The BBC has released the first trailer for Watership Down, a new star-studded adaptation of the Richard Adams’ novel, and it’s fair to say that it’s triggered a lot of mixed emotions online.
Starring James McAvoy, Olivia Colman, Sir Ben Kingsley, Daniel Kaluuya, John Boyega, Nicholas Hoult, Gemma Arterton, Peter Capaldi and many more, Watership Down will be aired on BBC One in two feature-length parts over Christmas.
Although images have already been released for the CG-animated series, this is the first time we’ve seen actual footage from the show, and not everyone is impressed.
Watch the first trailer below.
Most people will instantly compare this new version to Martin Rosen’s haunting 1978 adaptation of the same name, but it’s clear from this first look at the £20m-budgeted event series that it’s a very different beast.
The animation style has been updated from hand drawn 2D to computer generated 3D animation, and many people are complaining online that the finished effect looks like sub-par video game graphics.
£20 million, 2 and a half years in development…
— Vortexia (@VortexiaTweets) December 4, 2018
— Ed (@edblack106) December 4, 2018
The BBC’s ‘Watership Down’ adaptation has a stellar voice cast but the animation looks like it’s from a cut scene in an Xbox 360 game. https://t.co/iwRRlZ4bG9
— Matt Brian (@m4tt) December 4, 2018
— Jack Martin (@JackMovieBuff) December 4, 2018
The 1978 film celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and its shadow looms large over the new version. Starring John Hurt, Richard Briers, Nigel Hawthorne, and Roy Kinnear, and featuring Art Garfunkel’s ‘Bright Eyes‘ on the soundtrack, it has traumatised generation after generation of children who watched it thinking it was going to be a safe Disney-style animated film.
However, it’s a harrowing film, red in tooth and claw, that never shies away from the brutal realities facing animals in the wild, and many people are questioning whether it’s suitable family entertainment for Christmas time.
So there's a remake for Watership Down… hello new generation to be traumatised by this story.
— yorkshireraven (@yorkshireraven) December 4, 2018
The scars of the original Watership Down have remained with me since childhood…can we all put ourselves through it again 😢 https://t.co/cAoJq6Zsn8
— KateElizabeth (@KateElizabeth99) December 4, 2018
When you find out they've remade Watership down for Christmas. Are you having a laugh?! So many children are going to be traumatised xD
— [HIVE] Ara'ni (@StalkerArani) December 4, 2018
It’s not all doom and gloom though and many people are (Watership) down with this new take, and can’t wait to see it over the festive period. The show is a co-production with Netflix who will carry it for the rest of the world, albeit in a slightly adjusted four-part version.
— ASciFiWriter (@ascifiwriter) December 4, 2018
I’m excited about #WatershipDown the most of all Xmas TV. I can imagine it being amazing and dark
— Kieran James Cleaves (@kieran_keek) December 4, 2018
— Claire (@lewis_cpug) December 4, 2018
Oscar-winning pop star Sam Smith has recorded ‘Fire On Fire’, an original song, that will serve as the theme to the forthcoming animated mini-series.
Watership Down is coming to BBC One this Christmas.