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Author Topic: Watership Down as a Don Bluth adaptation  (Read 252 times)

Offline florapaw

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Watership Down as a Don Bluth adaptation
« on: November 06, 2019, 11:33:38 PM »
Recently, over on good old Tumblr, there was a brief discussion going on about what Watership Down would look like as a Don Bluth adaptation. I’m not quite sure if anyone over here witnessed that, but regardless, I wanted to bring that conversation here for opinions!

No pressure to answer, I’m just curious if you’d think it would have ended up being as nice as the actual film.

I really loved watching The Secret of NIMH, and personally I think Watership Down would have been cool in the Don Bluth style.

(here’s a link to part of the conversation: https://sketch-shepherd.tumblr.com/post/188496442555/pretty-bun-sketch-shepherd-pretty-bun)

Offline Chipster-roo

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Re: Watership Down as a Don Bluth adaptation
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2019, 03:37:44 AM »
I need to watch more Don Bluth films.  The only one I have ever seen is The Secret of NIMH, but that was years ago and I hardly remember anything about it :hannah3

Based on the bun screenshots in the Tumblr post, however, this art style could have worked great for WD.  As for bird teeth...that couldn't really be any worse than turtle teeth like we got in season 3 :hedge Or could it? :pipkin-oh
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Online Alderab

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Re: Watership Down as a Don Bluth adaptation
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2019, 04:24:50 AM »
I'm a big fan of Bluth, I even had the chance to hear him speak once.  An interesting thing he said was that he couldn't ever watch any of his own films, because he remembered all the hardship and disagreements that inevitably come up during production.  Would be sad if he couldn't watch his own WSD film!

But I pretty much agree with the pros listed in this post by pretty-bun:

Quote
Pros:

- Cute animated rabbits

- Smooth animation

- Banging voice acting

- A well written if slightly dark and edgy adaptation of a book that’s not as dark and edgy as people say it is
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Offline Inlé-roo

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Re: Watership Down as a Don Bluth adaptation
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2019, 09:40:01 AM »
Oh, how I'd love this. I think Bluth has a few really good movies like NIMH, Land before time, Titan. And really weird ones like Charlie (except the last five minutes, that was wonderful) and Rock a doodle, American Tail.

I saw again NIMH a few days earlier and wonderded the same when I saw the rabbits. Bluth could make an interesting adaptation however a different one. In animation bit like Disney-sh but dark themes of course. And might be the story will uh... cut down or making things different to get the screentime of the story. But please, I don't want to see bird teeth again, besides Jeremy is a lovely character with great bird-like animation.

Offline florapaw

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Re: Watership Down as a Don Bluth adaptation
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2019, 12:10:54 PM »
Jeremy is the light of my life and definitely the best character in NIMH (the film, at least). I wouldn’t even care if they just plopped him down in Watership Down instead of Kehaar. He’s literally baby

Offline MeadowRabbit

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Re: Watership Down as a Don Bluth adaptation
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2019, 11:20:03 PM »
Is this supposing the 1978 film never happened?

Whilst I admire what Bluth was trying to do, hark back to a Disney pre-'70s, quite a few of his films, I feel, fell rather flat. Some of the character designs, and expressions they pull, are not what I'd like to see on my WD rabbits. Not to mention nonsensical sudden singing moments. Where did that song come from? Why is that character even there??
Don't get me wrong, though - like I said, I admire what he was trying to do and elements he did get right. I appreciate what he was trying to do with NIMH, and I can see where people are coming from with Bluth's studios tackling something like WD. If we're thinking more on the NIMH side and less on the 'Troll In Central Park' side. XD

Also, the original film is special to me and I am glad it was made when it was. It's far too bloody and a little too scary, and yet it is a classic to me and I really don't need to think too much on any alternative. :D
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Offline Acacia Heartstrings

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Re: Watership Down as a Don Bluth adaptation
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2019, 06:10:18 PM »
It would have been interesting, but in a way more childish. I liked the realistic way they did the
company Nepenthe Productions by Martin Rosen. Although the art that comes from the artists is not bad.   :blackberry2 :dandelion :yes

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Offline CockatielPony

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Re: Watership Down as a Don Bluth adaptation
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2019, 07:59:07 PM »
That is an interesting thought. I wonder if they would were clothes and accessories to make them more anthro like and have them walk on their front legs more often.

I imagine Kehaar would be more like Jeremy in a comical sense. Besides being a grumpy gull telling Hazel to "Piss Off!"

« Last Edit: November 29, 2019, 09:40:32 PM by CockatielPony »
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Online Alderab

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Re: Watership Down as a Don Bluth adaptation
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2019, 08:33:31 PM »
I think with NIMH's style of anthro at least they probably wouldn't have rabbits walking upright quite yet, I think mice can get away with it a bit more until you start reaching Redwall levels of anthropomorphism.  Maybe that's just because you see fairly natural looking rabbits during NIMH.

It'd be interesting too to see how the mood of the landscape would be different too.  NIMH seemed to have greater emphasis on dramatic lighting than the original WSD, which I think helped the more fantasy feel.  WSD backdrops I think tend to look sharper, although the coloring doesn't feel quite as vibrant in the watercolor.  The styles work very well with their respective stories, who knows how they'd look swapped!

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Re: Watership Down as a Don Bluth adaptation
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2019, 10:57:49 PM »
That is an interesting thought. I wonder if they would were clothes and accessories to make them more anthro like and have them walk on their front legs more often.
It should be noted that early concept art for the miniseries did something like this.  Honestly, I'm glad the final product ended up completely different.

Walking on two legs could perhaps work in circumstances (after all, it did happen in the 1999 series).  Accessories?  Sure, I love Spartina's feather!  But clothes?  I'm sorry, that's crossing the line, it's just not WD anymore.

Not to mention nonsensical sudden singing moments. Where did that song come from? Why is that character even there??
:thethuthinnang Ten thousand enemies...

If we're thinking more on the NIMH side and less on the 'Troll In Central Park' side. XD
What's wrong with Troll in Central Park? (I haven't seen that movie :strawberry2)

That's actually pretty good, I think.  The background (which comes from the 1978 film itself) really doesn't fit, though.

The story would probably have to be tweaked to fit the different art style.  Scenes like Blackavar's death and Bigwig getting snared just wouldn't work at all without some changes.

This would be a great location for the rat fight in WD.

I think with NIMH's style of anthro at least they probably wouldn't have rabbits walking upright quite yet, I think mice can get away with it a bit more until you start reaching Redwall levels of anthropomorphism.
Anthro rabbits are harder to get right, I think.  I had no issues with the mice and badgers in the Redwall TV series, but the hares (eh, close enough :speaker-of-the-past) looked pretty awkward at times.
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Re: Watership Down as a Don Bluth adaptation
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2019, 05:02:37 AM »
Anthro rabbits are harder to get right, I think.  I had no issues with the mice and badgers in the Redwall TV series, but the hares (eh, close enough :speaker-of-the-past) looked pretty awkward at times.

Its the walking, gotta be the walking.  Basil looks fine whenever its just his torso up.  Just can't make those majestically long kicks walk on their dainty tip paws.
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