Watership Down (TV Series 1999– ) Poster

(1999– )

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Uniquely attractive cartoon
scarlett-3012 November 2000
A series version of the Richard Adams novel, necessarily simplified and restructured for the format - and so missing some of the fierce power of the original - but never giving in to the 'cute bunny' sterotype. Beautiful animation, intelligent storylines and lovely music make for a uniquely watchable show. Highly recommended for thoughtful 8-13-year-olds.
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8/10
In the long run it's good. Just goes to show what's missing with kids TV. Adventure.
Rob Can18 June 2006
Ah memories. Coming home from boredom and stress of school. On goes the TV and ahh, nice, watership down. Maybe it was the music that got me watching this. Who knows what it was but I know what made me keep watching it.

If anyone asks me which is better: films or TV series's, I'd have to say TV series's. Why? Mainly because if you make a film you're stuck having to make it all fit into say one or two hours (three sometimes) and even when you're making a film of a book a lot can be missed out. Non readers of that book can be lost with events and sayings which were only explained in the book. With a TV series you have time to spread things out. To explore and develop characters. To explain backgrounds in detail. To really make the audience understand things. If you've seen the film then read the book you'll know what I'm talking about.

That's why I prefer this to the film. There's more of it. You can't help but be drawn into the story line. It's exciting, it's fun. It also has a darker side that gets explored. Scratch away the surface of kiddiness of this show and you'll see.

Why be restrained with only having what's in the book? Apart from spoiling the book it'll never look really good. They've made the story more politically correct by changing one character from male to female and having a main character female mouse so the cast isn't entirely male. But you get by that if you don't think much of that idea.

The underlying plot is really gripping as the rabbits find that new life on watership down isn't as safe as it seems. I won't explain in fear of spoiling the show but it's there.

As I said in the summary, there's a lack of good quality adventure stories that aren't just very very childish and bad. Maybe that's why Harry Potter is doing so well. This is childish as well, I know. After all it was made for children. It's good but some viewers may be thrown by its at first glance childishness.

I miss this kind of show.
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This IS a good cartoon, when compared to all others
orcagurl19 August 2003
I don't see why most of the comments are negative. This cartoon actually makes you think and actually has a serious plot. I mean, look at Sponge Bob Square pants! It isn't a show full of nonsense and crap, it's beautifully animated and challenges the little kids watching it to think and try broaden their perspectives on different situations.

Sure, it has it's cheesy morals about understanding and friendship and unity, but it has to or it wouldn't be considered quite appropriate for young kids now would it? But it still retains some of the melancholy, beautifully depressing atmosphere Adams gave his masterpiece of a novel.

Watership Down's a great show. You should at least watch a few episodes. And the second season, though straying greatly from Adams' novel is still good. More action-packed and a more creative story line, now that Adams' story line is done and they can expand with their own ideas.
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A poor attempt which rather ruins the story
Raleon24 June 2003
It is still better than nothing, but it may leave fans of the book unsatisfied. It would have been a great idea to turn the movie's adaptation of the novel into a show, and it could have worked, but they have messed around with it too much. Blackberry should not have been turned into a doe. Some say it was to be politically correct. However, this is not politically correct or factually correct. It was an important part of the story that no does had come on the journey, and therefore they needed to go and find some. They could have written the story to have more does. But the bigger problems are with the characterizations. They are more disney like and made to appeal to more to the younger generations, which is the opposite of what the movie did. A significant aspect of the characters is that they are not disney like. and although I am usually opposed to senseless violence, it ruined the story to lighten the violence on this show too. The dialogue is also dumbed down. However, it does give a much more broader look on the story it is based on, and additional stories they made up from the novel. This makes it worth watching. Other than that, let your children read the novel if you want them to experience Watership Down.
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If there's nothing on the other channel....
G.Spider18 December 1999
The famous novel is the latest thing to fall victim to the commercialism industry. Everywhere you look now there is 'Watership Down' merchandising based on this TV series.

Re-makes rarely turn out anything as good as the originals, and that's certainly the case here. This series is a product of a modern generation which seems to think that kids can only watch cosily bland stuff - I saw the original film when I was a youngster and I never had nightmares. The voices in this TV series version are variable. A few of the vocalists from the original film return, but most of the voices are just typical 'cute cartoon bunny' voices and many supposedly serious scenes are rendered laughable.

Too early-morning-cartoony to be taken seriously, too slow and uneventful to be regarded as comedy. Do yourself a favour and get the original film on video - it's been re-graded from a PG (Parental Guidence) to a U (suitable for all), so even the producers must realise it isn't all that shocking for youngsters.
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7/10
The world of Watership Down
wildanimals25 April 2007
Some people who have read the book hate both this TV series and the 1978 film. I've read the book, and do not hate them. Maybe because I saw the TV and film adaptations before.

This series is children's version of the classic novel - so unlike the 1978 film - there is considerably less violence and darkness. Most children will love it because of the endearing characters and fluent animation (quite good for a TV cartoon.) This was one of my favourite shows when I was little, and I liked it because of the way rabbits were presented - intelligent dignified and handsome creatures, not cutesy little balls of fluff.

I must confess, I saw the film before I saw this, and I like both. However, if it were not for this TV show, I would probably never have been eager to read, and love, the book. Many people do not like the 'kiddified' feel, but they do not realise the fact that this was created to introduce children of all ages to the amazing world of Watership Down.
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A great series, Destroyed by people that hate different things...
silverfox475899 August 2004
Although many would say that it doesn't even compare to the 1978 film, Personally I'd say it was better. I love the Characters it makes it hard for me to pick a favourite, Which I one of the things I love about it. Blackberry changed from Buck (Male) to Doe (Female). I love the female Blackberry and it was nice to have a Sandleford doe on the Down. This series introduced new characters, never featured in the book such as Spartina or Hickory. It also showed Redstone warren and Darkhaven warren. Characters like Hawkbit, Strawberry or Silverweed made it into the Series. Lapine was still used but I think there should have been more. I think the changes in this series were great, Remember though its only Based on the novel by Richard Adams and if it had of been the same as the film, It would have been quite boring!
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Good for kids and cartoon lovers, not for novel fans
gecko208276 December 2007
As the summary says, this is a good cartoon for kids and TV lovers. It's got all the generic yet lovable characters: a wise leader, a strong fighter, a wisecracker, a sarcastic guy, a smart gal, a cute kid, a big, fierce enemy, and an unsuspected bonus: a prophet! It's fun at times and serious when need be, always interesting and doesn't make you lose interest two minutes into episode one like some cartoons can.

All the same, parts of it are kind of an insult to the original novel. Blackberry, originally a smart male, is a female in the show. (Well, naturally...) Pipkin is a child, not an adult, and some characters were completely cut out, such as Silver and Hyzenthlay. In fact, Hyzenthlay has been replaced with a new female, Primrose. Most lapine words and names, including the does we know from the book like Hyzenthlay, have been taken out, probably since kids can't pronounce them. Kehaar is also much more friendly and rabbit-loving than his book or even movie counterpart. He's been given a little mouse friend who tails him a lot, called Hannah.

I know most of this comment is negative, but that's probably because I read the book before I saw the movie. The series is actually cute, and if you just ignore the parts that are different from the book, it's certainly a show worth watching. Enjoy!
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10/10
Watership Down hits TV
I have watched the series when it was on TV, and I have absolutely love it! Like with "Redwall," this series is what got me to read the original book.

As I said (like about million times), I was shocked and flabbergasted by the negativity I would heard on the internet, 'cause I have love the animation and the brilliant casting that was in put into the show. All you fans to the original novel might not like this, but I love Blackberry as girl, because she could land a cute guy like Campion. I also love Hazel & Primrose, they are favorite couple. I know Primrose is Hyzenthlay, the main girl from the book and 1978 film, because children wouldn't be able to pronounce the name.
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A Good Story Stripped To Nothing
inshadowz2 April 2006
I first saw the Norwegian dubbed adaptation of the first part, and was horrified. With the original English voices it was marginally better, but I could still have done well without it. I think my greatest handicap in this is that I'd read the book before watching the cartoon. I swear I will never, ever watch the remaining episodes.

Everything essential has been stripped from the original story, and what little they left in is drowned in poor animation and amputated dialog. The {original English} cast have done a very good job with the voices, all things considered, but sadly it makes little difference with the final result. It looks cheaply made and the characters lack any hint of life, just like any run-of-the-mill cartoon aimed at children who just want to see a bunch of cute bunnies moving about and talking. In my humble opinion, this one is not worth the watch, no matter how old you are.
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