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Western Animation / Silverwing

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Kenneth Oppel's YA novel Silverwing received an animated adaptation in 2003, produced by Canadian studio Bardel Entertainment that aired on Teletoon.

The show was only a season long, and is a Pragmatic Adaptation at best, but was still well-received by both fans of the books and newcomers alike.

This animated series contains examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: Some of the elements in the show, including certain backgrounds, effects, gigantic objects and even Cama Zotz himself are CG, which differentiates a lot from the 2D animation in terms of the rendering and stylism.
  • Adaptational Comic Relief: Throbb is made even more of a Butt-Monkey in the tv series by being depicted as Fat Comic Relief.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: Orestes didn't appear in the story until book 2, while the series is mainly focused on adapting book 1. However, here he shows up in the only season helping the main leads clear their names.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: Throbb in the animated series is depicted as fatter than he did in the book which he is described as lean and thin just like Goth.
  • Adaptation Expansion: And how. To begin, the show added new characters that were never even mentioned in the books (for example, Ursa the white bear), new plots and sideplots were added, and scenes that were deemed too scary were taken out. Oddly, The Reveal of Goth's cannibalistic acts remains in the show, though mostly toned down. There's no blood and Goth eating isn't shown head-on.
  • Adaptational Nationality: In the book, the bats were stated to be from Brazil. However, in the tv series they are shown speaking Spanish meaning they originate from a Spanish-speaking Central or South American country since Brazil's national language is Portuguese.
  • Adapted Out:
    • King Boreal, who was Orestes' actual father in the book, doesn't appear in the series and his role as leader of the owls is seemingly taken by Brutus.
    • There was also a female owl ambassador who met with the pigeons in the book, but that role was also taken by Brutus.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Goth and to a lesser extent, Throbb, drop a lot of Spanish terms especially the former who likes to use "Hola…" as a Catchphrase.
  • Karma Houdini: Brutus is a massive one. Despite organizing a genocide against Bats simply for one breaking an ancient pact and working with Wolves to hunt them down, he changes his mind and undergoes a Heel–Face Turn with no comeuppance by the Bats and the other animals for all the trouble he has caused.
  • The Film of the Book: Originally going to be played straight, but then inverted: the Silverwing trilogy was going to be re-written into a film, with the original author serving as script supervisor. But after a while, the crew decided that making a film wasn't the best way to go, so they retooled it into a TV series.
  • It Has Only Just Begun: Dialog in the end of "Towers of Fire" episode.
    Marina: It's over, Shade.
    Shade: (grimly) No, it's just begun.
  • Freakiness Shame: Romulus has this in the form of patagium like that of a flying squirrel which makes him an Extreme Doormat to his abusive and controlling brother Remus, who deemed him a freak and an embarrassment. Thanks to some encouragement from Shade and Marina, Romulus manages to use his patagium to glide to safety during a violent tussle with Remus and reigns as a single and benevolent king.
  • Ironic Echo: Shade mockingly repeats Goth's Catchphrase "Hola…" back at him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Chinook.
  • Knight Templar: Brutus, whose dedication to upholding the pact of punishing the Bats for viewing the Sun goes so far he tries to kill the entire bat colony simply for a single bat viewing the sun, declares open season on Bats to be killed when he hears an unsubstantiated rumor of bats killing owls, and eventually teams up with Wolves to try and finish them off.
  • Large Ham: Brutus. "JUSTICE HAS BEEN SERVED!"
  • Lightning Bruiser: Goth and Throbb. Goth in particular, as he completely overwhelms anyone in a physical fight and is willing to contest a meal with a wolf.
  • Madness Mantra: When Shade conjures an illusion of Cama Zotz and makes Goth repeat the phrase "I am a naughty bat" over and over, it quickly devolves into this. Throbb tries to poke fun at Goth over it in a later episode, but Goth shuts him up.
  • Mythology Gag: At least once does Goth refer to Cama Zotz, a major player in the second and third books.
  • Neck Lift: Goth does this to Shade more than once.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: The protagonists are at the owls' mercy when Goth and Throbb decide to attack the owls, proving the Silverwings' innocence.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Due to being changed to being brother-in-laws, Goth's treatment of Throbb comes off as this. He often mistreats him physically and verbally and admits the reason why he has eaten him yet is because he's his brother in law.
  • Palate Propping: Goth at one point inflicts this on Throbb to keep him from eating Shade or Marina whilst they're the duo's captives.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Main characters Marina and Shade, respectively. However this may be more reflective of their species rather than their gender, as Silverwings tend to be colored blue while Brightwings are pink or red.
  • The Quisling: Bathsheba sells out the bats to Brutus in exchange for control of the survivors.
  • Related in the Adaptation:
    • In the original book, Goth and Throbb were just hunting partners, while here they are brother-in-laws.
    • Brutus and Orestes were unrelated in the book (with King Boreal being his father) and never even had any scenes together since the former only appeared once in the first book and the latter appeared in the second one. However, in the tv series Brutus and Orestes become father and son with a relationship strained by their difference stances on what to do with the bats.
  • Reluctant Ruler: Ursa, a Kermode Bear, chosen as leader of the animals by Brutus for her singular status who is a Lazy Bum who greatly abhors the duties of leadership and opts to be left alone to feed in peace. Deconstructed in that her unwillingness to lead allows the Wolves to begin feeding on other animals and gain territory for their own benefit. She eventually Takes a Level in Badass and personally fights off the Wolves and leads the remaining animals to safety.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Said pretty much word for word by Frieda in one of the episodes.
  • Savage Wolves: The series adds wolves as an enemy faction.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the original trilogy, Throbb is killed off in the first book by being struck by lightning and turned into ash. He does return briefly in the series, being shown in the underworld in the third book. However, here he survives to the end of the series, even if he's in pursuit by owls.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Marina's "Holy sunlight!"
  • Villain Team-Up: Goth and Luger near the finale.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Orestes. He finally earns his father's respect during the battle against Goth and the wolves.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Shade gets this from many of the colony for looking directly at the sun, causing them to lose their home. But when they flee, Chinook's friend Todd tells Chinook that it was his fault for daring Shade to look at the sun and warns him of the consequences of showing off.