Episode #16 - An In-Depth Review

"Where the Little Folk Go"
BJ QUOTES
[From the Introduction] "Hello! I'm Brian Jacques and welcome to Redwall! Last time, we saw Mattimeo be carted away by Slagar the Slaver. Also, Mattimeo learned Slagar's true identity: Chickenhound! His father's former enemy. Today, Matthias' search for his son continues and Mattimeo realizes that, while in captivity, he is learning to be a leader. Coming up on Redwall!"

[When asked about Redwall Animals] "Little Matthias needs friends. And, you see in Redwall, he gets friends. This is a lesson for us, also. To be friendly with others. But, the friends he gets, some of them are strong, aren't they? If you look at Constance the badger, she's a great big mother, but, she's a huge badger. And badgers are fierce creatures. And she is a very fierce creature!"

[Character Spotlight on Orlando the Axe] "Orlando is one of those great badgers out of legend! The great badger warriors! And the badgers are the absolute fearless warriors! They're the fighters, they're the heroes. They can be gentle with their own, but beware the foe who steps in front of a badger! Like all of the badgers from the mountain of Salamandastron, right through to the badgers at Redwall, they all have one cry when they go into war, and it sounds like this: [shows a scene where Orlando's VA mispronounces "Eulalia" as "AY-yoo-LAAAAA!!!!"] See, that word, Eulalia, has it's own magic. That was one of the Norse war cries. The Vikings, the Sea Wolves, the Norsemen, and the Celts, used to use it when they went into battle. Try saying it sometimes, it might give you courage. Eulalia! You ain't gonna bully me! EULALIAAAA!!!!!"

[ASK THE AUTHOR Segment] "Do you have any advice for kids who want to become a writer when they grow up?"

"You learn to paint pictures with words. Think about that. If you want to be a writer, you must learn to paint a picture with words. And I don't do lots of preliminary, agonizing, and pencil sketching. I go in there and I think about what I'm going to do. Because I'm concentrating on what I'm going to do. I'm not watching television with one eye and writing the book with the other. I am centered on what I'm doing, and so the characters come up right. And that's what you must do, if you want to be a writer."

SUMMARY OF NEW FOOTAGE

The episode opens with last-week's tapestry shots, which were: 1) The Abbey-mice strewn about the Abbey grounds, drugged by Slagar; 2) Slagar holding a chain and forcing two mice to walk; and 3) A wide shot, almost like a crude compass. Redwall stands in the center of the screen, hills rising up and down around it. Over the Abbey, Matthias stands with his sword. To the right of the Abbey is the cart. To the left is Orlando. And, finally, below the Abbey are four mice in the green habits of Redwall (they're either the slaves or Mrs. Churchmouse's search party). The tapestry shots fade into Matthias charging at the cart, crying, "Redwaaaaaall!!!"

When Cheek is telling Matthias and the others what Fengal and Deadnose said, it flashes back to show the two vermin conversing.

A scene of Slagar kidnapping Jube is included. We see Jube sniffing about. He runs up to a net, which is suspended from a tree, full of meat. While he's distracted, Slagar grabs him. Then, it returns to the slave camp.

After Matthias, Jess, Jabez, Orlando, and Basil join hands and say, "Together!", the episode fades into the tapestry-shots: 1) The slavers forcing the dibbuns to march; 2) The Redwallers gathered around the tapestry; and 3) Matthias, Jess, Jabez, Basil, and Orlando forming a circle while nine of Jabez's daughters look-on. Then, the episode ends.


CHANGES FROM BOOK

- Instead of Matthias redirecting his sword to hit the iron seatbar, he stops it a hairsbreadth away from Cheek's head.

- The part where Cheek misnamed Jess "Jeff" was removed. Instead, it's Basil, not Jess, who moves to grab Cheek (after "Barrel Stick Chair").

- Inconsistency alert. When Mordalfus reads the note Matthias and the others left, it's a perfect transcription from the book, right down to the signature: B.S. Hare. The problem? Last episode we watched Matthias write the note.

- Mrs. Churchmouse wasn't sent off to find Cornflower and Baby Rollo before Constance and the Abbot began talking about why the vermin went east. Some of the conversation is off, such as Constance being the one to wonder aloud, "If they really were going east." instead of Mordalfus.

- After Mordalfus walks off, Constance turns to Mrs. Churchmouse and instructs her to prepare supplies for another search party. This scene wasn't in the book.

- I'm convinced Tim's role has been all but eliminated-- he's just there to fill space. When the slaves are collecting items to bargain with Scurl, Tim's green stone is not included.

- The scene with Wartclaw interrupting the dibbuns during their deal with Scurl was removed, as was the part about the "Woodlander Code".

- Auma doesn't throw a clump of sod at Scurl. He just runs off after his little song.

- Matti and Tess' conversation (about her seasonday present) happens before Slagar makes them march again. LIkewise, they're introduced to Jube before they begin to march.

- The explanation for Jube's name is not included.

- They've added a dream Mordalfus had (mostly a montage of Slagar, the dibbuns, and the slavers. Martin appears at the end, saying, "Seek the Founder in the stones where the little folk go."). In the book, he was unable to sleep, making dreams impossible. The scene of him staring at the tapestry is still included, however.

- Constance had the same dream as Mordalfus. In the book, it was only Father Abbot who heard the message.

- After hearing Martin's message, the Abbot and Constance rush to the dormitories to wake the other Redwallers. In the book, they simply went to breakfast.

- Cheek finds "pawprints" instead of weapons. Basil stumbles upon the weapons later.

- Jube says they're going to some place called "Malkariss". In the book, they only knew they were going south.


VOICE CRITIQUES

Cheek (Kylie Fairlie) - Cheek's voice is near-perfect, fitting the character much like Richard Binsley fits Basil. A perfect blend of cheekiness and youthful exuberance. Kudos!

Sam Squirrel (Alex House) - Sam's voice isn't very notable, in ways others are, but it's still above-average and fits the character nicely.

Scurl (Noah Reid) - Annoying, shifty, perfect Scurl material. Nice job!

Jube (Ali Mukaddam) - Jube didn't have much to say this week, but from what I heard he seemed to be pretty good. Easily differentiated from the rest.

Jabez (Wayne Best) - A pretty solid performance. And, while he does fit Jabez (make no mistakes about that), Wayne Best would be perfect as a searat or corsair. Tramun Clogg, for instance.


CRITIQUE

Yet another outstanding episode. Two very minor nitpicks that do not affect my enjoyment of the show one bit. I continue to be blown away at how well done these episodes are.

The first nitpick is Tim Churchmouse's move from character to window-dressing. It started out small enough last episode, but once again Tim's role is removed (this time it's his green stone contribution). Tim's a very good character, a nice friend to Matti (and older, let us not forget), so he deserves better.

The second nitpick is that the dibbuns find out, through Jube, that they're heading to Malkariss. This is too early for that bit of information.

Still, everything else is so well done that you hardly notice these changes. These episodes are outstanding! To demonstrate, today I had my copy of Mattimeo open in front of me and I read the dialogue right along with the show. Nearly everything matched. There was an omission of a word here and there, a few blocks removed or shuffled around, but you can follow the show with the book. That is outstanding for any adaptation, and especially so for Redwall.

Once more, extreme props must be given to the pacing. It's excellent. They aren't overdoing things, they're moving it along at a steady walk, and they aren't leaving any gaps to be filled in. This is the book come to life. I can't stress that enough.

And, since I haven't done it in awhile, let's have a big round of applause for the wonderful music by Jack Procher and Daniel Fernandez! I honestly can't think of any soundtrack that would be better suited for Redwall. It's outstanding and I sincerely hope that the soundtrack becomes a reality.

Thanks for reading. I'll see you next time.




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Matthias