Watership Down BBC One/Netflix Adaptation

svalbard

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I watched the first two episodes this evening and thoroughly enjoyed them. The animation whilst not brilliant was ok, the story kicked along nicely and the characters came to life for me anyway. It will not win any awards but it was far from awful. What I might do is watch the original again and re-read the book to see how it stacks up.
 

aThenian

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nobody involved seems to have paused to consider if, commercial imperative aside, there was a good reason for remaking Watership Down – already more than adequately served by Martin Rosen’s haunting 1978 movie."
Well, if it introduces a new generation of kids to a truly fantastic book, then that's a justification. The number of wonderful books I first read in childhood after watching (not necessarily brilliant) BBC adaptations...

Anyone else remember the Animals of Farthing Wood? For those unaware, imagine a cartoon about cuddly animals.
I remember reading the books. Nice, a lot cosier than Watership Down, I'd say. I think there was a load of these kind of animal adventure stories after the success of WD - badgers in the Duncton Wood books, for example.
 

Narkalui

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The Wolves Of Time, I think it was Duncan Horwood. A Duology that was an absolutely cracking read, I'd recommend it to anyone!
 

HareBrain

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badgers in the Duncton Wood books
The Wolves Of Time, I think it was Duncan Horwood.
Much confusion. It was moles in Duncton Wood, by William Horwood (who did indeed also write Wolves of Time).

For a moment, when I couldn't recall his first name, I was struck by the possibility that Duncan Horwood had written Duncton Wood, and I hadn't noticed the similarity between author and title. That combination would have been bizarre!
 

HareBrain

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I've been halfway through Duncton Wood for a while, and I'm not sure I'll get further, though it had definite strengths. I might try the Wolves of Time (because wolves). Having just rewatched the 1978 animated Watership Down (and mostly loved it) think I should read that book too before long.
 

farntfar

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Well I have to agree that the animation left quite a lot to be desired, but I enjoyed this one all the same.

I can't remember the details of the book, or indeed of the film well enough to be certain which of the two (film or this one) was closer to the "true" story, but I suspect it was the film. Certainly the bit between the cat and Hazel seemed better in the film, and what on earth was the weird creation myth at the very beginning?

I thought Capaldi's voice over for Kehaar was perfect.
 

svalbard

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There was a similar type of animation for the creation myth in the original movie if I remember correctly.
 

HareBrain

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The film used an aboriginal style for the creation story (not sure if it was more Australian or Pacific Northwest, or neither), the series used shadow puppets.
 

hopewrites

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I just watched the four episodes with my son and we enjoyed it.
I agree that the animation could have done a bit better. Quite a few rabbits looked bloodied up when the shadows hit them wrong... and the cat's mouth ...

uncanny valley for sure.
But the story was delightful! I'll definitely be looking up the books at my local library once I get home.
 

aThenian

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Much confusion. It was moles in Duncton Wood, by William Horwood (who did indeed also write Wolves of Time).
Ah. Wonder what the book was about badgers? Or if I just misremembered that - think badgers are solitary animals so perhaps not great subjects for an adventure story, which tends to be a kind of team thing.

Anyone read the Redwall books (mice)?
 

anno

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Ah. Wonder what the book was about badgers? Or if I just misremembered that - think badgers are solitary animals so perhaps not great subjects for an adventure story, which tends to be a kind of team thing.

Anyone read the Redwall books (mice)?
Badgers are social mammals with multiple families in the larger setts, they also reuse extensively making setts contemporary with Roman Britain for example...
 

Overread

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I've been halfway through Duncton Wood for a while, and I'm not sure I'll get further, though it had definite strengths. I might try the Wolves of Time (because wolves). Having just rewatched the 1978 animated Watership Down (and mostly loved it) think I should read that book too before long.
See I'm almost in exactly the same position! Part way through the Moles and thinking of the Wolves. And like you its nothing in the mole story that is wrong, its just not the right time for me to push on with it it would seem.
And I think I've got a copy of Watership Down somewhere to read too.


And yes Animals of Farthing Wood now there was a brutal tale of life in the wild! It's a crying shame that the censors seem determined to stop productions like that making it onto the screens when its clear that it doesn't harm children and, if anything, likely teaches htem more about the real world than more tame productions where death never happens.
I remember the TV series fondly, although I think by the time they got around to one or two of the very last seasons I'd lost track of watching it (I think the last major arc was against an invasion of rats).




I didn't see the new Watership, however having seen the animation quality in the trailer and hearing that they've toned it down and done odd things with ravens able to carry off whole rabbits (and chances are also think buzzards can fly off with whole sheep too probably) it doesn't sound like I've missed much. A shame the story itself is sold and I can't work out why they must change things considering they had 4 parts to show the entire book's worth of content and a previous (very highly rated) film to give them almost all the ground and script and pacing work they should need.
 

hopewrites

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We watched that movie over and over as kids. The Secret of NIMH was the name of it. My siblings loved the bird, but I liked the Rats.
 
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