7.6/10
31,763
194 user 73 critic

Watership Down (1978)

A group of rabbits flee their doomed warren and face many dangers to find and protect their new home.

Director:

Martin Rosen

Writers:

Richard Adams (novel), Martin Rosen
Reviews
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Hurt ... Hazel (voice)
Richard Briers ... Fiver (voice)
Michael Graham Cox Michael Graham Cox ... Bigwig (voice) (as Michael Graham-Cox)
John Bennett ... Capt. Holly (voice)
Ralph Richardson ... Chief Rabbit (voice)
Simon Cadell Simon Cadell ... Blackberry (voice)
Terence Rigby ... Silver (voice)
Roy Kinnear ... Pipkin (voice)
Richard O'Callaghan ... Dandelion (voice)
Denholm Elliott ... Cowslip (voice)
Lynn Farleigh ... Cat (voice) (as Lyn Farleigh)
Mary Maddox Mary Maddox ... Clover (voice)
Zero Mostel ... Kehaar (voice)
Harry Andrews ... Gen. Woundwort (voice)
Hannah Gordon ... Hyzenthlay (voice)
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Storyline

Based upon Richard Adam's novel of the same title, this animated feature delves into the surprisingly violent world of a warren of rabbits as they seek to establish a new colony free of tyranny and human intervention. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and when they catch you, they will kill you... but first they must catch you. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Watership Down See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The British Board of Film Classification is still receiving complaints about this movie four decades after its release, due to the board's decision to classify it U (suitable for all). The BBFC admitted in 2012 that it had "received complaints about the suitability of Watership Down at U almost every year since its classification". See more »

Goofs

In Holly's flashback of his time in Efrafa - which occurs long before the other rabbits have even heard of Efrafa - Bigwig can be clearly seen talking with the Efrafan rabbits (this was taken from a scene later in the movie). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Long ago, the great Frith made the world. He made all the stars and the world lived among the stars. Frith made all the animals and birds and, at first, made them all the same. Now, among the animals was El-Ahrairah, the Prince of Rabbits. He had many friends and they all ate grass together. But after a time, the rabbits wandered everywhere, multiplying and eating as they went. Then Frith said to El-Ahrairah, "Prince Rabbit, if you cannot control your people, I shall find ways to ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cash Trapped: Episode #1.8 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Bright Eyes
Composed by Mike Batt
Sung by Art Garfunkel
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The greatest adaptation ever...
20 November 2001 | by midnightraneSee all my reviews

I would never spoil the wonder that is "Watership Down". The book and the film are timeless classics. I think it is the greatest adaptation of a novel (any genre) ever made and one of the most under-rated movies of all-time. They managed to capture more of a long novel (nearly 500 fantastic pages) than most films can compile from a 200 page source work. The soundtrack is beautiful (I'll be getting one for a Christmas present--thanx for the info IMDb!!) and matches the mood of the scenes perfectly.

Viewers will recognize someone they know in nearly every rabbit and, with unbiased observation, probably see themselves. It is at once gripping and gentle, heart-rending and endearing. You will find yourself humming the tunes incessantly for months afterward. I recommend reading the book first (also try "Traveler" by Adams, another classic), then purchasing the film, then the soundtrack--wait, better yet, write your Congressman and demand a DVD release. I long for another wide-screen viewing (hint, hint)!

I have noticed multiple comments that state the movie is too violent for children (it is somewhat graphic--to it's credit). For very small children, I would whole-heartedly agree, however, I think it depends on the individual. I was lucky enough to have a Father who took me to see it at the theatre when I was a youngster (about 5) and it did not scar me or give me nightmares--rather I learned the importance of the symbiotic circle of existence and the reality and necessity of life and death. It is still a comfort to me in times of sadness. In addition, the movie is highly layered and something new can be gleaned with nearly every viewing.

I enjoyed it for years and only later realized many people had never even heard of it...I take every opportunity to recommend it and not once, not once, have I heard anything but thanks for the suggestion. Most of them end up owning the film. Both symbolic and blunt, "Watership Down" is a triumph of emotional proportions and is exemplary of what adaptations, animation, scoring and good film-making should be about. This wonderful adventure is an asset to any collection...10/10.


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