Criterion Will Release ‘Watership Down’ on iTunes

Criterion will make Martin Rosen’s unconventional 1978 animated classic Watership Down available as an iTunes download on August 5, reports Criterion Cast. The revered home video company has been resistant to releasing animation in the past, but with this upcoming release and the Blu-ray of Fantastic Mr. Fox, they’ve at last begun to toy with the idea of consistently releasing animation. Criterion could earn itself a legion of new fans if it started adding all the treasures of animated cinema to its collection, and while it might be a little too early to get excited, these recent releases give cause for hope.

(Thanks, Munir Abedrabbo)

  • bob

    love this movie!

  • Bryan Bortz


  • I. Knox Robbins

    Eraserhead, Godzilla, and other titles were added to the Criterion digital services before they made it to Blu-Ray through them. This is good, potential news.

  • Doug

    Soooo …. does this mean they will also release a dvd/bluray of the film? I could get excited about that! Watching a film on itunes isn’t exactly my cup o’ tea.

  • Beamish Kinowerks

    Martin Rosen owns PLAGUE DOGS outright, too, and I hope that his
    original cut finally gets a proper restoration and re-release.

  • Zeidz
  • Chris Sobieniak

    The “theatrical cut” is basically the US version of the film. It was released unedited originally in the UK theatrically and on VHS.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    I see someone has agreed with what I’ve been trying to tell people for the past 5 years

  • David Mackenzie

    Universal has a Blu-ray release in the UK (Region B locked) which has a nice video transfer:

  • white vader

    Because its manifesto also covers contemporary films they think capture the time, not just old stuff, arthouse or classics. It just doesn’t release all that many modern ones.

    • Bay

      But there are plenty of Summer blockbusters that in addition to representing there time,were also good.

  • potemkin

    Just a quick warning, that UK disc is region B LOCKED! Not playable on US machines.
    However, the German edition from Warner Home Video is region free:

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Lord knows Michael Bay’s integrity is being noticed by the masses.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Perhaps, you can try it if you must.

  • Kris Kail

    The digital future has it’s pros. I was always a “only physical” guy until I put a 1TB HDD in my PS3, now I’m 100% digital. The problem with physical releases is that sometimes films get low-quanitity runs, or become hard to find as time goes on. That doesn’t happen with digital, once it’s available it’s available until the studio loses the rights to it. With physical you run the risk of scratching the disc, or getting a defective copy. Not with digital. Say you lose your physical copy or threw it out to make space on your shelf, you couldn’t just waltz into Best Buy and ask for another copy and get one gratis, but with digital you can. You can delete and re-download a movie as many times as you want depending on who you bought it through, and a lot of services will even let you stream the content so you don’t have to take up any storage at all.

    With digital, the only thing you miss out on is the physical case and any physical bonuses, but usually digital is a LOT cheaper (~$10 for a movie compared to $20 physical). The only other thing physical has over digital is that you can sell or lend your physical copy to a friend, but if you buy your content DRM free (or if you’re tech savy enough to strip it of the DRM), you can throw it on a flash drive/DVD and sell/lend at your convenience (legal gray area, but still possible).

    I’m probably not going to convince you that digital is the way to go, but god damn if I don’t like the convenience of sitting on the couch and flipping through my entire library of movies (~300) and picking one without having to lift my derriere of the couch.

  • Kris Kail

    Its weird to me that nobody ever called them “VHS players” until after tapes went the wayside, then suddenly everyone called them VHS players. They’re called VCRs.

  • Kris Kail

    Michael Bay may not be able to craft a story, but he is definitely the master of action movies and special effects. The essay included with the blu-ray explains why it was chosen, and it makes a lot of sense.