From the Novel That Enthralled the World Comes an Animation Classic.
"A respectful screen version of Richard Adams' bestselling novel. Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
|A timeless classic comes alive in this enchanting movie based on the best-selling novel by Richard Adams. A delightful film for audiences of all ages, Leonard Maltin calls it "one of the best...animated features ever made!"|
Nestled among the rolling hills and peaceful meadows of England lives a community of rabbits. When their warren is threatened, a small group of brave rabbits escapes into the unknown countryside in search of a new home. Led by the visionary Fiver, the courageous Bigwig, the clever Blackberry, and the Honorable Hazel, they face daunting challenges, and use their strength and cunning to survive, while pursuing their dream. Along their trek, they make an unlikely friend - a loony seagull named Kehaar - and battle the vicious General Woundwort, the cruel leader of another warren.
Film Director, Martin Rosen, frames the tale largely at the eyepoint of the rabbits, so that we identify with each one. Packed with excitement and adventure, Watership Down is an engaging, thrilling tale that celebrates traditional values of loyalty, courage, and spirit.
"Stunning beauty, smart scripting, a splendid score...this is a serious film for serious moviegoers. Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer
"A dark and transfixing fable that happens to star cartoon bunnies. Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic.com
"...honorably brought to life in a low-key, realistic animated style well suited to the naturalism and mature tone of the book. Steven D. Greydanus, Decent Films Guide
"Expertly and realistically animated...The job of personifying the rabbits is nicely achieved due to expert readings by the cast. TV Guide
In this animated adaptation of Richard Adams's classic novel, a family of rabbits face danger as they search for a new home and personal freedom.
Cast & Crew
An animated adaptation of Richard Adams' best-selling book about a group of rabbits desperately searching for a new home after the demolition of their warren.| The bunnies endure a danger-filled journey in which they contend with hunters, vicious dogs, and even other rabbits who are out to stop them. | As the heroes travel, they are befriended by a wisecracking seagull named Kehaar.| Will Hazel and the other rabbits find a place to call home, where they can live in peace?
"...It's got an overall positive theme with inspirational and ecological overtones to go with the suspense and excitement..."
"...A little-known great..."
Reel.com 8 of 10
In 1972, British author Richard Adams captured the imaginations of millions of readers with his best-selling wildlife fantasy Watership Down. This depiction of the world from a rabbit's-eye-view blends sociopolitical allegory with spiritual lore, heart-thumping action, and stirring character drama -- all while conveying an utterly convincing sense of lagomorphic living. Only an animated film could do this epic survival-tale justice, and Martin Rosen's 1978 production does an admirable job of capturing the tone and spirit of such a unique literary work...It's clear from the beginning that Watership Down is a tale about the dance with death -- both avoiding and accepting it -- as the film opens with an imaginatively rendered depiction of rabbitdom's blood-stained creation myth, the story of their ancestor, El-ahrairah...And so begins this gripping, ground-level look at the rabbits' dangerous and arduous feral existence...Adapting an epic adventure is certainly no easy task, and Rosen -- who wrote the screenplay, along with the equally somber Adams-to-film translation The Plague Dogs -- does an admirable job of culling out the most important scenes in the novel to form the truncated base for this succinct 93-minute film. Each translation is extremely accurate, and the director's attention to detail is impressive.
- Mary Kalin-Casey
DVD Times 7 of 10
Watership Down, released in 1978, is one of those rare movies that is actually so different from the other films of its type that it is possible to argue that its uniqueness eclipses all of its other qualities. When viewed simply in its own right, it is an engaging if sometimes convoluted tale, yet when compared to almost every other animated feature both at the time of its release and even today, it stands out as a unique and original piece of filmmaking...What makes Watership Down so interesting and impressive is the maturity of the tale it tells. It is one of the few animated features (or at least, Western animated features) that does not hide the brutality of the world it depicts from the audience, or feel the need to talk down to the viewer. The film can easily be read as a political allegory, with the various different warrens represting different forms of government...The film also features a fair amount of at times surprisingly explicit violence, with more bloodletting than you might see in a number of slasher movies...Watership Down is a flawed but ambitious and often impressive piece of filmmaking. It tackles subjects that few other animated films have dared to, and holds up a mirror to our own society through the exploits of a group of rabbits. Animation fans looking for something thought-provoking and different would be well-advised to check this film out.
- Michael Mackenzie