Blu-ray, DVD Release: Watership Down

Blu-ray & DVD Release Dates: Feb. 24, 2015
Price: Blu-ray $39.95; DVD $29.95
Studio: Criterion

WatershipDown_optWith the 1978 passion project Watership Down, screenwriter-producer-director Martin Rosen brilliantly achieved what was thought difficult, if not impossible: a faithful big-screen adaptation of Richard Adams’s classic British dystopian novel about a community of rabbits seeking safety and happiness after their warren comes under terrible threat.

With its naturalistic hand-drawn animation, dreamily expressionistic touches, gorgeously bucolic background design, and elegant voice work from such superb English actors as John Hurt (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Ralph Richardson (The Four Feathers), Richard Briers (Much Ado About Nothing), and Denholm Elliott (The House that Dripped Blood), the animated drama-adventure is an emotionally arresting, dark-toned allegory about freedom amid political turmoil.

Criterion’s Blu-ray and DVD editions of the film contain the following:

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray
    • New interview with director Martin Rosen
    • New appreciation of the film by director Guillermo del Toro
    • Picture-in-picture storyboard for the entire film (Blu-ray); four film-to-storyboard scene comparisons (DVD)
    • Defining a Style,a 2008 featurette about the film’s aesthetic
    • Trailer
    • An essay by comic book writer Gerard Jones
Buy or Rent Watership Down
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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.