Whether toads hatch on land or in the water, they all soon make their way to the water. There they grow as tadpoles, change into toads and, when their limbs have grown and their tails have disappeared, they crawl back out onto land.
Instinctively, these young toads, who we call Toadlets, are drawn by the celestial movements of the sun and moon to migrate to the legendary Fairy Ring. This Ring allows them to pass into a peaceful and protected haven known as Toad Hollow.
Toadlets take the migration very seriously because the Fairy Ring grows smaller each time the sun crosses the moon, until at last it disappears. Any Toadlet who has not passed through its portal is instantly turned into a toadstool. But, what happens when something goes wrong? What happens when eight brothers and sisters are born very late in the season, crawl up onto the land and discover that they've missed the great migration? What do they do when they are lost - stranded - not knowing where or how to find the Fairy Ring? How do they survive when the world which confronts them seems huge and frightening? Against nearly insurmountable odds, our eight Toadlets band together and set out on an amazing quest - a race against time that takes them through the woods in search of the Fairy Ring and the Toad Hollow haven.
The first 13 episodes tell the story of that quest. Every episode thrills us with one of the delightful, enchanting, scary, mystical, heartwarming and action-packed adventures of the Toad Patrol™. As each Toad Patrol™ adventure unfolds, we become more familiar with our courageous little Toadlets. Fur Foot bravely leads them where no toad has hopped before. Beauty Stem becomes the keeper of the light. Elf Cup’s music captures the beauty of the forest, while Shaggy Mane distinguishes himself as the giver of names. Puff Ball’s strength often saves the day, and the twins, Oyster and Slippery Jack, spend much of their time in harmonious disagreement. But even the twins agree that Panther Cap is special, not because he is the youngest and smallest, but because he has the gift, the ability to hear the ancient Thunder Trees that guide migrating Toadlets toward the Fairy Ring and the safety of Toad Hollow. Their world becomes our world. We see it from their perspective; Trees are as big as skyscrapers; a large leaf can shelter them from a summer downpour; fallen logs are gigantic obstacles to overcome; and a small stream has all the force of a raging river. From their perspective, even danger takes a different form. Being too small for bears, wolves and cougars to bother with, our Toadlets do not fear the big forest predators. Instead, it is a nasty but somewhat dim-witted hog-nosed snake named Erebus, and a swiftly swooping osprey called Medea, who continually make their lives miserable. Danger from Stompers (humans) comes not from a hunter’s rifle, but from their big, heavy boots.
Even worse are the evil eyes and deafening roar of the terrible Rumble Crushers (cars, trucks, RVs) that terrorize any Toadlet who foolishly contemplates crossing the Big Black Trails (roads) that wind through the forest. But nature balances terror with wonder: While the constant threat of danger and the hair-raising escapes provide the action for our series, the mystical beauty of the forest gives Toad Patrol™ its heart and soul. For the forest can be a wondrous playground, constantly changing with a shift of light, the rustle of wind through leaves, or the shimmering of morning dew. Hills become slides, twigs become jungle gyms, and mud puddles become...pure mud fun.
Here the Toadlets discover that not everyone they meet is intent on having them for dinner. They meet friendly salamanders and turtles. A wise-cracking bullfrog offers helpful advice. Even the Stompers have been thoughtful enough to create toad tunnels so that migrating toads can cross the roads in safety.
Our heroes become best friends with Earth Star, a lovable do-your-own- thing, guitar-playing Toadlet who foolishly missed last season’s migration and was turned into a toadstool. Earth Star became the talk of the forest when he inexplicably reverted back to Toadlet form - the only Toadlet to have done so. No one knows why, least of all Earth Star, who now roams the forest enjoying life as a wandering minstrel. He has no idea if he’ll turn into a toadstool again, but it doesn’t bother him much.
The most fascinating and important character that the Toadlets meet is the legendary Mistle-Toad™. Generations ago, Mistle-Toad™ left the sanctuary of Toad Hollow and returned to the woods, determined that one day he would solve the mystery of the toadstools and turn them all back into toads. Though very caring, Mistle-Toad™ is a loner who is revered and respected by many woodland creatures as one of the forest’s oldest and wisest inhabitants.
It is Mistle-Toad™ who explains the need to find the Fairy Ring, and it is he who recognizes Panther Cap’s special ability. The Toadlets are a little frightened of Mistle-Toad™, but it is through their sporadic contact with him that they begin to see beyond their hostile environment. They soon understand the mystical majesty of Mother Nature and the overwhelming beauty of her Great Forest.
Their greatest victories, however, are the things they discover about themselves and each other. In their race against time, our Toadlets are forced, through trial and error, to learn many lessons about friendship, trust, caring and sharing, empathy, caution, determination, self-esteem, responsibility, selflessness, sacrifice and respect for others. With warmth, humour and sensitivity, Toad Patrol™ explores each Toadlet’s struggle to come of age and join with the others to reach their goal.
I remember watching Toad Patrol on Toon Disney. It was one of the best shows I had ever watched. I hope Toad Patrol comes back for it's third season soon.