|Directed by||Dean Howard|
|Produced by||Alphanim |
|Starring||Marion Day |
|Running time||1 hr 24 min|
Redwall is the first in a 22-book series of talking animals and epic battles centered around Redwall Abbey and the mountain of Salamandastron. It was written by Brian Jacques. Other books include "Mossflower", "Outcast of Redwall," "Taggerung," "Triss," and "High Rhulian" in the twenty-two book series.
Many seasons after Martin the Warrior laid down his sword, Redwall Abbey was at peace. But now, war has begun during the Summer of the Late Rose. “A maddened warlord, Cluny the Scourge, has devised a plan to take over Redwall Abbey. Only Matthias and Methuselah, one a young mouse, and the other a great mind, know the way to defeat Cluny and his gang of Rats.” The way is to find Martin's sword, lost many seasons ago. Matthias meets many creatures, including hares, sparrows, and shrews, who help him on his quest to find the sword of Martin the Warrior and defeat Cluny the Scourge.
- Matthias: a young mouse, guided by the Spirit of Martin the Warrior to find the lost sword and defeat Cluny the Scourge.
- Cornflower: a young mouse maiden, known to be quiet but talks to Matthias and helps him through his self-doubt.
- Cluny the Scourge: a rat with an unusually long and powerful tail, which he hooks a poisoned barb to the end of as a weapon. He attempts to take over Redwall, and nearly succeeds but for Matthias’ return.
- Constance: Current Badgermum of Redwall Abbey.
- Father Abbot: Leader of Redwall Abbey, one is appointed when the last dies.
- Asmodeus the Adder: a lethally poisonous snake that lives in the woods and preys on woodland creatures he comes across. The deadly snake is also known as ‘Poison-teeth’ locally.
- Warbeak: niece of the king of sparrows, she is initially hostile to Matthias and the Redwallers but befriends him after he saves her life.
- Basil Stag Hare: a hare from the Fur and Foot fighting division, he meets Matthias in the woods and helps him retrieve Cluny's hostages before returning to Redwall with him to aid in defeating Cluny. He has an enormous appetite that is rare for most other creatures but common among other hares.
- Sela: a fox, knows how to heal creatures when they're injured. She's a double-dealer of information, along with her son, named Chickenhound.
- Chickenhound: the son of Sela. He and his mother betrayed Cluny and sold the Redwallers information about Cluny's plans to attack Redwall. For this, Cluny ordered them to be killed. The two foxes looted Redwall, and Chickenhound accidentally killed Methuselah in their escape by hitting him over the head with his bag of loot.
- Methuselah: Official chronicler of Redwall, known as the Record Keeper, one of Matthias's two mentors – the other being Abbot Mortimer - he is a compassionate, sympathetic mouse who understands the speech of all creatures, including birds. He is something of an unofficial father figure to Matthias, and helps him solve the riddles and obstacles and helps Matthias become Martin's successor. He is killed during Cluny's siege by Chickenhound.
The introduction starts by explaining how Matthias's family was killed in a raid by an evil rat known as Cluny the Scourge. He and his sister, Myrtle, traveled many seasons to reach Redwall, but the travel took its toll on Myrtle and she passed away shortly after reaching the Abbey. As such, young Matthias grows up at the abbey on his own until some of the other residents befriend him – one of these being a young mouse maiden named Cornflower.
Later, possibly many seasons later, Matthias dreams of being a great warrior like Martin the Warrior, the mouse who saved the Woodlands long ago and helped to build Redwall before giving up fighting and dedicating himself to a life of peace. He believes he hears the warrior's spirit talking to him, but is unsure as nobody else heard the same. Later that night, at the Jubilee Feast, Father Abbot, the current leader of Redwall, sends Matthias on a task to get a sack of food to Cornflower's parents. As Constance the Badger, the current Badgermum of Redwall, Matthias, and Cornflower are heading towards Saint Ninian's Church, they hear someone coming up the road. When they hide in the trees and bushes, they see a cart with Cluny the Scourge traveling down the road fast and hard. Cluny is shouting about Redwall, saying how they’ll take the Abbey. Matthias, Cornflower, and Constance warn the Abbey, but Father Abbot won’t hear of any violent talk and orders everyone to go back to bed while the council decides what to do. However, Cluny the Scourge has just arrived and asks to parlay. He hides the barb he has on his tail under the cloak he's wearing, and demands Redwall's surrender after entering. Matthias refuses, and attacks the rats. Constance sends the rats out, but not before Cluny sees the tapestry of Martin the Warrior.
Once outside the Abbey, Cluny has a rat named ‘Shadow’ sneak back into the Abbey and steal Martin's tapestry. Matthias later hears a voice tell him ‘not to let them take me’ and discovers Shadow making off with the part of the Tapestry that depicts Martin. Matthias is nearly successful in stopping the rats from getting Martin's tapestry, but Shadow manages to complete his task. However, he is injured in leaving the Abbey and Cluny leaves him behind in favor of the tapestry piece. Later, Methuselah says that Cluny may have made a grave error in taking Martin from the Abbey – the tapestry holds a power that may surprise him. Cluny, meanwhile, is plagued by nightmares of a mouse in armor defeating him with a magnificent sword and a shield with the letter "M" on it. The next day, Matthias asks Methuselah about the images on the tapestry. Despite the work being made long ago, events from the present are currently happening and Matthias wants to know why. Cornflower is wrapping his head in a bandage, and comments on the tapestry being almost mystical as it depicts things currently happening. Matthias then asks about Martin's sword, which hasn’t been seen since Martin was around many seasons ago. Some accounts say the Sparrows took it, others say the lost it again, and one claims the sword is still in Redwall somewhere secret. Legend says that the sword will be found when the ‘right one’ appears and breaks the code, which is stitched above where Martin was depicted: I-am that is. Constance comes in and informs them that Cluny has captured the Vole family, and Matthias resolves to go and free them. Cornflower gives him a kitchen knife to aid him, saying she believes in him and she won’t tell anyone where he's gone. Cluny is setting up his plan to get into Redwall, and has the Vole family sent to Saint Ninian's church where they’ve set up base for the time being.
Matthias is walking through the forest and finds a rat, taking his enemy by surprise. He knocks the rat out by hitting him with a thick tree branch in the face, and then meets Basil Stag Hare. The hare agrees to help him rescue the voles, and they head towards the church after tying up the unconscious rat. Basil makes a distraction while Matthias frees the family, and they head back to Redwall. The rat they left tied up, however, frees himself only to be found and eaten by a large green snake that calls himself Asmodeus. Cluny is getting a wooden plank wedged between the ramparts on the walls of the Abbey, and has his army create a diversion to conceal the fact. Cornflower sees though, and lets Matthias, Basil, and the Voles in after warning Constance about the threat to the Abbey. Matthias and Constance then dislodge the plank from the Abbey walls, sending Cluny falling to the ground and seemingly killing him. When Matthias looks back however, he sees Cluny's tail wrapping around the throat of another rat as he's being taken away on a stretcher.
Methuselah finds her path
Methuselah is looking at the spot where Martin's tapestry used to hang, and discovers the same code carved into the wall, "I-am that is." Cornflower, meanwhile, finds Matthias and gives him a plate of food. Methuselah called the two mice to his side as Matthias thanks Cornflower, and shows them the same code as on the Tapestry. Cornflower starts rearranging the letters in the code, and she stumbles onto the fact that all the letters can also read ‘I-Matthias’ when rearranged correctly. There's more words carved into the stone below the code, written in the old language. Methuselah translates it to read: ‘The warrior sleeps twixt Hall and Cavern Hole. I-am that is, take on my mighty role.’ It appears to be a message directly from Martin to Matthias, commanding him to be the next Warrior of Redwall Abbey. Cornflower deciphers the first part of the riddle, and goes to the step that has the ‘W’ in Redwall – which is read is an ‘M’ when seen from the step above. And, it is directly between the Great Hall and Cavern Hole. Cornflower jumps onto the stair, and discovers it is hollow underneath – however, they can’t move it. The Foremole, leader of the moles, takes a look and discovers that there are marks at the point where this stair ends and the next begins, so he greases the seam and they lever it out. Underneath the stair is another set of stairs leading down underneath the Abbey. At the bottom of the corridor, there's a locked door with another riddle carved above it. “The same as the steps twixt Hall and Hole, look to the center of all.” Matthias figures it out and presses the button at the center of the door, and it opens to reveal a sarcophagus with the likeness of a mouse carved out of stone – Martin's Tomb. Matthias looks uncannily similar to Martin, despite the fact that he's been dead for many seasons. The door suddenly shuts on them, trapping them inside the small room. On the back of the door is Martin's shield and his sword belt. The belt is a perfect fit for Matthias, and the shield makes him look like Martin depicted on a banner above him. Methuselah has no doubt about it, Matthias is Martin's successor. Basil suddenly comes into the room, letting them out in the process.
That night, Cluny is being treated by Sela the fox and her son Chickenhound. Cluny impatiently demands she put the herbal poultice on his injured leg, and then orders work on the battering ram they’re going to use to take down Redwall begin immediately. Once Cluny's minions are out of the tent, Sela gives Cluny a potion to drink, saying it’ll give him a long, restful sleep. Cluny pretends to drink it, then pours it out onto the ground when their backs are turned. He pretends to fall asleep as Sela applies the poultice to his leg, letting the foxes think he's unconscious when they steal the plans he put under his pillow. Sela and Cluny go to Redwall and sell them the information, believing it to be Cluny's plans to assault Redwall. Unbeknownst to them, however, Cluny anticipated the pair would betray him. The battering ram is a decoy, meant to distract the Redwallers into shoring up the front gate. The real plan is to dig underneath the wall and take them by surprise by opening a side gate. Father Abbot won’t sanction a counter-attack on Cluny's forces, and says they should focus on fortifying the front gate. Constance believes it to be a ruse and says they should try to figure out what his real plans are if they won’t strike when they’d have an advantage. She also realizes she left Sela and Chickenhound alone in the Cavern Hole and Methuselah goes to keep an eye on them. When Methuselah gets into the Cavern Hole, he finds the two foxes are looting anything and everything they can from Redwall – silverware, plates, candleholders, everything. When he tries to stop them, Chickenhound hits him hard enough to seriously injure him and break his glasses. Matthias sees the two foxes trying to escape from Redwall with their sack full of stolen goods and confronts them. Sela hits him over the head with her sack of loot, and he's knocked down for a minute while they run back into the Great Hall. Father Abbot stops Matthias from going after the pair of foxes by telling him of Methuselah's condition – he's alive, but badly injured. The Foremole then tells Matthias he knows where Cluny is, alerting them all to the disturbances he can feel in the ground. Matthias then has Father Abbot gather everyone, and they pour a pot of boiling-hot porridge down the tunnel the rats dug when they get to the surface. Cluny, upon realizing he was bested by porridge, swears that heads will roll for the insult.
The Attack of the Sparrows
That night, Matthias, Cornflower, Father Abbot, Methuselah, and Constance head up to one of the Abbey Ramparts, where there's a round indentation that nobody has known the use for in many seasons. It is the spot where Martin's shield will reveal where his sword was hidden, and it points them towards the weather vane on top of the Abbey. Jess the Squirrel goes to find it the next morning, but gets attacked by Sparrows when she nears the Weather vane. Matthias and Basil drive them off with arrow shafts – the heads being broken off, on the Abbots orders – and Jess makes it safely down. The sword, however, wasn’t there – some rusty wires that could have held it once, but no weapon. Unfortunately, one of the sparrows gets injured by accident and Matthias catches her. They then learn the Sparrow's name is Warbeak, and that she's aptly named as she keeps trying to attack and kill them. After bandaging Warbeak's wing, the sparrow threateningly reveals that King Bull Sparrow has a big, sharp sword that he’ll use to kill them all. Matthias celebrates for a minute, the sparrows must have found the sword and taken it. He then strikes a deal with Warbeak: he takes her home, she takes him to talk with the Sparrow king. She agrees, and promises to not try and run away. They get to the top of the roof, and Warbeak pecks the rope connecting her and Matthias just as a flock of sparrows fly out and grab the mouse. King Bull Sparra doesn’t listen to Matthias when he says he's returning Warbeak to him, and it's only an offering of Candied Chestnuts that saves his life – for a day. Matthias does, however, see Martin's scabbard lying at the edge of Bull Sparra's nest in the rafters.
Warbeak frees Matthias while her mother tricks the rest of the Sparrows into looking for worms. She tells Matthias that Asmodeus has Martin's sword, has had it for many years. They part as friends, and Matthias gets Martin's scabbard. Meanwhile, Methuselah's condition is growing worse, and Father Abbot, Constance, and Basil agree that they shouldn’t tell Matthias as he loves the old mouse. In Cluny's camp, the large rat gets another vision of a mouse in armor wielding a great sword and coming towards him in flames. He wakes up to his two commanders calling his name, and goes off in a rage when he sees some of his troops fall into holes that were dug earlier. He then whips his horde of rats into a frenzy by saying they were going to take down Redwall, waving his standard with Martin's stolen tapestry in the air. That night, Methuselah dies, telling Matthias to follow his dreams. Matthias takes the old mouse's death hard, having seen the ancient recorder as a mentor and close friend. A few days later, he sees Basil and Jess heading into the woods for an unknown reason. Father Abbot gathers everyone in the hall, and there is not much hope left in the Redwallers. Some are saying the two wanted to escape Cluny, and then warbeak flies down and tells them that Cluny and his horde are on the way as they speak. While Redwallers scramble to get into position to defend their home, Father Abbot tells Constance that everyone's hearts just aren’t in the defense anymore. Ever since Cluny stole Martin from them, he stole their hearts and wills, it seems. He then tells Constance that he can’t allow anymore bloodshed, and Constance realizes he's going to ask Cluny for terms of surrender. Matthias overhears, and mutters to himself that he’ll never surrender Redwall.
Invasion of the Rats
While Cluny's getting his army of rats even more riled up to attack Redwall, Matthias swings down on a vine and snatches Martin's tapestry from where it's hanging. He makes it to the branch on the other tree, but can’t keep his balance and falls back towards Cluny – he's saved from Cluny's sword by Jess throwing acorns at the large rat as a distraction. Basil distracts Cluny and his rats while Jess gets Matthias away from Cluny's forces and back to Redwall. Father Abbot apologizes to the two friends for some of the others, himself included, giving in to despair. Later, while Martin's tapestry is being repaired, Basil and Matthias make a plan for how to get Martin's sword back from Asmodeus. Basil suggests they go talk to an old friend of his, Captain Snow. He's an owl that's been living in a barn for many years, and Basil saved his life once. In return, Snow gave Basil a medallion that he now gives to Matthias. Showing Snow the medal and giving him Basil's regards should get Snow to listen to him, though he may well ear Matthias. Basil has to stay at Redwall to coordinate the defense, or he’d go and talk to Snow himself. On the way to see Captain Snow, Matthias is met by a group of shrews who call themselves the ‘Guosim’ – or ‘Guerrila Union of Shrews in Mossflower’ as the full name goes. The group of shrews is led by a female who also calls herself Guosim. The agree to take Matthias to the barn where Captain Snow lives, but they won't go in any further - he also eats shrews.
As it turns out, the owl isn’t there anymore. There's a wildcat living there though, Julian Squire Gingevere, a vegetarian wildcat that asked Captain Snow to leave due to his eating habits. He then agrees to take Matthias to Captain Snow, after they were introduced and became friends. Captain Snow now lives in an old tree, and takes Matthias by surprise at first. He agrees to a bet however: if Matthias kills Asmodeus, he’ll give up eating mice and shrews and give back Basil's medal. If Matthias dies in the attempt, however, he’ll continue eating mice and shrews. He then tells Matthias where Asmodeus’ lair is, the deadly serpent lives in the tunnel system in the old quarry and took Martin's sword there many years ago. The next night, Matthias heads out to the quarry, sneaking past some of Cluny's press-gangs that are forcing innocent creatures to help them fight. He finds the Guosim again, and they agree to help him find Asmodeus’ lair.
When Matthias and the Guosim get there to the quarry, one of the shrews disappears almost instantly – eaten by Asmodeus – and Guosim and Log-a-log accidentally find the secret entrance to Asmodeus’ lair by sitting on a rock concealing it. They, along with Matthias, fall into the serpent's lair and straight into water. Guosim disappears, and Matthias and Log-a-log find her deeper in the caves – but dead. Then, they find Asmodeus himself – he's sleeping, so Matthias sneaks around him and retrieves Martin's sword from the wall it was embedded in. Asmodeus wakes up though, and tries to eat Log-a-log until Matthias stabs it from behind. The pair run deeper into Asmodeus’ lair until they get cornered, and Matthias kills Asmodeus when he hears Martin's voice tell him to strike. They get out of the lair and head back to Redwall, sword in hand.
The next day, the Redwallers are repairing the walls while Basil keeps a look-out for Cluny or any of his forces. Cornflower offers him a carrot, then asks if they can hold out against another assault from Cluny and his army – his press-gangs have been roaming all over Mossflower, forcing everyone they can find into service. Basil tells her they can withstand another attack, but the question of how long is another matter entirely when she brings it up. Cornflower then tells him that the carrot he just ate, along with two heads of garlic are the last of the vegetables, though Father Abbot doesn’t know it yet.
Meanwhile, Cluny separates a dormouse father from his wife and two children, and blackmails him into getting into the Abbey and letting them inside. He is forced to agree, as he would do anything to keep his wife and children safe. The dormouse, who goes by the name of Plumpen, guiltily does as he's been told, opening a side-gate in the walls and letting Cluny and his forces inside as a sneak-attack. He gets knocked to the side when he begs for his family's release however. Constance is trapped by a thick fishing net, Basil is trapped by having large wooden boards secured around his ankles, wrists, and neck, keeping him from moving anywhere and his hands near his head. The remaining Redwallers are gathered, frightened, outside the Abbey and Cluny declares it to be his.
As Matthias and the Guosim shrews are returning to Redwall, Warbeak warns them that Cluny and his forces have taken it. Dunwing and three other sparrows help Matthias and the shrews get into the Abbey, and they spread out to help retake it from Cluny. Cluny, meanwhile, is reveling in his victory over Redwall's defenders. He orders all of them to be killed, starting with Cornflower. When the Abbot objects, saying it's murder, Cluny agrees that it is and whips the rats into a frenzy. Before anyone gets hurt, Matthias comes into view wearing Martin's armor. Cluny runs from the armored mouse in fear, ordering his rats to kill Matthias. The Abbey bell starts tolling, a signal to the sparrows to attack. The shrews appear from the bushes, and chaos ensues as Constance and Basil are freed and the rats are fought. Cluny is ordering rats to kill Matthias all through the battle, until Cornflower tries to attack him and gets taken hostage by the large rat and taken to the top of the bell tower with Matthias following.
Matthias heads up to the top of the bell tower discarding his helmet and shield, and Cluny attempts to ambush him from behind. They fight, and Cluny loses both his spear and he barb on his tail in the process. He gets to the rafters, and jumps back down when Matthias faces him again. He releases Cornflower after Matthias swears on his honor as a warrior to a warlord that he’ll come down and face him again if he does, and then Matthias cuts the rope securing the Joseph Bell to the rafter. Cluny is killed by the bell, which cracks in two from the impact with the floor, and Matthias and Clornflower head outside to find the battle is finished. Julian Gingevere and Captain Snow have arrived as well, having apparently recovered their lost friendship, and Julian comments that perhaps the sword does have magic after all. Matthias and Clornflower are summoned to Father Abbot's side, who is dying in the aftermath of the battle. He names Matthias the Warrior of Redwall and Defender of Cornflower, and then dies shortly after.
At least a season later, life in the Abbey is back to normal. Constance is bringing woodlanders to Redwall for the annual feast, the Guosim shrews are now tending the bees – and arguing with them, as they learned to talk to them – and the Joseph Bell was recast into two bells named Methuselah and Matthias. Cornflower and Warbeak have become good friends, and Cornflower and Matthias have had a son named Matthias Methuselah Mortimer – or Mattimeo for short – who takes after his warrior father and carries a wooden sword in pretend battle. The new Recorder of Redwall Abbey is John Churchmouse, Cornflower's father, and Mattimeo's grandfather. He finishes recording the entire story, and adds the postscript to please visit Redwall as the roses have bloomed early this season.