heard about this before from people bemoaning the loss of Toad at WDW. Sadly, I never got to visit MK before he was replaced by Pooh.

At least he still is merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily on his way to nowhere in particular in Disneyland! Though I still would've loved to see the double track version in Florida. Of course, I would've loved to see the Captain Hook Pirate Ship as well, but that's what Yesterland is for, right?

Saw your new version of the Rongo Bowl at the park earlier this week, BTW. So cute I almost bought another one (I've got the original green one)!

Eric Scales said...

I too am the proud owner of this big fig. One of my favorites and made doubly cool by the fact that he's about the size I imagine Mr. Toad really to be- it's like he just hopped in!

Kevin, how about a post on the various Mary Poppins Umbrella's you've designed? They were all subtly different and I'd love to hear your thoughts on the color compared to the film. In my mind the parrot head was always white, though as an adult I can see that there was probably a green tint that was too faint to pick up on film. Anyway, I'd love to hear about that process.