7.7/10
29,124
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
3,253 ( 1,044)

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From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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

Photos

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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

Watership Down was adapted into a stage play in 2016. The show was performed at Watermill theatre and only had nine actors. It lasted from June 2016 to July 2016. It featured puppetry, physical theatre, as well as live actors. 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 The Question Jury: Episode #1.6 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Even This Cynical Viewer Was Enthralled By This Exciting Animated Adventure
2 January 2006 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

I had absolutely no knowledge of WATERSHIP DOWN was going to be about except that it featured rabbits in some capacity . I had an inkling it was going to be some patronising , juvenile crap that anyone above the age of seven would find nauseating . It says something about the quality of television on the run up to Christmas when a bitter and twisted 39 year old man sits down to watch a feature length about talking rabbits - Talking rabbits ! OMG , it's not like the author Richard Adams meant the story to be some drug metaphor is it ? OMG talking rabbits just how pathetic is that ? And the one thing that I remembered on its initial release - And which I'm still trying to forget to this very day - is that gawd awful song by the guy with the worst hairstyle in the history of pop music . You know the song .... " bright eyes burning like fire " . Bad enough I saw BARNEY'S BIG ADVENTURE the previous day . Now I was going to be watching equally childish sentimental crap with talking rabbits

Oh hold on . I've just seen WATERSHIP DOWN this very minute . Can everyone reading this review please ignore erroneous phrases like " Childish pathetic crap " because this is not how the story plays out . I do confess that perhaps the original story has perhaps been slightly flawed in the adaption with the hierarchy of the original warren somewhat unexplained ( For example why is it treason to leave the warren and search for a new one ? ) but that is my one and only criticism of this superb animated adventure which can be enjoyed by anyone of any age

In a nut shell WATERSHIP DOWN resembles one of those post apocalypse dramas by John Wyndham or more especially John Christopher except instead of humans it features rabbits that talk . No seriously forget all about the characters being humanized bunnies , this is a dark dramatic adventure where survivors of an eco-disaster try and find sanctuary in a bleak , desolate and dangerous world . As crazy as it sounds some people have picked up on the coincidence that the plot resembles 28 DAYS LATER and one can't help thinking that it's a little bit stronger than coincidence . If you've seen one you can't noticing the quite striking similarities between the two especially the climax . Of course it could be that the original novel of WATERSHIP DOWN was influenced by Conrad's HEART OF DARKNESS which seems to have influenced much of Alex Garland's work but even so

A thoroughly enthralling adventure that may have children weeping at the sad bits will certainly keep adults interested as they try and spot analogies . Let me repeat once again that while there's sad scenes there is nothing sickeningly sentimental and is a shockingly sophisticated tale . I certainly rate as being one of the greatest British productions of the 1970s


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