DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

KIM AKASS

MONIQUE NAZARETH

ROGER CATLIN

GARY EDGERTON

TOM BRINKMOELLER

GERALD JORDAN

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
 
 
 
WATERSHIP DOWN
December 23, 2018  | By David Bianculli

Netflix, 3:00 a.m. ET

 
MINISERIES PREMIERE: This is the third time animators have taken a stab at presenting a version of author Richard Adams’ deep, allegorical story about rabbits in the English countryside. The narrative covers everything from hero’s journey quests to a rabbit-world equivalent of Nazi domination. This new version, presented in four parts by Netflix, opens with a highly stylized visualization of the rabbit myth, then proceeds to present its rabbit heroes, and villains, in computer-animated photorealistic form. That’s an improvement, at least, upon the 1999 animated series – but not upon the 1978 animated movie, which, though it was made 40 years ago and with mostly hand-drawn animation, remains the best version of Watership Down to date. It, too, started with a highly stylized preamble – but its subsequent images were more lovely and poetic, and its voices (especially Zero Mostel as a seagull) especially charming. The voices on this new version include Ben Kingsley, James McAvoy, Peter Capaldi and Rosamund Pike, so it’s by no means a low-rent enterprise or a subpar effort – but I’d still rather steer you to the 1978 feature film, which you can stream for a few dollars on Amazon Prime Video. And which, as a bonus, features Art Garfunkel’s gorgeous rendition of “Bright Eyes.” Special warning: Not for young viewers, though you might otherwise think so.
 
 
 
 
 
Leave a Comment: (No HTML, 1000 chars max)
 
 Name (required)
 
 Email (required) (will not be published)
 
NTSFJ
Type in the verification word shown on the image.