Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Watership Down (1978)
Read the book - it's better.
Well, it's not at bad film, I like the animation, and it tells a pretty gripping story. I also like how it incorporates the lapine language in a way that comes natural.
But then again, the film does fail in making the characters from the book come truly alive on the screen, and it also fails at telling the fable about human nature that Richard Adams wants to tell.
I know that a film can never be entirely true to a book, some cuts and changes must be made. But some of the choices made by the screen writers here are difficult to understand. Such as the completely unnecessary addition of the rabbit Violet, who is in the story only to be killed - which pretty much ruins one of the points Hazel and Bigwig make to Captain Holly in the book but not in the film; namely that all of the 'hrair' (more than four) rabbits, who left the colony, none have died. This is why Holly - mighty Captain of the Owsla - accepts Hazel as a leader, instead of trying to usurp him.
The conflict or competition for the leadership, which takes place between Hazel and Bigwig, is completely lacking in the film. Instead, Hazel quite suddenly transforms from outskirt rabbit to strong leader, and no one questions his leadership. This is a very weak point in the film.
Also, Cowslips colony ought to play a much larger part in the story - as it indeed does in the book. This colony is an image of a modern, post-Christian welfare society that has lost sight of its roots ("they forgot about El-Ahrairah") - which is a pretty obvious point in the book, but not at all evident in the film. Five to ten minutes of film could have easily made all of this clear, plus we could also perhaps have heard the heartbreaking story of Strawberry and Nildro-Hain, two characters from the book whom I really missed in the film.
If all of this had been in the film, Captain Hollys tale wouldn't have had to be altered either, as it would have made perfect sense that it was Cowslip and his cronies who tried to kill him - not the rabbits of Efrafa. (How would he get to Efrafa anyway? He was following the hraka of the other rabbits all the time, as his objective is always to find Bigwig and offer him an apology.)
I rather liked the adaptation of the Efrafa-part of the book, though. This horrible Nazi colony is much better described than Cowslips colony is.