Watership Down is a 1978 British animated adventure-drama thriller film written, produced and directed by Martin Rosen and based on the novel Watership Down by Richard Adams. It was financed by a consortium of British financial institutions. Originally released on 19 October 1978, the film was an immediate success and it became the sixth most popular film of 1979 at the British box office. It was the first animated feature film to be presented in Dolby surround sound.
It features the voices of John Hurt, Richard Briers, Harry Andrews, Simon Cadell, Nigel Hawthorne, and Roy Kinnear, among others, and was the last film work of Zero Mostel, as the voice of Kehaar the gull. The musical score was by Angela Morley and Malcolm Williamson. Art Garfunkel's hit single "Bright Eyes", which was written by songwriter Mike Batt, briefly features.
In the Sandleford warren, Fiver, a young runt rabbit who is a seer, receives a frightening vision of his warren's immenient destruction. When he and his loving brother, Hazel, fail to convince their chief of the need to evacuate; they set out on their own with a small band of others who heeded the warning and barely manage to elude the Warren's military caste. What follows is a perilous journey in which the band faces dangers of all varieties like predators, humans and even their own kind. While they eventually find a peaceful new home at Watership Down, they have new problems that will lead to a deadly conflict with the neighboring Warren called Efrafa, which is a police state by the powerful and insane General Woundwart.
Why it Rocks
- High quality animation as the rabbits design is slightly realistic look.
- Follow faithfully to the source material with differences.
- Powerful characters like Hazel, Fiver, General Woundwart and many more.
- Excellent soundtrack including the most popular was Bright Eyes sung by Mike Batt.
- Beautiful art of the background.
- The movie is dedicated to Zero Mostel and John Hubley for their greatest work.
- Very intense scenes where many rabbits were been killed on-screen for a thriller.
- The movie was released on VHS or DVD with a U rating (G rating in other nations). That tricked many children to watch it and see many rabbits getting killed and get scared or even terrified it because of it. This caused a lawsuit from the parents for the false rating.