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Ideal Redwall Movie?
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  1. #1
    Patroller Schröder's Avatar
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    Ideal Redwall Movie?

    I know there have been plenty of (fake) announcements over the years for a Redwall movie, but this is not one of them, this is a hypothetical discussion where I would like to hear your opinions on the subject. Topics of discussion may include (but are not limited to)

    Production style (Animation, live action, etc...)
    Preferred actors for certain characters
    Composer/ style for the music
    Director/producer
    Proximity to the original material
    Whether a movie should exist at all
    Anything I can't think of at the moment

    My opinion is that if there is to be a movie, it has to be done right or not at all. This may be the opinion of many of us, and it is a very important thing to us as fans of the original work.

    The production style I think would work best would be motion capture, similar to how Gollum was created for the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. Or like how in the Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket Raccoon is brought to life, I'm not sure if that is CG or MC or whatever, but based off the commercials I've seen, they did a good job and it might easily be translated over to Redwall.

    For characters, I have a very short list of people I think would be good for them, but the one I have thought would work for a while would be Geffory Rush as Cluny the Scourge because of his performance as Barbossa. Others include Liam Neeson as Martin's spirit (Because Aslan), John Hurt as Abbot Mortimer, Ian McKellen as Methuselah, and Andy Serkis as I'm not sure but someone.

    As much as I love John Williams and Hans Zimmer, I think I would like Marc Streitenfeld to compose the music, mainly because of his work on the semi-recent Robin Hood movie starring Russel Crowe, where I could really feel the medievalness in the music. If you haven't heard it, the soundtrack is on YouTube in parts and in full.

    By proximity to the original material, I mean closeness to the book and continuity. In Redwall, there are continuity issues in the first chapter that don't match up to the other books, specifically Mossflower. If the movie changed these to fit the other books, I think it would be good. Granted, it is tiny issue really, but I feel it is like a tiny pebble in your shoe, not that important, but can be a bit annoying.

    That's all I can think of for now.
    Share your thoughts, what do you think?


    "Knowledge is a thing that one cannot have enough of. It is the fruit of wisdom, to be eaten carefully and digested fully..." -BJ

    “I wish to thank all the breweries who manufactured all the ale which got me so sodden drunk, that I got the inspiration to write this book.” -BJ


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  2. #2
    Patroller Mulchior Lancer's Avatar
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    I’d love to see a Redwall movie in the style of the Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon series. I know if it gets made it’ll be another average CGI movie, but a guy can dream, right? For the soundtrack, as long as it’s a mix of Medieval and Celtic music, I’m fine with it. Preferably without a song about believing in yourself please.

    Also, the cast needs to be British, no Americans in the roles. One of my biggest pet peeves with the How to Train Your Dragon series is how different Hiccup sounds from the rest of the cast. Now, I’m terrible with actor names, but maybe Matt Smith as Matthias?

    And I’d hope the script would stay faithful to the book. I’m with you, Schroder, fix what doesn't fit with the rest of the books, and just adapt the book into something that works on film. You can’t have it perfect, but book adaptations to the big screen have been decent lately, so I’m not too worried about that.

  3. #3
    President of The Long Patrol Martin the Warrior's Avatar
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    Really interesting to consider and I'm not sure I'd deviate greatly from what you guys have said on a lot of points, so I'll run through them (and probably revisit at a future date when I've had time to consider further).

    Production style (Animation, live action, etc...)

    I'm definitely in the animation camp, preferably 2D animation. I'm fine with about 85-90% of the character models from the TV series, but would appreciate adding a greater level of detail to them and fixing the few that bothered me (I was never a fan of the Romani look of the GUOSIM, although a few of the rank-and-file GUOSIM actually worked fine... but lose the floppy hats and dresses).

    I would especially love to see the backgrounds animated with the same level of care as the character elements. Watch a Studio Ghibli movie and some of the most memorable scenes are environmental (combined with Joe Hisaishi's fantastic score) where you see the wind sweeping over a field of grass or trees or whatnot. Since I'm not worrying about budget, I'd like that level of detail and beauty married with a western style that evokes Chris Baker's UK covers (or even David Wyatt's-- who is definitely one of the most cinematic artists to have worked on the series). If the movie could be Chris Baker's covers brought to life, all the better.

    Preferred actors for certain characters

    I'd be fine with unknowns, so long as they were competent. Sometimes well known actors simply can't be divorced from their previous roles-- take for instance the newer Spider-Man movies. Sally Field and Martin Sheen are great actors who made several roles their own. But I cannot look at them and see Aunt May and Uncle Ben-- I see Sally Field and Martin Sheen. In Sheen's case, he's doing a voice for an adaptation of The Boxcar Children and as soon as he opened his mouth I was conscious of the fact that this was Martin Sheen's character. I'd be fine with some famous actors, but would really want them to disappear into the role.

    One caveat I'd echo, though, is that I would prefer a British cast. John Hurt would be a fabulous Methuselah at this point. John Cleese could do a decent Basil Stag Hare. I'd be fine with Matt Smith as Matthias, actually. I think he's got a childlike quality to his voice that I could accept him as a young novice.

    Composer/ style for the music

    I'd echo a medieval/celtic vibe. I love the score Jack and Daniel did for the TV series, but would want more orchestral flourishes for a movie. I'd lean towards Patrick Doyle as a composer, who's had some real practice with the style and fits it fairly well.

    Director/producer

    I'd want someone with experience with animation, above all, but also someone who understood the importance and primacy of story. Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Iron Giant, and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) would be a good fit that I'd trust. Honestly I'd trust any of the guys at Pixar, provided they didn't inject unnecessary humor into the film. But Bird's blending of seriousness and adventure storytelling make him ideal, I think.

    Proximity to the original material

    Close while still translating the story adequately to the medium. You can't have everything from the book in the movie-- just not possible. Some elements or characters have to be cut. But the core story has to be there, this has to be the story of Matthias. I'd want the riddles preserved as much as possible and make their solving organic rather than contrived. This is a tall order for the screenwriter, but doable. I'd also want to underscore the epic nature of the quest and so, unlike the TV series, when Matthias leaves the Abbey to hunt for Asmodeus and the sword, he does not have a safety net-- he does not return and set out again and again-- he sets out and does not return without the sword. Maintain the integrity of the story as much as possible. And absolutely correct anything that contradicts later stories (within reason) but I think leaving flourishes about how Martin founded the Abbey are fine, as it underscores how much time distorts history. I'd also leave the horse-drawn cart in, because despite its irregularity, so much of Cluny's introduction depends on it and I think it's be a shame to lose such an iconic scene in the series.

    Whether a movie should exist at all

    Oh, absolutely. Redwall is a modern day classic that deserves to have a movie. So long as it's done right.
    ~Martin the Warrior~
    -President of The Long Patrol

    "A poet is a musician who can't sing. Words have to find a man's mind before they can touch his heart, and some men's minds are woeful small targets. Music touches their hearts directly no matter how small or stubborn the mind of the man who listens."
    ~The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss

  4. #4
    Patroller Schröder's Avatar
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    Hitting the "random page" button on the Redwall wiki brought me to the Terrouge page, a literary magazine for Redwall. I looked through the archives and I found fourteen year old poll results for character assignment,

    For Matthias:

    Matthew Broderick - 19
    Joshua Jackson - 7
    Tom Hulce - 3

    For Cluny:

    Tony Jay - 13
    Colm Wilkinson - 8
    John Hurt - 8

    For Cornflower:

    Drew Barrymore - 12
    Jennifer Aniston - 11
    Sarah Brightman - 7

    For Constance:

    Kathy Bates - 18
    Carrie Fisher - 7
    Angela Lansbury - 5

    For Basil Stag Hare:

    John Cleese - 20
    Ian McDiarmid - 6
    Jerry Orbach - 2

    For Mordalfus:

    Sean Connery - 17
    Liam Neeson - 10
    Steven Fry - 2

    A few familiar faces, like Liam Neeson and John Hurt, and especially John Cleese for Basil, as you said, Martin. Did you vote in the initial poll?


    "Knowledge is a thing that one cannot have enough of. It is the fruit of wisdom, to be eaten carefully and digested fully..." -BJ

    “I wish to thank all the breweries who manufactured all the ale which got me so sodden drunk, that I got the inspiration to write this book.” -BJ


    Me: "Wait for it...wait for it...MARSHANK REDEMPTION!"
    My friend: "Comments section on 'Escape from Marshank'."
    Me: You've gotta spoil everything, don't ya?"
    Him: "Yup."

  5. #5
    Patroller Mulchior Lancer's Avatar
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    Say, I was just going to add to this thread today.

    Interesting find Schröder! Terrogue's poll selections are interesting to say the least. Lot's of American actors on that list, which I suppose isn't all that surprising. I'd imagine if the same poll was made today, Megan Fox would be in the running for Cornflower. Angela Lansbury as a possible Constance is pretty inspired.


    A thought came to me tonight randomly about the Redwall movie. Would anyone want to see a Redwall adaptation by Jim Henson productions? They've used rat muppets before, and have done serious films like Dark Crystal. I think they could pull off a Redwall adaptation that would be entertaining to watch.
    “Aha! Today I shall become an author! And I will auth and auth and auth and make a squillion dollars, whoopee!”
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  6. #6
    Patroller: General Ferahgo the Assassin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mulchior Lancer View Post
    A thought came to me tonight randomly about the Redwall movie. Would anyone want to see a Redwall adaptation by Jim Henson productions? They've used rat muppets before, and have done serious films like Dark Crystal. I think they could pull off a Redwall adaptation that would be entertaining to watch.
    Now that's quite an interesting thought. My first reaction is Ack! Redwall puppets! but the more I consider it, the more intrigued I am...

    I do think that a highly detailed, Miyazaki-style 2D animation would be breathtaking, though I'd also be quite happy with realistic (yet expressive and somewhat cartoony) CGI animals on a Pixar-level of quality. Something in the style of Reepicheep from the Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie would also be rather lovely as well.
    "Luck, good or bad, is not the hand of God. Luck is the way the wind swirls and dust settles eons after God has passed by." - Winston Niles Rumsfoord, The Sirens of Titan

  7. #7
    Patroller Schröder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferahgo the Assassin View Post
    Something in the style of Reepicheep from the Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie would also be rather lovely as well.
    That's exactly what I was thinking. I first saw him in Prince Caspian and the first thing that came to my mind was: That could be Redwall.


    "Knowledge is a thing that one cannot have enough of. It is the fruit of wisdom, to be eaten carefully and digested fully..." -BJ

    “I wish to thank all the breweries who manufactured all the ale which got me so sodden drunk, that I got the inspiration to write this book.” -BJ


    Me: "Wait for it...wait for it...MARSHANK REDEMPTION!"
    My friend: "Comments section on 'Escape from Marshank'."
    Me: You've gotta spoil everything, don't ya?"
    Him: "Yup."

  8. #8
    Patroller Mulchior Lancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferahgo the Assassin View Post
    Now that's quite an interesting thought. My first reaction is Ack! Redwall puppets! but the more I consider it, the more intrigued I am...
    I know, right? At first I wasn't sure if it would work, but I think it could be an interesting interpretation.

    And the CGI Reepicheep animation from the Narnia movies is another viable option. It's much better than many of CGI examples we could name. If Redwall does go CGI, I wouldn't want it to look cartoony.
    “Aha! Today I shall become an author! And I will auth and auth and auth and make a squillion dollars, whoopee!”
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    My Story Blog

  9. #9
    President of The Long Patrol Martin the Warrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schröder View Post
    A few familiar faces, like Liam Neeson and John Hurt, and especially John Cleese for Basil, as you said, Martin. Did you vote in the initial poll?
    I don't recall voting in the poll, so I'm doubtful, but I do remember discussions with a lot of these choices at the time. I always thought that Tony Jay (I instinctively think of his run as Megabyte from Reboot every time he's mentioned) had too much of a sophisticated accent to be a good fit for Cluny, although he'd be a good Slagar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulchior Lancer View Post
    A thought came to me tonight randomly about the Redwall movie. Would anyone want to see a Redwall adaptation by Jim Henson productions? They've used rat muppets before, and have done serious films like Dark Crystal. I think they could pull off a Redwall adaptation that would be entertaining to watch.
    I think a Henson helmed Redwall adaptation would be very entertaining. Although my mind immediately went to The Storyteller, which in turn reminded me of the old BBC Chronicles of Narnia adaptations (which I absolutely loved back in the day) which had this version of Reepicheep...

    I think I'd enjoy it, but I'm not sure it'd be the best avenue for Redwall. (Stop motion, for instance, is in the same boat. While it's ideally suited to adapt some material, like Neil Gaiman's Coraline, I wouldn't want Redwall in that style... but that's totally personal preference on my part.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferahgo the Assassin View Post
    I do think that a highly detailed, Miyazaki-style 2D animation would be breathtaking, though I'd also be quite happy with realistic (yet expressive and somewhat cartoony) CGI animals on a Pixar-level of quality. Something in the style of Reepicheep from the Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie would also be rather lovely as well.
    I'd be fine with that, too, although I'd imagine the price-tag for a full movie of that quality would be up there. That's my threshold with CGI, though-- done well or not at all. There's a movie trailer for a CG adaptation of The Boxcar Children series of books and it literally looks like they made an inexpensive video game and then basically "filmed" the movie in-game. I'd hate to see Redwall treated like that.
    ~Martin the Warrior~
    -President of The Long Patrol

    "A poet is a musician who can't sing. Words have to find a man's mind before they can touch his heart, and some men's minds are woeful small targets. Music touches their hearts directly no matter how small or stubborn the mind of the man who listens."
    ~The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss

  10. #10
    Patroller Schröder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin the Warrior View Post
    That's my threshold with CGI, though-- done well or not at all. There's a movie trailer for a CG adaptation of The Boxcar Children series of books and it literally looks like they made an inexpensive video game and then basically "filmed" the movie in-game. I'd hate to see Redwall treated like that.
    Absolutely; if it is to be done, it MUST be done well; it would be devastating for a movie to be made but turn out terribly.


    "Knowledge is a thing that one cannot have enough of. It is the fruit of wisdom, to be eaten carefully and digested fully..." -BJ

    “I wish to thank all the breweries who manufactured all the ale which got me so sodden drunk, that I got the inspiration to write this book.” -BJ


    Me: "Wait for it...wait for it...MARSHANK REDEMPTION!"
    My friend: "Comments section on 'Escape from Marshank'."
    Me: You've gotta spoil everything, don't ya?"
    Him: "Yup."

  11. #11
    Patroller Bereden the Intrepid's Avatar
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    Hey everybody, some old faces, some new. I was passing through, and thought I'd chime in on the board for old time's sake.

    I feel that a Redwall movie would be well served if the CGI models were made to look similarly to those in the movie The Tale of Despereaux. I say this because the character design, both in proportionality and application of color, was quite reminiscent of Christopher Denise's illustrations, at least by my own reckoning. Regardless of whether or not the film was produced using CGI or two dimensional animation techniques, I would like to see a similar watercolor palette used for any movie about Redwall, if not for anything else but the storybook quality that it conveys.
    Guess who.

  12. #12
    Dibbun
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    I definitely want multiple Redwall films to be made by someone. I would perhaps like somebody to try using fairly fluid stop-motion (with a certain organic, rough look) enhanced with CG...they do this I know for some stop-motion films to animate certain things that are difficult to do by hand, so that's where I got that idea. Perhaps it would make multiple films more financially feasible if at least the scenery and sets could all be physical models instead of being rendered for each frame, but then I am not an expert. 2D anime or realistic CG could work too. For Redwall, though, I would want a particular style. I think that in a way it should not look too sophisticated. I would like it the visual style to look organic, a little sombre, a little rough, but still detailed. I hope that makes sense. I guess that's why I'm sort of attracted to the idea of using some physical models, even though stop-motion is not my favorite type of animation. Some of the stop motion I watched growing up, like a Wind in the Willows series (maybe it was BBC?), looked so real to me as a kid. But at the same time you would want more smoothness and action in a Redwall movie.

    Perhaps the first movie could be a big CG movie and then later movies could be less expensive, limited release and then straight to DVD. Perhaps this would allow us to get more stories of Redwall than we would if each one had to be a big event. Or, maybe two or three films would be enough, as long as collectively they covered the major settings (Redwall, Salamandastron, Mossflower woods, maybe Noondale or Terramort or one of those southern lands) and included a smattering of the best characters. I am saying this because some franchises obviously fizzle out before the whole story can be told

  13. #13
    Patroller Mulchior Lancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schröder View Post
    Absolutely; if it is to be done, it MUST be done well; it would be devastating for a movie to be made but turn out terribly.
    Seriously, nothing would make me sadder as a fan than watching a bad Redwall adaptation. After seeing what happened to Green Lantern when his movie was just average, nothing would hurt the series more. Who knows if the series would even get another chance if it flopped? We’d at least have to wait a decade or two longer for another shot, which would bum me out because I want to see Mossflower get a proper screen adaptation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bereden the Intrepid View Post
    Hey everybody, some old faces, some new. I was passing through, and thought I'd chime in on the board for old time's sake.

    I feel that a Redwall movie would be well served if the CGI models were made to look similarly to those in the movie The Tale of Despereaux. I say this because the character design, both in proportionality and application of color, was quite reminiscent of Christopher Denise's illustrations, at least by my own reckoning. Regardless of whether or not the film was produced using CGI or two dimensional animation techniques, I would like to see a similar watercolor palette used for any movie about Redwall, if not for anything else but the storybook quality that it conveys.
    Welcome back Bereden! I’d be one of those new faces you speak of. I hope you stick around (or at least pop in every once and awhile.

    I haven’t seen The Tale of Despereaux, though I’ve borrowed the dvd from my parents (gotta get around to watching it…). From what I remember of the trailer and the box, the art style does have a lovely soft tone to the colors, and the models did look impressive. I’d be fine if whoever made the Redwall film went in that direction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Worbee View Post
    I definitely want multiple Redwall films to be made by someone. I would perhaps like somebody to try using fairly fluid stop-motion (with a certain organic, rough look) enhanced with CG...they do this I know for some stop-motion films to animate certain things that are difficult to do by hand, so that's where I got that idea. Perhaps it would make multiple films more financially feasible if at least the scenery and sets could all be physical models instead of being rendered for each frame, but then I am not an expert. 2D anime or realistic CG could work too. For Redwall, though, I would want a particular style. I think that in a way it should not look too sophisticated. I would like it the visual style to look organic, a little sombre, a little rough, but still detailed. I hope that makes sense. I guess that's why I'm sort of attracted to the idea of using some physical models, even though stop-motion is not my favorite type of animation. Some of the stop motion I watched growing up, like a Wind in the Willows series (maybe it was BBC?), looked so real to me as a kid. But at the same time you would want more smoothness and action in a Redwall movie.

    Perhaps the first movie could be a big CG movie and then later movies could be less expensive, limited release and then straight to DVD. Perhaps this would allow us to get more stories of Redwall than we would if each one had to be a big event. Or, maybe two or three films would be enough, as long as collectively they covered the major settings (Redwall, Salamandastron, Mossflower woods, maybe Noondale or Terramort or one of those southern lands) and included a smattering of the best characters. I am saying this because some franchises obviously fizzle out before the whole story can be told
    Oh, I loved the Cosgrove Hall Wind in the Willows adaptation. I’d be happy with a stop motion Redwall film, though 2D animation will always be my preferred method. I could see Redwall fitting in, as it would give it a kind of pop-up book look to it. Matthias and co sneaking into Asmodeus’ lair could be especially creepy with a Claymation veneer.

    If more were to be made besides Redwall, I think Mattimeo, Martin the Warrior, and Mossflower would be definite choices. However, since Mattimeo and MtW have already been adapted, I’d be interested in seeing what other stories they’d pick as adaptation worthy. I think Outcast of Redwall would be the most logical, considering it follows after Mossflower. They could do Legend of Luke, but I’d hope they’d go with Outcast. Mariel of Redwall and The Bellmaker would also fit together. I could see Salamandastron slipping in eventually, but only if the films were wildly successful.

    I could see Netflix or Hulu also producing the books as exclusive original planning, though I’m not sure if they’d have that large of a budget.
    “Aha! Today I shall become an author! And I will auth and auth and auth and make a squillion dollars, whoopee!”
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  14. #14
    Dibbun Patchouli's Avatar
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    I live under a rock, so I honestly don't know any Hollywood producers or people.

    But if Redwall were to be made into a movie, I personally prefer the CGI type. Nothing like Disney's Frozen or Tangled though, I feel that the characters are too childish.

    I think CG adds a darker tone to Redwall. As we all know, there are some graphic moments in the series and 2D just doesn't seem to fit the piece for me. CG similar to Smaug in the Hobbit and Rocket Raccoon would be ideal for me.

  15. #15
    Patroller Schröder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patchouli View Post
    CG similar to Smaug in the Hobbit and Rocket Raccoon would be ideal for me.
    My thoughts exactly.


    "Knowledge is a thing that one cannot have enough of. It is the fruit of wisdom, to be eaten carefully and digested fully..." -BJ

    “I wish to thank all the breweries who manufactured all the ale which got me so sodden drunk, that I got the inspiration to write this book.” -BJ


    Me: "Wait for it...wait for it...MARSHANK REDEMPTION!"
    My friend: "Comments section on 'Escape from Marshank'."
    Me: You've gotta spoil everything, don't ya?"
    Him: "Yup."

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