Watership Down
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Unique in the annals of animated films, Watership Down is a serious, even grim tale that many will find relentless and depressing and others will find poetic and moving. It doesn't pull any punches. Death -- violent, disturbing death -- is ever present, portrayed in a manner that is astonishingly honest for a cartoon. As a result, it is that rare animated film that really aims for a mature audience, despite its superficial funny animal trappings. It has a brilliant opening, most likely created by UPA veteran John Hubley, which in a primitive and simplistic style relates a creation myth as… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A rare movie that keeps kids on the edge of their chairs without inducing in their parents an overwhelming desire to escape theirs for a smoke in the lobby."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"...lovely to look at and fun to listen to, but dull and lethargic in spots, too, and sometimes brutally savage."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
"The rabbits' interactions mirror those of human behavior, and so too does the film possess a startlingly tangible sense of death."
‑ Rob Humanick, Projection Booth
"Cuts so deep on so many ethereal levels that you can flip to nearly any page in the history book and see a parallel."
‑ Phil Villarreal, Arizona Daily Star
"Richard Adams's unforgettable, much-loved tale is 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
"A brief spark of imagination survives in a prologue sequence, designed by the great John Hubley before he was fired from the film. The rest is blandness."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"A beautifully realised animation, Watership Down ultimately works because it doesn't dilute the violence and drama of Adams' book with a rose-tinted lens."
‑ Richard Luck, Film4
"Artful, pretty forgotten (and it should not be) animation of best seller."
‑ Steve Crum, Video-Reviewmaster.com
"Don't listen to anybody who writes it off as a 'cartoon about bunnies.' Stunning beauty, smart scripting, a splendid score ... this is a serious film for serious moviegoers."
‑ Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer
"A respectful screen version of Richard Adams' bestselling novel."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"The 'camera' takes a conventionally objective viewpoint, perpetually rolling over rolling countryside, which effectively robs the plot of all its terror and tension."
‑ , Time Out
"Expertly and realistically animated, this version of the popular novel didn't seem to have an audience."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Classic non-children's animated film."
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"Click to read the article."
‑ Staci Layne Wilson, StaciWilson.com
"For a kid, it's great. Kids can't normally smell extremely episodic, fractured narratives."
‑ Widgett Walls, Needcoffee.com
More reviews for Watership Down on Rotten Tomatoes