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The Boomstick Film Club: Watership Down and The Secret of NIMH

Stream it with us: Watership Down, The Secret of NIMH

The late 1970s and early ’80s was a great time for animated adaptations of high fantasy literature. Rankin/Bass studios adapted fantasy classics like The Hobbit and The Last Unicorn, and Disney turned out more mainstream, kid-oriented films like The Black Cauldron. In the midst of all this, two fantasy classics that had previously been thought unadaptable finally got the film treatment they deserved: 1978’s Watership Down and 1982’s The Secret of NIMH. Both feature talking animals, both tackle conservationist or animals rights concerns that were way ahead of their time, and both are just a touch scary—or at least I thought so as a tiny child. My younger self was impressed with the films’ fantasy landscapes couched in an atmosphere of danger. Revisiting them both as an adult, I still love them; now I find myself empathizing with each film’s reluctant leader while also squirming at the damage wrought by humans. Continue reading

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The Boomstick Film Club: Look Who’s Back

Look Who's Back

Watch it with us: Netflix streaming

If Look Who’s Back had been released in any other year, it would have been a clever, amusing cautionary tale positing an answer to the age-old question: what would happen if Hitler was magically transported, unchanged and unharmed, to modern-day Europe? How would we respond to him now that we know what he’s capable of? And it’s certainly a clever, amusing film. But since it was just released in the US by Netflix in early April, it also reads as an eerily prescient political allegory.

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