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.