I thought of it, but I have no intention of planning it in any way. Because no. It would be impossible, even if I contemplated it, and even if rabbits.
Watership Down. It is no because those are clearly domestic rabbits, not wild, okay? (Which is why I flailed a bit at the “lets leave the bunnies in the woods because if we take one it will be lonely!” Um. Those are domestic rabbits, they are dead if they are left alone in the woods. I’m relieved that Lan Zhan ended up taking care of them.)
How would you even do a crossover with Watership Down Untamed? It would be impossible. Unless those domestic rabbits were the characters maybe? And there was some tiny rabbit quest they had to undertake for the sake of the really old Lan lady spirit to help Lan Zhan? (and/or Wei Ying. Or Wen Yuan.) You could not do “everyone is rabbits” because a lot of the plot of Watership Down kind of depends on the characters having animal level understand/interpretations of what they’re seeing.
But rabbits, and the black rabbits being thought of as scary by the white rabbits because of the Black Rabbit of Inle. (And now I’m thinking of Pandora Hearts and how the one girl character is called the Black Rabbit and I ALWAYS say “of Inle!” Because. Just because.
Was Watership Down formative? Maybe a little? It is the only book by that writer that I like, anyway.
But no. I cannot formulate a crossover concept even if it popped into my head like a terrible mushroom.
A lost song from the movie & soundtrack, written by Mike Batt. It was intended to be played during the chase scene with the farm dog, but it didn’t make the final cut and wasn’t released with the soundtrack.
My absolute favorite hero in anything .Hazel is a character who didnt seek to be a leader ,but naturally became one ,and yet while he is intelligent ,he makes mistakes .At his heart he cares about his people,and will do whatever it takes to protect them even if it seems insane
Mrs Brisby from Secret of NIMH
Mrs Brisby is a scared widow who despite her fear will do whatever it takes to take care of her family.She is ,for the lack of a better word,a very human hero
Madame Souza from Triplets of Belleville
This Grandma is badass,doing whatever she can to rescue her kidnapped grandson from mobsters including teaming up with three quirky old singers
Basil of Baker Street from the Great Mouse Detective
The mouse equivalent of Sherlock Holmes ,Basil is a bit of an arrogant jerk but is truely a good mouse with a quirky personality and a wonderful dynamic with his arch enemy Professor Ratigan
Miles Moralles/Spider-Man from Spider-man Into the Spider-verse
Miles maybe one of the greatest movie superheroes ,top three for me (Behind Zorro and Christopher Reeves Superman) ,and Into the Spiderverse is one of my favorite tellings of the heroes journey.
Simba from the Lion King
Simba has an intriguing journey from a rather mischevious boastful cub to king,while Basil is my favorite Disney hero,Simba is a contender for best developed
Mei and Gabu from Arashi No Yoru Ni
Gabu and Mei met one stormy night ,in a barn unable to smell or see one another ,and quickly struck up a friendship ,agreeing to meet eachother for a picnic,where Mei finds out Gabu is a wolf,and Gabu finds out Mei is a goat ….And continue their friendship anyway ,even when their clans try to interfere .Their entire relationship is adorable and their bond is powerful eventually deciding to abandon their clans to be with eachother ….But things are seldom easy.
Sophie from Howls Moving Castle
So I have a lot of ….Mixed feelings on this movie,because I’ve read the book …..And the book is way better .Movie starts out as a semi faithful adaptation until about the halfway point where it adds in this anti war message that is NOT in the book and everything gets muddled from there .But one thing the movie does really well is the protagonist Sophie ,a young woman who is turned into an elderly woman and she is another character with an interesting journey ,as while initilly very reserved she grows more confidence and a stronger will after becoming an old woman
.Nick and Judy from Zootopia
Cynical fox con man and idealistic bunny cop….Thats just a great combo ,and these two have so much chemistry and watching them grow is a delight
Bilbo Baggins from the Hobbit
Bilbo didnt want to be a hero but it was thrust onto him and he stepped up to the plate.He outwitted Gollum,he slew the spider,he freed the Dwarves,he buttered up Smaug and when the Dwarves went to battle for greed he was the one who tried to talk sense into Thorin .Bilbo is my second favorite animated movie hero
Real talk: I haven’t liked ANY of the Watership Down adaptations. TBF, I haven’t seen the miniseries yet but the animated show took out all the teeth of the book while the 70s film is a good adaptation of events that happened but bad in terms of character development…it also opted to get super gruesome in parts where it didn’t need to be (Blackavar’s death is my biggest example of a “dark for the sake of dark” death which wasn’t in the novel). I ESPECIALLY hate what they did to Fiver, who was always my favorite character in the book.
OG Fiver is awkward and and sometimes sickly but is remarkably tough and very strong in his own way, AND has his happier, more relaxed moments. It’s really cool to read the book and see him go from an unsure, kinda scary kid to a wise-beyond-his-years and sensible buck. 70s film Fiver is a shivering mess who has no character development to be anything BUT a shivering mess and who I don’t think ever smiles. Cartoon series Fiver meanwhile is total wimp and a magical baby who I barely remember ever doing much. He looked more like a child than a stunted growth adult and his was annoying in both.
So, here’s book!Fiver with his mate Vilthuril and son Threar. Again, book Fiver is more confident and interesting throughout which makes it all the more rewarding and cool that he managed to not only get a mate but one who respects him and his abilities, Vilthuril, and even has a son who’s inherited his father’s visions.
If you fell down a rabbit hole, what do you think you’d find?
Some mighty big rabbits.
Once again, I am compelled to respond to a prompt with truth rather than fiction; hence the witticism above.
Alice In Wonderland remains one of my favorite Disney films, I think because it was among my earliest exposures to one of my favorite genres of speculative fiction, what I call the Extraordinary World. Maybe there’s an official term for it that I’m unaware of; it’s usually a pulpy sub-genre. The Martian Tales of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, even Tarzan…all are examples of Extraordinary World fiction.
My own writing has featured two examples of my own take on Extraordinary World fiction, the transplantation of a hero from one extraordinary world into another. Planet Pantheon is the tale of a crew from the far future that rediscovers an Earth remade by the gods of myth and legend. Cassie Cometstail and Haunted Star is the story of a deep space adventuring Little Orphan Annie who gets stuck on a magical Dyson Sphere.
The funny thing is, I think my take on this genre is probably a subversion of the point of Extraordinary World fiction. The point of this kind of fiction is that what makes people truly extraordinary is the choices that they make rather than the things that they can do. (This isn’t really made manifest in the ERB stuff, because John Carter and Tarzan essentially are superhuman.) Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, DC’s Adam Strange…these characters are almost everymen (except that they are also examples of “American Exceptionalism,” which is maybe something I’ll talk about with another writing prompt someday).
I like my instincts with my own efforts, especially as Planet Pantheon featured a person of color and Cassie Cometstail a young girl, but these were people from the future! They arrive on the scene in faster-than-light spaceships! They were already, for the reader, extraordinary! Even in a world inundated with genre stories, it’s hard to come off as a “stranger in a strange land” when you already have a laser gun in hand.
(Wow, this took me in an unanticipated direction. I did not know I was going to come into this finding fault with some of my favorite works of mine.)
So now, I have to put Extraordinary World fiction back in the hopper and see what comes out.
(Now, what would I like to find down the rabbit hole? Why, a shrine to El-ahrairah, of course. WATERSHIP DOWN!!!)
Alright friends, I’m starting to plan a month long readalong for Watership Down by Richard Adams for this fall. I am planning on weekly photo prompts for Instagram and two or three discussion questions for each week as well to encourage engagement and creativity. I am hoping to feature an artist in the readalong graphics and promote their WSD artwork throughout the readalong as well. And the whole thing will finish with a Twitter group watch of the Netflix Watership Down.
I’m considering October or November for the readalong. Let me know if one would work better or if both are good.
theres a lot to take issue with regarding the wsd miniseries but one of the major things i cant get over is the art direction. it’s so… bland. it feels like it both wants to be stylized and realistic, but it lacks either the budget or the care to achieve either to a degree that’s actually interesting
it’s been theorized that the reason the rendering is kinda funky (the reflection on the dog’s fur… yikes) becus the budget was poured into the talented but underutilized voice cast, but i doubt any of us will ever truly know. point is that there were a lot of good, expressive, interesting ideas in concept art that i think could’ve been achieved with perhaps more money, more stylistic flexibility, and more time
wouldn’t fix how it butchered like every single iconic or important moment from a storytelling perspective, but at least i could fall asleep to it while oohing and ahhing over how cool the bunnies looked if thatd been the case lol
#watership down#richard adams #more and more production art has been surfacing and i rly like all of it #from chardes to key art to storyboards #it has a livliness to it that the final animation lacks #idk i think about this almost endlessly