November, 1998, marked the 20th anniversary of the release of this classic animated film, and Watership Down remains one of the most important works in the history of the medium. It was released at a time when there were few, if any, non-Disney theatrical animated features in theaters. And, ironically, it was released within a week of another major non-Disney feature, Ralph Bakshi's Lord of the Rings. While the Bakshi film was an unqualified disaster, Martin Rosen's adaptation of the popular Adams novel was not only a successful translation from book to film, but one of the few early attempts at tackling a serious, dramatic story in animation without resorting to inane comedy or sappy songs. If Hollywood would learn from this example, we might have more films like Watership Down and fewer like Quest for Camelot.
In keeping with this anniversary, our featured Ter-ROO-fic link is "The Real Watership Down Page." This impressive site has many photos from the places described in the book and depicted in the film. It's amazing just how closely the artists modeled the animated versions of these locales. This site, maintained by Chris Boyce, also contains some fascinating background on the film (including information about songs that were written for the film but were never used). Definitely a must for all Watership fans!
Other fine Watership web resources include Edamoth's Watership Down Page, and Joshua L. has some Pictures from the film. And there's also The Watership Down Web Ring!
Another "must" is the Watership Down soundtrack, recently released
on CD. You can purchase it from Amazon or
All material on this page copyright © Timothy Fay, unless otherwise indicated.
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