20 November 2001 | midnightrane
The greatest adaptation ever...
I would never spoil the wonder that is "Watership Down". The book and the film are timeless classics. I think it is the greatest adaptation of a novel (any genre) ever made and one of the most under-rated movies of all-time. They managed to capture more of a long novel (nearly 500 fantastic pages) than most films can compile from a 200 page source work. The soundtrack is beautiful (I'll be getting one for a Christmas present--thanx for the info IMDb!!) and matches the mood of the scenes perfectly.
Viewers will recognize someone they know in nearly every rabbit and, with unbiased observation, probably see themselves. It is at once gripping and gentle, heart-rending and endearing. You will find yourself humming the tunes incessantly for months afterward. I recommend reading the book first (also try "Traveler" by Adams, another classic), then purchasing the film, then the soundtrack--wait, better yet, write your Congressman and demand a DVD release. I long for another wide-screen viewing (hint, hint)!
I have noticed multiple comments that state the movie is too violent for children (it is somewhat graphic--to it's credit). For very small children, I would whole-heartedly agree, however, I think it depends on the individual. I was lucky enough to have a Father who took me to see it at the theatre when I was a youngster (about 5) and it did not scar me or give me nightmares--rather I learned the importance of the symbiotic circle of existence and the reality and necessity of life and death. It is still a comfort to me in times of sadness. In addition, the movie is highly layered and something new can be gleaned with nearly every viewing.
I enjoyed it for years and only later realized many people had never even heard of it...I take every opportunity to recommend it and not once, not once, have I heard anything but thanks for the suggestion. Most of them end up owning the film. Both symbolic and blunt, "Watership Down" is a triumph of emotional proportions and is exemplary of what adaptations, animation, scoring and good film-making should be about. This wonderful adventure is an asset to any collection...10/10.