In the Sandleford warren, Fiver a young runt rabbit who
has visions of the future receives a frightening vision of
his warren's imminent destruction. When he and his loving
brother, Hazel, fail to convince their chief of the need to
evacuate; they set out with a small band of others who heeded
the warning and barely manage to elude the Warren's military
guards. What follows is a perilous journey in which the band
faces the dangers of predators, humans and even their own
kind. While they eventually find a peaceful new home in Watership
Down, they have new problems that will lead to a deadly conflict
with the neighbouring Warren called Efrafa, which is a police
state run by the powerful and insane General Woundwart...
remember seeing Watership Down at the cinema when it
was first released and being incredibly moved by it. Twenty
seven years on and this still has the ability to keep you
glued to your seat for its duration.
animation is timeless and the story, simple as it is, will
keep children entertained as well as adults. There are, besides
the more famous actors (John Hurt, Denholm Elliott, Richard
Briars, Joss Ackland and Sir Ralph Richardson), plenty of
well known actors who play smaller parts (Hannah Gordon, Roy
Kinnear and Derek Griffiths).
scene has a beautifully painted backdrop in which the main
animation plays out on. This helps greatly to make the whole
production appear like a work of art. And the filmmakers didn't
steer away from the nastier side of nature and the countryside
either - there are plenty of grim scenes with rabbits being
torn apart by dogs, farmers shooting rabbits, roadkill and
the reality of growing older and dying. It was also interesting
to discover, on the extras on this disc, that all of the scenery
in this movie was actually based on real locations, which
apparently still look the same today.
on the disc include an interesting interview with the filmmakers
(A Conversation with the Filmmakers - 17 mins) Martin
Rosen (Producer, Director and Writer) and Terry Rawlings (Editor).
It was incredible to learn that Rosen had never directed a
feature film before and was totally out of his depth - what
an incredible way to cut your teeth. This featurette also
sheds light on the origins of Angela Morely's fantastic soundtrack.
The original composer went AWOL and Morely was recommended
to replace her. She actually wrote the music in under two
weeks. It was also interesting to hear that Art Garfunkel
didn't actually like the Bright Eyes song.
other featurette, Defining a Style (12 mins) mainly
talks with the artists on the movie, who relay some of their
memories about their time on the project, including meeting
John Hurt. There is also a storyboard to movie comparison
of a number of key scenes.
wrote the subtitles was obviously nodding off towards the
end. While in the opening scenes we learn about the "prince
with the swift warning" when this is repeated at the
end of the movie it has now become "prince with the swift
warren". I wonder what a swift warren looks like. While
this might not seem something that would normally bother the
average viewer, I was forced to turn on the subtitles due
to the fact the movie's soundtrack kept varying its volume.
The end scene with Hazel was so quiet I had to turn the surround
sound up really loud.
those slight moans, this is still a classic movie and hasn't
aged a bit. One that adults and kids will cherish.