7.7/10
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175 user 69 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
Popularity
3,287 ( 1,299)

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ON DISC
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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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 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 | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Den långa flykten 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

Sir 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 television series adaptation of the book. 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 #2.16 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

A Wonderfully Gripping Adventurous Tale Of Survival
1 August 2008 | by ChrysanthepopSee all my reviews

'Watership Down' is a terrific adaptation of Richard Adams's novel. Like Orwell's 'Animal Farm', this isn't only a film for children but equally important for adults. The soundtrack is captivating and I loved the way Art Garfunkel's song was used. The characters are so richly written that the viewer immediately empathizes and identifies with them. They are brave, endearing, loyal and strong and this is all cleverly downplayed. Fiver and Hazel are the two heroes who are brilliantly voiced by Richard Briers and John Hurt. The overall voice acting is very well done.

Unlike most animated films, 'Watership Down' uses a lot of subtlety. Nothing is overdone. The music flows well, the pacing is smooth and the characters are real (rather than over the top). The animation is simplistic, created with watercolour and ink, giving it a gentle touch. It works effectively.

There story is cleverly layered and there's a lot of intriguing symbolism. The film never shies away from being brutally honest. It shows life the way it is: There's pain, there's death, there's suffering, there's determination and one needs to work hard to have the best of it, to survive. While many have complained that this is no movie for children, I think it depends more on the individual because this film is relevant for everyone. The violent scenes are a bit graphic and the sad scenes are moving but in the end it is uplifting.

There are very few novels that have been so fascinating on screen. 'Watership Down' is among them. It is a magnificently gripping adventurous tale. After 30 years it still remains a powerful story that strongly applies to today's world. I remember seeing it ages ago and then it was a must-have-on-DVD movie for me. I finally got the DVD and had the pleasure to watch revisit it today. A dazzling gem.


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