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Author Topic: Not as great as I expected  (Read 761 times)

Offline Claws

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Not as great as I expected
« on: November 12, 2015, 04:38:06 PM »
I don't even know if this was my first or second watching of this movie, so we are off to a good start, aren't we?

I honestly don't know what I was expecting, but it was definitely more than what I got. I mean, the whole thing felt unbelievably... rushed. And that pissed me off a bit. I mean, I'm well-aware of the fact that condensing a fifty-chapter book into a one-an-a- half hour movie is not an easy task and I'm sure that they did everything they could in order to cram as much detail as they could in such -relatively short- time span. But still, some of their decisions felt plain weird.

For example, we spent a lot of time in Sandlefort (for which I'm grateful) but then, we barely got to see anything about Efrafa... and those are supposed to be villains. If I hadn't read the book nor watched the TV Series before coming into this, I would have been considerably confused.

The whole excursion to Nuthanger Farm also ticked me off a bit... we had a nice time planning the escape from there (does Clover or any of them ever make an appearance after that?) but then we skipped the whole Hazel's rescue over. Next thing that happens is that he's back at the down, with Kehaar doing his thing. Again, if it wasn't for the book, I'd have been confused.

And the last battle was missing a ton of the detail and atmosphere that made it so good in the book, but it was still pretty faithful to the original source.

And PLEASE don't get me wrong, the movie does a ton of things right (specially when Hyzenthlay makes her appearance) but I think that there's some room for improvement -even if only a little bit-. Besides, poor Bluebell... he was SUCH a neglected character :P

To make it clear, I liked this movie as much as I liked Secret of NIMH and other such classics, but it did leave me wanting more.

Also, Silver rules!

Offline Darkling Nocturnal

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Not as great as I expected
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2015, 05:02:46 PM »
I think, they did all, that was possible in the movie. It only has a running time of 91 minutes (IMDB says 101 minutes - I'm confused).

But I also have my problems with the movie, and when I'm in the mood for Watership Down, I'm always watching the series. I also want to assemble a collocation of things in the movie and why the series did it better for my website. But let's begin it here in Fiver's Honeycomb.

  • As you said, the whole story was rushed
  • The character development was weak
  • Woundwort looks weak and old, compared with the series
  • Kehaar was really annoying. In the series, he's also often very silly, but it's more fitting there than in the movie. And he has more to do in the series, which makes him an indispensable  part of Watership Down (unless Skree appears)
  • IIRC, Hazel lead everyone to Watership Down without casualties in the book - not so in the movie
  • The whole movie is simply too dark and monotonous. This goes a) for the rabbits, who look all too similar and b) for the drawings of the movie. The meadows in Watership Down have a lush, powerful green, but in the movie, it looks all kinda bleak.


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Offline Claws

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Not as great as I expected
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2015, 05:20:22 PM »
Quote from: Quote:on 
Kehaar was really annoying. In the series, he's also often very silly, but it's more fitting there than in the movie. And he has more to do in the series, which makes him an indispensable part of Watership Down (unless Skree appears)

I actually liked him far more here... in the book, it is said that he hates the characters and doesn't have intentions of hiding it. So, it is quite fitting when you see him acting all bossy and annoyed around them.

Quote from: Quote:on 
IIRC, Hazel lead everyone to Watership Down without casualties in the book - not so in the movie

Yeah, what was up with that? It felt SO out of place. And if I recall correctly, the character who died in that scene had a female voice. Why? So they could emphasize on the fact that they didn't have any does with them? Why bother then? Why creating such character?

Quote from: Quote:on 
The whole movie is simply too dark and monotonous. This goes a) for the rabbits, who look all too similar and b) for the drawings of the movie. The meadows in Watership Down have a lush, powerful green, but in the movie, it looks all kinda bleak.

I agree, but still not bad for 1978 standards, though.

Offline Darkling Nocturnal

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Not as great as I expected
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2015, 05:28:19 PM »
Quote from: Quote:on 
I agree, but still not bad for 1978 standards, though.
That's true, and as an animated movie, I still think, Watership Down is outstanding. But as a book adaption, it fails.However, when I'm in mood for WSD, I always watch the series :hawkbit2 (I said this before, didn't I :fiver )

Quote from: Quote:on 
Yeah, what was up with that? It felt SO out of place. And if I recall correctly, the character who died in that scene had a female voice. Why? So they could emphasize on the fact that they didn't have any does with them? Why bother then? Why creating such character?
They simply created such a character to let her die in the movie, so they could say "there are no does anymore", but we have now more violence!
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 05:28:30 PM by Darkling Nocturnal »


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Offline Claws

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Not as great as I expected
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2015, 05:37:08 PM »
Quote from: Quote:on 
They simply created such a character to let her die in the movie, so they could say "there are no does anymore", but we have now more violence!

Ok, I guess that having a whole travel in which you are going to spend ten whole minutes and having it without casualties wasn't going to be interesting at all. But still, why didn't they kill off one of those characters who got missed from that point onwards (like Silver, he was great and all, but he played chameleon and "melted" with the background after that).

Offline Darkling Nocturnal

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Not as great as I expected
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2015, 05:39:07 PM »
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind :)


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Not as great as I expected
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2015, 05:55:43 PM »
And how about Vervain? I know for sure that Woundwort says his name, but I don't think we got to hear him in the movie. Weird.

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Not as great as I expected
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2015, 05:57:07 PM »
He was only mentioned, but we never saw him in the movie.


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Not as great as I expected
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2015, 06:02:58 PM »
Thanks, that was driving me insane :P

Now, the last thing I want to comment (because I totally forgot to say it in the main post) is that I TOTALLY dug the designs of the Efrafans. Their darker fur and wider eyes made for a really nice change and a far cry from all the "lookalikes" that were the main bunch. Also, their animation was sublime, full of rapid movements and aggressive looks. Whatever else I may say about the movie, they really cared about the bad guys.

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Not as great as I expected
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2015, 07:37:46 PM »
Yeah, at least the bad guys are good in the movie :D


Kneel down before the greatness of Darkling's dark ... ... ... Darkness!!!
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Offline Naylte

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Not as great as I expected
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2015, 01:10:14 AM »
A common complaint I've heard about the movie from multiple reviews is that the story progression is way too fast. And I certainly agree. The trip to the down was short and choppy (plot-wise). You really do not get much character development because the movie seems to focus too much on the conflicts. Hazel has some development from being a lowly outskirter to becoming the great chief that he is, but even that is minimal.

Despite the movie's shortcomings, however, it remained faithful to its source material fantastically, something that very few movies seem to do. As such, it is my favorite animated movie ever (and probably overall as well). Ideally, the mini-series will do everything that the movie did well and slow down the story progression now that it has 4 hours to work with. And, based on the reassurance that it would be dark like the movie, I believe that is the goal that the producers are aiming for in the new series. I can only hope.

I prefer the movie Kehaar to the series Kehaar. His personality matches that of the book and he's funny without being flat out obnoxious (I'm talking about Kehaar's squeal every time he flies in the series -- it's so annoying!!).

I believe that Vervain was the one who was watching Blackavar while Campion was escorting Bigwig around Efrafa. I think he says a couple lines, but he has no other appearances as far as I know.

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Offline Hawkbit

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Not as great as I expected
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2015, 12:37:46 AM »
Its almost blasphemy for a chief here to say they don't like the film that much. :p :p

Anyway, yes I'm aware its got its faults...you can only do so much with 90 minutes of screen time.  Additionally I will say this having watched the interview with Martin Rosen from the 2003 DVD--its a miracle this film even happened.  This was a very "green" crew as it was so there were a lot of things they didn't understand or know until a lot of time/money had been spent.  Rosen basically took the whole thing over himself because he was unhappy with previous ideas...and that's wasted money and time.   He had never been in this role before.  Its not a happy story and that's what we got.  Plague Dogs (his next effort) also had some major things cut and changed, so maybe that's just his style.

You do need a lot of time (like a series) to really do the story justice, but Rosen got the ball rolling.  And any new adaptation has to go to him anyway because he controls all the media rights to the story, so he wouldn't just let anyone take on this project.

Offline Hyzenthlay69

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Not as great as I expected
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2018, 02:53:08 AM »
Quote from: Silverweed's ClawsonNov 12 2015, 11:38:06 AM
I don't even know if this was my first or second watching of this movie, so we are off to a good start, aren't we?

I honestly don't know what I was expecting, but it was definitely more than what I got. I mean, the whole thing felt unbelievably... rushed. And that pissed me off a bit. I mean, I'm well-aware of the fact that condensing a fifty-chapter book into a one-an-a- half hour movie is not an easy task and I'm sure that they did everything they could in order to cram as much detail as they could in such -relatively short- time span. But still, some of their decisions felt plain weird.

For example, we spent a lot of time in Sandlefort (for which I'm grateful) but then, we barely got to see anything about Efrafa... and those are supposed to be villains. If I hadn't read the book nor watched the TV Series before coming into this, I would have been considerably confused.

The whole excursion to Nuthanger Farm also ticked me off a bit... we had a nice time planning the escape from there (does Clover or any of them ever make an appearance after that?) but then we skipped the whole Hazel's rescue over. Next thing that happens is that he's back at the down, with Kehaar doing his thing. Again, if it wasn't for the book, I'd have been confused.

And the last battle was missing a ton of the detail and atmosphere that made it so good in the book, but it was still pretty faithful to the original source.

And PLEASE don't get me wrong, the movie does a ton of things right (specially when Hyzenthlay makes her appearance) but I think that there's some room for improvement -even if only a little bit-. Besides, poor Bluebell... he was SUCH a neglected character :P

To make it clear, I liked this movie as much as I liked Secret of NIMH and other such classics, but it did leave me wanting more.

Also, Silver rules!
Well, first of all, the complexity and length of the book, they would have had to make sequels to include everything. Overall, I think the movie did an excellent job of including WHAT WAS IMPORTANT.

Plus, in the film picture book, the introduction says that BOOK and FILM are two different forms of MEDIA, and that one cannot be the same as the other because of those differences. Take other movies for example...there are certainly better ADAPTATIONS than others, but there has been no movie that I can think of that is 'exactly' the same as the book.  The movie  is the vision of the SCREEN WRITER, the book is the vision of the AUTHOR.

That being said, I will agree with you that because of the time frame some things did seem rushed, and because I loved the movie so much I do wish it had been longer or there had been a sequel :P.  Another complaint is they didn't have enough time to get into the background or complexity of each character's personality in depth I thought, BUT, the movie did manage to capture Hazel's dignity, Bigwig's impulsive bravery, and so forth.