Yet another non-Disney animated movie that's surprisingly good. Watership Down is a haunting, powerful, sometimes violent animated movie that tells the story of a warren of British rabbits. Parents, put the toddlers away, lock the doors, and prepare to watch one of the most provocative and original animated movies ever. This movie puts Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame to shame.
This movie starts with a brief background story about Frith the sun god and El-ahrairah, the first rabbit. El-ahrairah means "Prince of A Thousand Enemies". From there, it moves on to the real movie, which opens on a field with a warren of rabbits. All is peaceful, but the peace is soon shattered. Fiver, a small and timid rabbit, foresees danger for the rabbits. These rabbits aren't at all related to Thumper. Through their eyes, this movie shows that Mother Nature isn't always kind to its animals. As the rabbits go on their quest to find a safer place to live, many dangers take their toll on both the rabbits and the survivors' emotional stability.
While a few of the rabbits are hard to tell apart, most of them are unique and well developed enough that you start to care for each and every one of them. But the best part of this movie is, of course, the story. Watership Down is very serious and surprisingly deep. It has some incredible dialogue and some truly haunting and powerful scenes like Captain Holly's nightmare or The Black Rabbit of Death. The song "Bright Eyes" and the scene it accompanies is breathtakingly emotional. The final scene is also truly awesome. While it is true that this movie is violent, it's not overbearing as the movie instead focuses more on being a deep and serious movie.
There are a few flaws. Most notable is the animation, which is soft, muted, and not exactly Disney caliber. Character development also doesn't seem to be too much of an issue with this movie. In fact it's surprisingly shallow, which means one star knocked off from me. Yet none of this hardly matters when you have such a powerful and serious movie.
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