Visitors - Bless my Tail! Welcome to Fiver's Honeycomb!


This place is dedicated to Watership Down and its fans worldwide.

Here you can discuss all WD-related media, including both books, the movie and both TV series.

What? You are not registered yet?

Author Topic: Your first contact with Watership Down  (Read 4057 times)

Offline Hazel

  • A wave in the ocean
  • Junior Owsla
  • Dandelion
  • ****
  • Posts: 495
    • Show only replies by Hazel
    • View Profile
  • Favorite WD media: The book
  • FHC contest winner:
  • I speak:
Re: Your first contact with Watership Down
« Reply #75 on: September 05, 2018, 09:24:44 PM »
I have posted here but recently discovered a photo.


This is from a birthday, when I was about 5 or 6. I had unwrapped Watership Down on video. This, I think, is when I first watched it!  :wub
"People’s souls are like gardens. You can’t turn your back on someone because his garden’s full of weeds. You have to give him water and lots of sunshine."

Offline Chipster-roo

  • Growing Tree
  • Council of Chiefs
  • Fiver
  • *******
  • Posts: 3228
    • Show only replies by Chipster-roo
    • View Profile
    • http://www.fanfiction.net/u/6400714/Chipster-roo
  • Favorite WD media: The book
  • FHC contest winner:
  • I speak:
Re: Your first contact with Watership Down
« Reply #76 on: September 06, 2018, 09:45:25 PM »
That's a really cute picture Hazel :fiver :pipkin
Have you considered making each day count - doing something meaningful each day - instead of letting the days and weeks and months and years fly into oblivion? --Bright Side

Thanks to Rosie Willowwater for the avatar!


Offline MeadowRabbit

  • Raw carrot? Yes, please!
  • Hawkbit
  • *****
  • Posts: 944
    • Show only replies by MeadowRabbit
    • View Profile
  • Favorite WD media: The movie
  • I speak:
Re: Your first contact with Watership Down
« Reply #77 on: September 16, 2018, 09:48:55 PM »
Aww! It's so interesting to see old photos like that where you really get a sense of the times it was taken in (e.g. videos were still the thing!). :D
Here lies a signature that has little point.

Offline Bruno

  • Hlessi
  • *
  • Posts: 11
    • Show only replies by Bruno
    • View Profile
  • Favorite WD media: N/A
  • I speak:
Re: Your first contact with Watership Down
« Reply #78 on: January 03, 2019, 02:10:42 AM »
My first contact was when I was about 10 years old when I saw something mentioned about the movie somewhere on some website. Didn't think too much of it at the time, then came across it shortly after in my school library, but didn't check it out due to the issue that my immediate thought was "oh, its about bunnies," which at the time didn't draw my interest. I also didn't understand the title.

Fast forward to Freshmen year of high school (2010-2011) and I met a friend of mine who was and still is a big fan of Watership Down, and around two weeks before Easter I decided to watch the movie on Youtube and was hooked almost immediately. I Got the book as an Easter gift along with the movie. Found this forum a few months later during one of numerous google searches that I did for any fansites, fanart, fanfiction, etc.

Offline SlyMeerkat

  • Hlessi
  • *
  • Posts: 12
  • I am an avid Video Gamer and Animal Lover
    • Show only replies by SlyMeerkat
    • View Profile
  • Favorite WD media: N/A
Re: Your first contact with Watership Down
« Reply #79 on: January 19, 2019, 04:49:59 PM »
I only recently got in to WSD due to the miniseries that came on TV last year of which after watching that gave me a sudden interest and inspiration to read and watch other things related to WSD.

Currently i have watched the 1972 original film and the 2018 remake and just finished watching the 1999 TV series which id say is my favourite of them all.

I recently finished listening to Tales Of Watership Down book on Audible and now reading the Original book of which i am very much enjoying it.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 10:12:26 AM by SlyMeerkat »

Offline Chibiscuit

  • Vervain
  • Hawkbit
  • *****
  • Posts: 926
  • Captain Orchis' Loyal Spy
    • Show only replies by Chibiscuit
    • View Profile
  • Favorite WD media: The series
  • FHC contest winner:
  • I speak:
Re: Your first contact with Watership Down
« Reply #80 on: January 19, 2019, 05:42:46 PM »
Now that is the effect I was hoping the miniseries would have^^

Also @SlyMeerkat since you're reading the novel, feel free to join in on our reading. Don't mind the dates, anyone can jump in at any time, and we're still ongoing. :pipkin
~ Join the WSD Community Read! ~
The more, the merrier^^

Offline SlyMeerkat

  • Hlessi
  • *
  • Posts: 12
  • I am an avid Video Gamer and Animal Lover
    • Show only replies by SlyMeerkat
    • View Profile
  • Favorite WD media: N/A
Re: Your first contact with Watership Down
« Reply #81 on: January 19, 2019, 06:04:38 PM »
Now that is the effect I was hoping the miniseries would have^^

Also @SlyMeerkat since you're reading the novel, feel free to join in on our reading. Don't mind the dates, anyone can jump in at any time, and we're still ongoing. :pipkin

I had heard of WSD before but it never really took my attention until now and i shall check out that link you posted :)
« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 10:14:56 AM by SlyMeerkat »

Offline Acacia Heartstrings

  • Blackberry
  • ******
  • Posts: 1848
    • Show only replies by Acacia Heartstrings
    • View Profile
    • DeviantArt
  • Favorite WD media: N/A
  • I speak:
Re: Your first contact with Watership Down
« Reply #82 on: January 20, 2019, 03:29:03 PM »
It is always very interesting to read the stories of new lovers of Watership Down. With the new mini series, I swallow some more to this cute forum of bunnies. We hope to see more x3    :hazel   :silverweed3    :buttercup
I love Watership Down!
 
Everything is fine =) (?)

Offline koda

  • Hlessi
  • *
  • Posts: 46
    • Show only replies by koda
    • View Profile
  • Favorite WD media: The miniseries
Re: Your first contact with Watership Down
« Reply #83 on: January 22, 2019, 01:57:34 PM »
bbc netflix adaptation during the winter holidays. I immediately fell in love with the story and its characters how each is unique and the connections i could make with them. but it was really hard for me to see  hazel die as he was my fav character.

Offline Astrolux

  • Hlessi
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • Show only replies by Astrolux
    • View Profile
  • Favorite WD media: The book
Re: Your first contact with Watership Down
« Reply #84 on: January 28, 2019, 08:38:52 PM »
I remember it like it was yesterday (kind of cliche, huh?).

We were in 7th grade, I think...and we had this thing called "Reading Rampage". It was basically used to encourage kids/class to read. So for 30 minutes, you'd pick a book and read it. Usually kids would bring their own book, but that day I did not have a book so my teacher told me to go fetch one from the shelf. I saw this old paperback with a rabbit on it, titled Watership Down. I remember opening it up, and sitting in the corner of the class near my friend Barbara reading, and the novel really had my full attention. I loved it, but I didn't get too far, maybe 2-3 Chapters. I wasn't much of a reader at the time, but I knew there was something special about WD.


One funny part of the story is that I recall my friend Barbara asking me, "What are you reading?" and I responded with the typical 7th grade kid remark, "I dunno, it's about rabbits and sh#t," haha, good times.

So  I read it a few times for school, but the next time we had RR it was not on the shelf, it was gone. Needless to say I was pretty bummed out. After that I just kind of gave up on it, I didn't look for it at the library or ask my parents to get it for me or anything.

Flash forward years later...I am 25 years old or so, I saw the book at books a million and it sparked my desire to read it, and finish it, so I bought it, read it, loved it. I am now 30 years old, so it took me a long time to actually get the book and read it, but I finally did it. I am not ashamed :).

I also bought the movie  alittle before that, but never watched it (I didn't want to ruin the book, cause I knew I was going to read it at some point) so I left it on my shelf till I finished the book. I then watched the movie, and then found out about the new miniseries on Netflix/BBC and we just got done watching that yesterday.

It's all wonderful. I love it, My wife loves it, my daughter loves it. I think as a kid it stuck with me, even those few chapters because it was something different from the usual books you might read as a class. I am also a big animal lover, so that really hit home with me (as a kid and now). I did read a bit of redwall in 5th grade too, so anything with animals is just awesome.

Oh, by the way, when I first saw/read about the character Bigwig...I was really excited because one of my favorite bands growing up was Bigwig (punk band from NJ),and that's where they got their name, so I thought that was awesome when I was younger.

As I said, now I am 30, I read all the time, and I am re-reading WD for the second time.


Offline gemini

  • Hlessi
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • Show only replies by gemini
    • View Profile
  • Favorite WD media: The book
Re: Your first contact with Watership Down
« Reply #85 on: January 28, 2019, 10:16:47 PM »
I was 6 at the time, at a Hollywood Video with my mom and sister. She picked it up because she saw the rabbits, and we were both animal lovers (still are). Needless to say, we were pretty freaked out after watching it. So, of course, we watched it over and over and became obsessed. Only later did I find out it was based on a book, and it's still one of my favorite books today. We also watched the old TV series, and converted all our friends as well. We'd play it on the trampoline, and me and my little sister were always Hazel and Fiver. We even had a patch of woods in our backyard that we called Watership Down, and we acted like the rabbits lived there. I think it was our number one obsession for those few years.

Offline Cypress

  • Murmuring Bosk
  • Hlessi
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Blind loyalty is a fool’s choice
    • Show only replies by Cypress
    • View Profile
  • Favorite WD media: The book
Re: Your first contact with Watership Down
« Reply #86 on: June 29, 2019, 04:40:35 PM »
Looking back on it, I don’t think I will ever forget my introduction to Watership Down.

I remember that, when I was at a class in late October 2014, I was snooping around YouTube before stumbling across a WatchMojo video called "Top 10 Cartoon Deaths in Film", which had a thumbnail of Bambi’s Mom on it. Given that I am a HUGE fan of animated movies and had seen a lot by then, I wanted to see if i could recognize most of these movies and maybe get to watch those that I didn’t recognize. As I had expected, the video featured a lot of your more well-know typical Disney and Pixar Deaths (Mufasa, Bambi’s Mom, etc) while also including characters from other movies that didn’t belong to Disney (Charlotte, Optimus Prime, Littlefoot’s Mom, among others).

However, in the Honorable Mentions section, following Shan Yu’s death from Mulan (1998), I was genuinely caught off guard when the next scene showed a brown dog tearing apart a bunch of rabbits in a very brutal and bloody fashion (the scene that I am talking about is when the Nuthanger Farm dog begins killing the rabbits from Efrafa near the end of the 1978 movie).

For someone who had been kind of used to Disney as the authority on animated movies, watching that first glimpse of Watership Down was kind of an unpleasant shock that did disillusion me a little (even though my favorite Disney movie was The Fox and the Hound, one Disney’s darkest and most bittersweet movies). I think I felt that way because it made me realize that animation as a whole was something that was not exclusively reserved for younger audiences and it could also be used to tell darker and more mature stories, so you could compare it to being growing up and realizing that things were not always so simple as you first made them up to be.

Anyways, after getting over the shock, I scrolled down to the comments section to see a lot of people commenting over Watership Down (your typical stuff about how traumatizing it was, whose idea was it to make it, this is not a kids movie, etc..) before eventually finding people fighting over which animated movie they had watched that was the most traumatizing. Eventually, I found someone who went on to mention Watership Down, The Plague Dogs, Felidae as the top three dark animated movies to watch out for, sort of an unholy trinity of animated kids movies. Other suggestions included great movies and cartoons such as The Animals of Farthing Wood, The Grave of the Fireflies, and Alfred J. Kwak (all of which I have come to watch since then and adore immensely) but I was mostly drawn to the main three at the time.

Shortly afterwards, I sat down to watch Watership Down (1978) online. Given the title of the movie, I at first thought that the story was mostly going to deal with a navy boat being destroyed or something and that at one point or another we were going to be shown the merciless and brutal deaths of rabbits in a hunting trip or something. Therefore, you can imagine my pleasant surprise when I instead stumbled upon a powerful and timeless story about survival that dealt with universal themes such as life and death, brotherhood, man’s relationship to animals and nature.

Still what attracted me the most was the idea of the life of the rabbits: they can only live for three years, and even then they have to deal with living in a world where everybody is against you and the only way to survive is to run and to breed quickly. The movie made me empathize with the rabbits and gave me a deeper appreciation for nature and animals, who are all living creatures with just as much a right to live as we do.

A couple of months later I bought the book and got around to read it eventually. It took me around a month to read it but only because I enjoyed the book so much that I really did not want it to end, while also taking my time because of my analytical personality that tended to focus on small details. While it did diminish a little of my blind love for the movie by comparing it to the book and realizing how much was left out, the book for the most part amplified my original experience with the book and made me seriously think about humanity’s place in nature and how we see ourselves in the context of it all.

I later on got to watch the 1999 animated series, though I do remember actually struggling with the first couple of episodes due to everything having been too child-friendly or changed from the book to the point that they barely had anything in common. I mean, when you love something so much, it acquires a sacred and almost holy quality to it which makes you incredibly defensive of it when you later see that it is tampered, which is how I felt about the cartoon. Still, I was determined to stick with it since it had lasted for three seasons and it must have been doing something right for it to have lasted so long. Thankfully, I finally got used to the show by episode 3, at which point I began to appreciate the series for keeping the spirit of Watership Down despite it being a completely different story, as well due to the fact that the cartoon had actually managed to include elements from the book that did not appear in the movie.

As for the 2018 miniseries, I had been so excited to watch it to the point of constantly checking on twitter for any news about the miniseries since it was first announced on 2016. While it is not my favorite adaptation by far, I am glad that it has gotten people to investigate about the story and learn about something wonderful. It is because of the miniseries that many new fans have become members of this forum and part of the Watership Down family, myself included.

All in all, I will always be grateful towards Watership Down set me down the path that made me the person I am today and led me to being here today, and it finally made get around to watch them. I am truly honored to be a small part of something much greater, alongside those who came before me, and others who will come after.

Thank you

Offline Kili

  • Hlessi
  • *
  • Posts: 33
    • Show only replies by Kili
    • View Profile
  • Favorite WD media: The book
Re: Your first contact with Watership Down
« Reply #87 on: August 08, 2019, 10:39:57 PM »
It was when I was in my animal novel phase that I first came across Watership Down. I had by then read the original 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith, The Animals of Farthing Wood, The Wind in the Willows, a bunch of other Colin Dann books and Jack London's White Fang and Call of the Wild. I had seen the book in WH Smith, but for some reason didn't buy it. (I think it was because I wanted to read Colin Dann's books and there were a bunch to choose from. The length probably put me off too at the time, and I am more interested in foxes, and dogs. Come to think of it, most of the books I read at that time focused on dogs or foxes as their main characters.)

I then found that we actually had a copy of it - my mum wanted to clear out an in built wardrobe that had a load of stuff from the 70's and earlier in it and we just happened to have the book. It was an hardback and I decided to read it which took me a long time for the first time. I don't think that I got into it that well at first - the book was longer than most others I'd read and quite formal. A lot of novels published before the mid 80s seem to have that quality in them and the further you go back, the more formal it is, at least it seemed that way to me when I was about 11 or 12. I read it a few more times after that, and it was after reading it for the second time that I began to appreciate it. One thing that you will find that makes a good book, tv series or film is if it inspires you to create your own stories and your own art from it, which this did.

I knew about a film, but it wasn't until one Easter when it was on tv that I got a chance to watch it and it's a beautiful film. There are very few animated films which I think match its quality even with all the technology that we have today which enhance it. The ITV cartoon series I missed when it first came out. I was aware of it of course, but I didn't watch ITV much (it was really on the wrong channel for me), so it took me a long time before I actually watched it.

Some books just resonate with you and stay with you for a long time after you've read them and this is one of them.