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Watership Down (1978)

PG  |   |  Animation, Adventure, Drama  |  1 November 1978 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 22,951 users  
Reviews: 161 user | 55 critic

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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hazel (voice)
Fiver (voice)
Michael Graham Cox ...
Bigwig (voice) (as Michael Graham-Cox)
John Bennett ...
Capt. Holly (voice)
Chief Rabbit (voice)
Simon Cadell ...
Blackberry (voice)
Terence Rigby ...
Silver (voice)
Pipkin (voice)
Richard O'Callaghan ...
Dandelion (voice)
Cowslip (voice)
Cat (voice) (as Lyn Farleigh)
Mary Maddox ...
Clover (voice)
Kehaar (voice)
Gen. Woundwort (voice)
Hyzenthlay (voice)


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. Frightening and bloody in some scenes. Not recommended for young children. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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.


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 November 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Den långa flykten  »

Box Office


SEK 4,411,305 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Hurt and Richard Briers (who played Hazel and Fiver, respectively, in the film) would later return to voice General Woundwort and the new character, Captain Broom, respectively in Watership Down (1999), a TV series remake of the film. See more »


At the beginning of the film, Fiver finds a smoking cigarette. This means that men have been in the area within the last ten minutes (at most.) Yet all the rabbits are happily outside their holes, and Hazel is happily munching grass only a few feet away. The smoke smell alone should have put everyone on high alert, in addition to any lingering "man smell". See more »


[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 ...
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Referenced in Hewy's Animated Movie Reviews: The Black Cauldron (2009) See more »


Bright Eyes
Composed by Mike Batt
Sung by Art Garfunkel
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User Reviews

My favorite animated film!
17 May 1999 | by (Sterling Heights, Michigan) – See all my reviews

The first great animated film to come around in the entire history of motion pictures! It's not only original(shying away from the traditional "Disney" formula), but it's the first animated film to ponder the meaning of life itself! I was really moved by it! With "Disney" films, you know what to expect. This was like watching a Terrence Malick film; beautiful, subtle, spiritual, and important for our lives. The only difference is that it's animated with "cute & cuddly" cartoon characters. This is a film both adults and children alike will enjoy and learn from, because it is a social commentary on facism, and it is a spiritual film. It's spirituality lies in it's initial message, which is about facing death, and avoiding it as well. Not that you can avoid death, but that you can have a sense of self preservation, purpose, and a place in life. The most inspirational line of the movie is "All the world will be your enemy. And when they catch you, they will kill you. But first they have to catch you.". All of your life, you will continue to meet people who like you, and those that will attack you. Be strong, stand tall, "and your people will never be destroyed.". That is basically, in a few words, what the world and the meaning of life is really all about!

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