An animated adaptation of Richard Adams' novel, about a pair of dogs (Snitter and Rowf) who escape from a research laboratory and try to survive in the wild with the help of a cunning fox (The Tod). The lab director tries to keep the escape quiet, but as an increasing number of sheep are found killed, word leaks out, together with rumours that the dogs might be plague carriers... Written by
Michael Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As the plot synopsis has been covered in sufficient detail by many previous comments, I instead offer this comment as a humble plea to film and animation enthusiasts, such that they may actively seek out this criminally underrated and genuinely affecting animated drama. My hope would be that sufficient renewed interest in this successor to "Watership Down" might provide the impetus for a well-deserved North American reissue of the film in it's uncut version.(An uncut, 99 minute Region 4 PAL disc is now available online through import sites, while the only available Region 1 NTSC versions are of the 82 minute edit). The voicing of the two principle characters, the Smooth Terrier "Snitter" and the noble Labrador "Rowf", is nothing short of brilliant, with John Hurt providing an especially poignant turn as Snitter, whose brain has been tampered with at the research facility, thereby confusing his perception of objective/ subjective realities. There is a powerful message and some timely social commentary to be had here, though the film wisely refrains from overt didacticism and sentimentality. As fate would have it, the film will now stand as one of the last animated features to have been entirely hand colored (to great effect, I might add). At once powerful, haunting and emotionally draining, this film is surely not to be forgotten once viewed (example: many previous comments having mentioned the author retaining vivid recollections of the film from childhoods far removed). I implore you, please seek out a copy (cut or uncut) and view it with those closest to you. Discuss it with your friends, your children and fellow film enthusiasts. Let's not allow this masterwork to languish and slip into further obscurity.
"I'm inside my head now. And it's where I should be... I can't come out. If I do, I'll go mad again" - Snitter
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