Top critical review
17 people found this helpful
Don't get this edition - get the extended version on region 4
on 31 December 2006
After the popular WATERSHIP DOWN (1978), director co-scripter Martin Rosen waited 4 years until issuing his next project, THE PLAGUE DOGS, an adaption of the considerably darker novel by the same author. This in turn had to wait 2 years before it was finally released. At close to 100 minutes, it is the longest animated feature film to have appeared in the UK so far - and arguably, along with ANIMAL FARM (1954) and Wallace & Gromit, the most significant. It continued the faithful representation of Richard Adams' unsentimental anthropomorphism on screen to sometime disturbing effect, again featuring the distinctive voice talent of John Hurt, together with contributions from the like of James Bolam, Nigel Hawthorne, Bernard Hepton, Christopher Benjamin, etc.
Considerably cut, one imagines against the director's wishes, for the UK and elsewhere, presumably to make it more acceptable for the junior market, PD is apparently only available at home in the truncated version - either on its own or, bizarrely, doubled with an inferior animated version of Flash Gordon.
Those who go to the trouble of seeking out the extended cut (issued for instance in Australia, coupled with the shorter cut for fascinating comparison) will be well rewarded. The extra 17 minutes or so unsuprisingly bring with them a more complex, adult, and satisfying film, restoring nuances here and there, as well as removing the opening song, confirming PD as a major achievement - and one still scandalously treated in its country of origin. The condition of the extended version is not pristine, having been retrieved from the director's sole surviving print, but is perfectly acceptable. Rosen never did anything much of note again, only being credited with one more title on IMDb, STACKING (1987), a nondescript live action feature.