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June 21, 2018, 05:01:43 PM
599057 Posts in 46206 Topics by 6141 Members
Latest Member: Deathmachine Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  Watership Down « previous next »
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Author Topic: Watership Down  (Read 2898 times)
Mr. DS
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« on: November 13, 2007, 09:12:05 PM »

I recall watching this film as a kid on Easter (yeah they actually ran it on that day in my area) thinking it was rather disturbing.  When you watch it as an adult you have to appreciate the commentary the film makes on societies and governments.   Its an excellent movie based on the book.  The voice over crew is quite impressive including John Hurt. 

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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2007, 10:31:09 PM »

Never saw the movie, but read the book in 5th or so grade.  Great book; one of those that 'sticks' with you your whole life after reading it.


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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2007, 11:13:54 PM »

Had a teacher in Grade 5, a genuine hippy, who used to read the same books aloud every year, a chapter a day. They were books at the young adult level that he considered worth sharing with every class he taught at that time. Watership Down was one of them.

I really liked it. Liked the animated movie too, but not as much as the book.

The other books he read every year were Mrs. Frisbee and the Rats of NIMH, and John Christopher's Tripod trilogy (which I read again a couple of years ago, enjoying the books on a whole new level).

This guy was definitely one of the most influential teachers I had.

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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2007, 11:19:38 PM »

This is not a film that you give the kids to watch without being on hand to talk about what happens.  Even though it is toned down and changed from the book (and I love the book), the movie sticks with you.  It encompasses violence and oppression, acceptance of slavery, and quite a bit of death.  John Hurt's narration is great, cannot imagine it without his voice guiding the viewer.

Still, woe to the parent who says, "Oh, look:  animated rabbits.  I'll give this to the kids to watch today, while I clean up the basement."

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« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2007, 11:26:17 PM »

Yep, I can still see the image of a rabbit caught in a wire snare, strangling and bleeding from the throat. Not a movie for the younger kids. They should be old enough to appreciate the subtext and to handle the more violent imagery.

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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2007, 11:47:54 PM »

This is one of my personal favorite movies and the book is even better.

It did traumatize me a bit as a little child though as I wasn't old enough to truly comprehend what the movie was really saying in terms of social commentary.

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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2007, 11:57:19 PM »

I haven't seen WD since I was a boy and I don't remember much about it.
Was this the one that had the cobra fighting the mongoose in one scene?

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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2007, 03:34:28 AM »

Ash; that was Rikki Tikki Tavi.

Watership Down is one of my all-time favorite films; has been for years now. I also quite the enjoy (sadly unfairly maligned) television series from 1999, which toned down most of the violence but got a little more disturbing in the third season (including a couple of scenes in one episode that border on hentai tentacle-rape). The book itself, of course, is the best of the three versions of the story, needless to say.


The movie versus the book is kind of odd. The movie is pretty much the same as the book for the most part except the cast of characters is whittled down considerably, and the Efrafans and the "cult" rabbits are much more clear-cut villains than they were in the book - for instance in the book, after the rabbits leave the warren of the snares (the one that's kind of like a cult), they take with them one of the rabbits there; this doesn't occur in the film. Also, General Woundwort, a fairly ambiguous character in the novel as far as whether he's good or evil goes, is a cardboard cutout villain in the film, complete with an eeeeeevil lazy eye.

The movie also changes the ending, somewhat. In the film, after freeing the farm dog (so as to lead it to where the Efrafans are so it can chase them off/maul them), Hazel is jumped by the cat and caught and is about to be killed, only to have an offscreen woman yell at the cat to quit it. We don't see Hazel again after this until the prologue of the film, set some years after the final battle. The book deals with what happens to Hazel in a little more detail: namely, it's actually a little girl who stops the cat from killing him, and, noticing he's injured (from where he got shot by the farmer earlier in the story), takes him to see the local vet before they set him free. I wish this had been kept in the movie, since it was a big part of helping to change the rabbits' opinions of humans, especially after the ordeal with the construction crew that started the entire plot in motion in the first place!
« Last Edit: November 14, 2007, 03:42:33 AM by Kooshmeister » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2007, 01:10:41 PM »

My wife almost refused to watch happy feat because she was afraid even ONE penguin might get hurt, not die, just get hurt.

Needless to say I need to find a time to watch this alone.

No I won't read the book first. I know better.

Speaking of which, Mrs. Frisbe & The Rats of Nymn is a very engaging read for those who fist saw The Secret of Nymn.

I'd love to read any interview where the screenwriters discuss their adaptation.

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