Friday, April 15, 2011

Wandering over the hills unseen

I drew some fan art for Watership Down this week. It's my absolute favorite book. **spoilers ahead**

I watched the 1978 animated film when I was little (my mom wasn't ignorant of the content--I was just persistent in asking to be allowed to see it). In 5th grade, I was surprised to see a book by the same title on the shelf of our neighborhood library. It was so fun rediscovering the story; some scenes were familiar but I was still surprised by each twist in the journey. I bought the book and read it every summer until my paperback copy fell apart. Even when it was in 3 pieces and the pages fell off one by one when you turned them, I kept it. I can't find it now, though...I must have finally given it up when I moved out of my parents' house last fall. I need to find a good hardback copy...
In 7th grade, I was reading Watership Down on the sidelines of soccer practice during one of my frequent sprained ankle recoveries. A friend's mom came up and commented on the book. We started talking about the movie, and in my teenage eagerness to distance myself from anything emotional, I made a joke about how terrible the musical sequence in the middle was. My friend's mom mused, "That's my favorite part, actually," and explained why. I was suddenly ashamed, wishing I had the confidence to admit that it was mine, too. She passed away a few years ago. I didn't know her well, but this is something I will always remember.

So this fan art is for that scene from the movie, where Fiver's vision leads him to Hazel. It's so beautiful--the feverish imagery and the Art Garfunkel song and the symphonic suite in the middle of it. I love poor Fiver, set upon by his gift/curse, thought to be mad by just about everyone, and how he saves the lot of them time and again. I especially love the sun/moon bleeding into the field (and the music that accompanies it), and how this is a metaphor for where Fiver finds Hazel, bleeding out in a storm drain--something that hit me while rewatching the movie this week.

Fiver's ears should probably be down to tag him, but I liked the composition much better with them up.

1 comment:

MalteseLizzieMcGee said...

Gorgeous picture: it really fits the scene beautifully