7.6/10
31,315
190 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
Popularity
4,902 ( 365)

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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 ... 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:

From the novel that enthralled the world, comes an animation classic. 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

When Cowslip tells the poem about the stream and the camera tilts up toward the ceiling, his head disappears before it has a chance to completely go off screen. 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

Spoofed in Macintosh Rhymes With MacGyver See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Simply brilliant
7 April 2004 | by Nice_Guy_DazSee all my reviews

'Watership Down' is quite simply my favourite animated film of all time.

The vocal talent, animation style (both in the main story and in the mythical opening), soundtrack and script all work wonderfully, shortening the material of the book but not losing all of its themes. Efrafa was exactly as I imagined it would be from reading the book, Woundwort being suitably scary and unhinged.

Obviously the violence and horrific imagery has been toned down to make the film more accesible to a young audience (at 8 I wore out TWO copies of the film on VHS!!!) but not so much that the film becomes cutesy. Far from it. These are not fluffy bunnies in the vein of Thumper, they are real. They get hurt (Bigwig nearly is killed in a snare, Hazel is shot, Captain Holly arrives nearly dead), they fight, they flee from domestic dogs, cat, from humans with guns. There is blood and violence, the film does not shy away from that...Blackavar's torn ears are as wince-inducing to me now as they were to me when I first saw the film 10 years ago.

What does surprise me now though is that the film is rated U (universal, suitable for all) here in the UK. Not only is there some mild swearing, the level of violence and the visual horror (Fivel seeing the field covered in blood, Holly's description of the warren blocked with dead bodies) is surely at least PG? Hmmm....

To conclude it can be said that watching films from your childhood is often a bad move....they are usually best left in the memory. The same can not be said of Watership Down. Simply brilliant!


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