bibliodragon: (Luna What?)
[personal profile] bibliodragon
Because I'll never get 100 posts done if I don't do them! And to segue on nicely from the last one...

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In 1999 to much fanfare and celebrity voices, a tv series of Watership Down was made. The film was awesome, but there still was a lot of fodder left in the book, and I was hoping for something akin to the Animals of Farthing Wood, complete with darkness, if not baby mice impaled on thorns or Watership's own bunny coughing blood trapped in a snare.

But wile Farthing Wood was a European collaboration, this one came with help from across the pond, Canada to be exact. And while a similar partnership brought about a pretty good Redwall adaption around the same time, this one was...not as good. But to be fair, it was in the shadow of a bunny snuff film brilliant previous adaptation.




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First obvious difference is, where the film's character design bordered on the identical, typical cartoon colourfulness and big eyes and marketability are much in use.

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Bigwig is the best, bib and all. My evil visious pet rabbit had a bib just like that, and she could fuck you up just as much as Bigwig. Though she was more of a Woundwort in character.


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The cast list is certainly impressive, from the likes of John Hurt, Jane Horrocks, Rik Mayall as Woundwort, female character made up to balance out the sausage fest Hannah the mouse and Kehaar, as well as a few actors who went on to bigger things post bunny. The first time I heard of Kate Ashfield was this, not Shaun of the Dead, but it was only doing research for this post I realised that Bigwig was done by Steven Mangan. Mind. Blown.

And in the guest cast we have:

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Steven Gately bunny. As Blackavar.

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Stephen Fry rabbit!

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Um. Kiefer Sutherland rabbit.

Now if you can do your maths, you can work out that I was not in the correct demographic for this (as if my coolness cred needed any more of a hit) but I liked it. Sure, it could have been done better, and was no way as good as the film, but I was still watching it despite the crappy signal and picture quality since this was in the days when ITV Digital still existed and so did not dignify Sky with it's presence on its services. It is very flawed, though. Very much for kids.

But while the did gloss over a lot of the violence, the snare scene did make it in, sanitized as it may be.
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And Hyzenthlay lost her name and became Primrose, because it is easier to say. At least I think Primrose was a renamed Hyzenthlay. She did the same plot stuff on the few times the series followed the book. She was a bit wet though. And then again what is this?
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WHAT IS THIS FUCKERY! Hyzenthlay/Bigwig is the One True Pairing! It's so fucking obvious! Stupid show writers!

Ahem.

Unfortunately, the third series took a budget hit, and wasn't even shown in the UK, which was not the first time fucking CITV would screw over a series like that (Oh Rebbot, one day I will find you again). So a cheaper animation style and no more celebrities. But still Steven Mangan as Bigwig. So that's okay.

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And at least some kind soul put it up on YouTube. I'm only two episodes in, but already it is a lot darker. It may not be rabbits ripping each other into shreds level, but it is something.


TL:DR, cute bunnies being cute. When not waging war.

Images stolen from Thank U Stars.
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