Apr 122011

I watched this animated film recently. The film is based on on the book of the same title by Richard Adams. In this work, the two main characters are dogs, Rowf and Snitter. Rowf and Snitter escape from a research station (given the acronym ARSE) that performs vivesection and animal testing, located within an extensive natural area.

The dogs are befriended by a fox, called “The Tod.” This friendship is on-again and off-again, and provides some conflict among these three characters as the larger story plays out. As problems ensue, the dogs become the target of a full-scale military quest, since they are thought to possibly have been exposed to the bubonic plague through laboratory rats at the same research center.

The motives of the dogs are largely three-fold – escape, survival, and, to some extent, finding a good home, at least in the case of Snitter. The fox seems to also have some altrustic motives in helping the dogs. Though the accidents with the people in the story seem a bit far-fetched, Snitter’s mental troubles due to the experimentation are awkwardly conveyed at times, and The Tod’s willingness to help the dogs seems like it was dropped in from a younger child-oriented film, the short version of the film works well enough. While the film has scenes of interaction voiced with members of the research station throughout the film, for the most part the camera follows the animals, even during the voiceovers of human characters. There’s no question that the camera’s sympathies lie with the animals, which is fine for those concerned with animal protection.

Despite being animated, the film isn’t particualrly geared to young children due to bloodshed and deaths, though they may be more capable of handling such matters than I’m guessing. If concerned about vivisection and animal research from the animal protection view, I’d recommend the film for most.

The film is available through itunes and amazon.

The book is also available through book sellers such as Barnes & Noble.

(Note: I’m not an affiliate for any businesses linked in this post.)

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