Was showing Watership Down on Easter Sunday ‘distasteful’?

The classic movie shows rabbits being slaughtered - perhaps not so appropriate for the day the Easter Bunny visits?

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It was probably a pretty common scene across households on Sunday – children enjoying an Easter egg hunt and perhaps even getting a few pressies from the Easter Bunny before lunch, and then the whole family settling down to watch an afternoon movie.

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If this was you – and you happened to flick to Channel 5, you might have spotted they were showing Watership Down – a 1978 classic animated film about a bunch of rabbit friends who go on a journey which is “filled with adventure and fraught with danger”.

It could be pretty graphic too – take a scene like this:

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(Ooooh – sorry if you weren’t expecting that…)

So perhaps it was to be expected when parents took to social media in their droves to criticise the station’s decision to show this particular movie on the VERY day there was a fair bit of cute bunny talk across the land – some saying their children had been “traumatised” by the movie.

One person tweeted that Channel 5 was obviously trying to “traumatise all the kids”.

Another tweeted that film is “deeply distressing”.

A few people even called for someone at Channel 5 to get the sack for such a bad scheduling decision. Ouch.

Although it wasn’t ALL negative. One person commented that: “Watership Down is one of the finest of children’s books and a good film. Far better for developing kids than chocolate bunnies.”

Here at MFM HQ we totally get that it was possibly a bit of an odd film choice for Easter Sunday – and apparently the film’s U certificate has always been quite controversial, with a number of commentators calling for it to be revised.

One of our team admitted even though she last saw it 30 years ago it’s still “the saddest thing I’ve ever seen and I wish I could unwatch it”. (Guess she didn’t have Channel 5 on this Sunday then? Nope.)

But another of our mums thinks a scary film here and there can be good for children – and we totally get that too.

So we guess it’s really all about the individual child who’s watching it, whatever their age – and knowing what to expect from a film – after all, any mums who hadn’t seen this film before and put it on might have been rather surprised by just how brutal some bits are.

And there are plenty more kids’ movies that can be distressing/frightening/sad in equal measure – Bambi? Pinnochio?Dumbo? Oooh, yes, the list goes on and on…

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