Watership Down (1978)
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i think this traumatised a whole generation of children
An animated film for adults, or to teach older kids what life is really like, Watership Down stands the test of time, with its dark story about rabbits fleeing the destruction of their habitat to find a new warren, with all that entails, including the acquisition of a sensible gene pool, if only the next door warlord will allow it. It's brutal and violent, but not unnecessarily gruesome, filling you with a sense of dread from early on, and tugging at your heart strings throughout. Structurally, it's a bit "one thing after another" in the first half, but it mostly pays off. The animation consists of beautiful watercolors and the bunnies are especially well animated, with a different and just as gorgeous look for the myth sequence that opens the film. And there are some rich British voices to give the characters life too, not the least of which John Hurt as the cleverest rabbit of them all. Though the book's author, Richard Adams, doesn't claim any metaphor about stigmatized minorities, it's in there, perhaps thanks to the sadistic blue-eyed rabbit clan. But if it is, it's not distracting and plays out better as post-viewing discussion than mid-film decoder ring.
This even traumatised me as an adult.
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In 5 official lists
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This movie ranks #31 in Top 100 Animated Features of All Time
This movie ranks #96 in 100 Animated Feature Films (BFI Screen Guides)
This movie ranks #755 in Doubling the Canon
This movie ranks #887 in The Criterion Collection
This movie ranks #991 in TimeOut's 1000 Films to Change Your Life