A Welcomed Deviation from your Previous Styles
A lot of the lower reviews criticize your choice of narration, the removal of the ambiguity of the previous episodes, etc.
Now, if you had gone your normal route of "Bitey relaxing, notices a weird creature, engages in it/teases it, gets in to mischief", those naysayers would praise you but then you would have others saying "it's the same Adam Phillips every time".
Dead if you do, dead if you don't
I WILL admit the narration was a strong deviation from what you usually do, but god forbid you try to change things up, whether your story calls for it or if you are experimenting.
Ah the keyword..."YOUR STORY"...That witch was the first human I've ever seen in a Brackenwood animation. No that does not destroy the wonder of it just because it's not a creature, and I am pretty sure there is more to this character than just a "water witch". I personally don't give a damn if something is not 100% original. Essentially everything has been done before, and just because it has doesn't mean you can't do it as well if you do it right.
The animation, as always, was superb. You can see where you took shortcuts (certain tweens, and close ups), but honestly, you are doing an immense amount of work for free on your free time...Nothing wrong with cutting here and there. However, your backgrounds seem much better in this animation than your previous ones and I am always stunned to see you accomplish them in FLASH. I use them as reference material many times. You also had a lot more camera angle turns, making the movie more 3 dimensional. I love the shot of him dashing across the land right before he sees the witch. I will admit the filters looked sloppy sometimes. I know you had to reduce the quality so the flash would run well, but it did suffer.
Now the narration...This is YOUR idea. You don't need US to wonder about a mystery if you have cold hard facts about YOUR characters and YOUR world. I personally like when there is concrete information about a character and not just ambiguous/metaphorical details. Instead of "a strange creature in a land far away", you actually have a planet with an ecosystem. I like that kind of stuff, but at the same time, "the world of wonder and mystery" is not destroyed, like some others jump to criticize, because it is still a fascinating world. If anything, it would be MORE CLICHE to just have it be as "some fantasy world" and not give it a planet, or the animals specie names, etc.
However, this was the first time you showed us Bitey's childhood and motive to be a trouble maker. This did not benefit from the narration. I felt there would have been a stronger impact and sense of sympathy if we simply followed a flashback/dream of Bitey as a child. You had a nice scene like that in the animation, but it was brief. This narration also seems more like a bridge rather than a standalone story, so that's another thing people who enjoy your typical work may need to accept.
Once again, a fantastic piece of animation. I welcome your switch up in style and I embrace the fact that you are making a "factual" fantasy world. The narration worked for the most part, but I feel an entire animation could have been dedicated to Bitey's past, rather than a montage like this. I think viewers need to lighten up and wait to see what you have in store, but I am confident you will please us.
I would like to give this a 9/10 since it does have it's flaws, but the production values are too damn high relative to other submissions on this site, that I have to give it a 10