204 user 76 critic

Watership Down (1978)

Hoping to escape destruction by human developers and save their community, a colony of rabbits, led by Hazel and Fiver, seek out a safe place to set up a new warren.


Martin Rosen, John Hubley (uncredited)


Richard Adams (novel), Martin Rosen
3,054 ( 1,581)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »




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 ... 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)


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

Plot Keywords:

rabbit | gore | blood | vision | cult film | See All (88) »


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 »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


In the U.K., this movie opened at the Empire, Leicester Square cinema, on the October 19, 1978, and expanded to the rest of the U.K. the following year. It became the sixth highest grossing movie of 1979 at the British box-office. See more »


The coloring of the rabbits shifts several times from brown to gray, particularly when they are outside Cowslip's warren. 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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Featured in Screenwipe: 2013 Wipe (2013) See more »


Bright Eyes
Composed by Mike Batt
Sung by Art Garfunkel
Arranged by Angela Morley (uncredited)
See more »

User Reviews

Book has great story, Movie has great music
10 July 2001 | by thomaxSee all my reviews

Honestly, I didn't even know there was a movie until I was half way done with the book. I was absolutely LOVING the story and trials the rabbits were enduring. Then one day I was at a rental place looking for the Planet of the Apes movies (don't ask) and I saw the cover of Watership Down (movie)! I was very much tempted to renting it, but then I told myself NOT to rent it until you've finished the book. I sure am glad I waited!

When I closed the back cover to the book, it had taken my breath away in an instant! The storytelling was captivating, heartbreaking, very interesting, and best of all it was easy to read and follow along! (Some books just confuse me from page 1).

After that, I ran over to the movie rental place and rented the movie. When I watched it the first time, I was pretty much trying to capture the differences from the book, and there were plenty, but overall, it was much better than most book-to-movies. I watched it a second time, this time to enjoy the adventure of Hazel and Bigwig and the rest. That's when I noticed how wonderful the music went along with the feeling and tone. The third time I watched it, I closed my eyes and only listened to the music and dialogue and imagined the movie in my head. I must say I almost cried when Bright Eyes (main theme) played. Watership Down's musical score hits you in just the right place to give you Goosebumps!

When I returned the rental, I rushed to the Bookstore and bought Richard Adam's other book "The Plague Dogs", which in my opinion was a terrible book because it doesn't get interesting until the very last chapter...but that's a whole different story.

Overall of the overall, I give the movie a 8/10. The score would have been lower, but the music got to me and now I can't get it out of my head. Someday I'll buy it if it ever comes to DVD in the future.

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Release Date:

1 November 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Watership Down See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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