Watership Down
Watership Down (1978)

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 --… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: November 1, 1978
DVD Release Date: March 25, 2002
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Critic Score: 82% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Aimed at adults perhaps more than children, this is a respectful, beautifully animated adaptation of Richard Adams' beloved book.

Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine

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.

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David Keyes

The movie is the antithesis of the modern standard, plodding and patient, unbothered by flashy bright images or relentless comical interludes.

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Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

The animation style veers between poetic and prosaic.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

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.

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J.C. Mašek III

Although this is an animated film featuring cute rabbits as the main characters, this is far from a children's movie, and considering the violence and horror to be found in this film, it is rather surprising that the MPAA passed it with a PG rating.

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Austin Trunick
Under the Radar

A rather faithful adaptation of [Richard] Adams' book, as well as a milestone work of independent animation.

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Time Out

The 'camera' takes a conventionally objective viewpoint, perpetually rolling over rolling countryside, which effectively robs the plot of all its terror and tension.

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James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

The film's careful balance of humanizing the rabbits while also recognizing the realities of their inherent nature (which is more territorial and combative than cute and cuddly) gives its conflict a particularly sharp edge

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Tasha Robinson
The Dissolve

It's a work deeply enamored with its source material, and determined to do right by it, even if it means frightening kids, baffling parents, and embracing whatever style works.

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More reviews for Watership Down

Flixster Audience Score: 86% Flixster User Reviews
Directors Cat
Watership Down shows faithfulness and outmost respect for the novel. I admire the choice to go in the direction of adults for a film that features bunnies.… More
Ken Stachnik
Like Dark Crystal and Wizard of Oz, it's one of those classic kids films that's almost guaranteed to scar your children for life.
Matthew Roe
This is possibly one of those innovative animated tales that is nowhere near recognized for the strength and creativity it has. Watership Down is a story that… More
Film Crazy
loved it gr8 film little kids wouldnt understand it actually made me cry reli good film though
Stuart Brooks
Such a great movie, loved it as a kid and still stands up today. Brings a tear to my everytime I watch it.
Curtis Lilly
Classic Animation coupled with a great story and cute bunnies...not to mention much throat ripping. It was sad to see my favorite parts of the book either… More