There’s always a sense of invigoration when something you once thought was a beautiful remnant from the past suddenly rears its head back into your life like it was there all along, waiting. Everyone has a list of numerous shows or movies or books that define these pretty little moments that permeate in the back of our minds. It’s only when that certain something is being revitalized for modern times that those things can either be the laundry list of what was once and always will be good or becomes a dirty laundry list of things that pester you from existence alone. Regardless, before any reassuring or harsh judgments based on modern viewpoints can be had, a feeling of optimism should take precedence. A series as beloved as Brian Jacques’ Redwall novel series evokes these feelings of unearthing a shiny object only to allow my current state of mind to see something that was once not there before.
In February, Netflix, likely due to the competition of Disney+ as a fierce and animated opponent, has acquired the rights to the fantastical series of medieval war featuring furry woodland creatures. The details are very terse at the moment, considering the announcement was made earlier last month. So far, the only details on the production side of things is that Over the Garden Wall writer Patrick McHale will pen the projects. Netflix has also stated that the plan is to release a film and subsequent animated series to accompany it. The film will focus on the legendary Martin the Warrior as he tears a name for himself before burying his sword to set up the animated series of Matthias and, eventually, his son Mattimeo as they fight to protect Redwall’s borders from their vile foes. The opportunities here seem very exciting, as this is a series that is near and dear to my heart. However, I have my suspicions of what could go wrong here. This is a Netflix adaptation at the end of it all, and that doesn’t always inspire confidence in the quality of the work.
Image Via JustWatch
While I harbor excitement for what’s to come, I am the least bit wary, considering the recent attempts at adapting once popular works into the new age. Long-time fans of Sabrina the Teenage Witch and, more recently, the Winx Club reboots have garnered the many laments that come when something from the past is drudged up in a darker, grittier Netflix adaptation. Most fans had critiques on the style and tone both series tried and subsequently failed at portraying in an attempt to reach a wider audience while missing the mark on what made the shows so enthralling to begin with. Redwall is a project that wants to gear itself toward both younger and older audiences while trying to emulate the Lord of the Rings-esque feel of Brian Jacques’ works. As long as there aren’t too many attempts to ride certain waves of fads like the previous examples, this should be a very welcome revival of a childhood classic whether viewers were introduced from the novels or the PBS series.
Image Via LitReactor
To many readers, Redwall was a very palatable story with wondrous characters that invoke a sense of medieval adventure where bravery, along with some swordsmanship, conquers the bitter villainy of the world. It’s something that is sorely lacking in today’s market, as so many projects seek to expand upon current issues with a nostalgic twist to hook viewers in. There’s certainly a place for the experimental, but sometimes it’s best to step into the past in order to leap forward. Perhaps to have a break from the ordinary is to step into the very ordinary. With Redwall, it’s safe to say that a fun fantasy tale of chivalrous creatures is likely to bless your Netflix library soon.