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To not understand why watership down is rated as a U?

(76 Posts)
TheArmadillo Fri 08-Apr-11 22:35:30

So me and dh decided to watch watership down tonight after both being traumatised by it in our childhoods (along with most of our friends).

The box describes it as "a delightful film for all ages" and states that it contains "mild threat and violence".

I'll quote from IMDB who sums it up quite well.

It lists several examples of violence/gore - the worst being "In the final battle, which is likely the goriest scene in the movie, a rabbit has his throat torn out by another rabbit onscreen. We then see his body, he has a large hole in his neck, and blood is everywhere. Two rabbits then fight nearly to the death. They cut each other up, and are shown bloodied. Next, a dog is unleashed upon the rabbits, he bites and tears up many of them. One is even shown being thrown high into the air by the dog, and falling back down, covered in blood. Finally, it is implied that a rabbit is killed offscreen by the dog, no blood or violence but still very frightening."

ON frightening intense scenes it describes how "The most frightening scene shows rabbits being gassed underground, their heads then form an abstract ghostly head of a rabbit." but misses out how the rabbit describes the piling up of dead bodies and the others trying to climb over them to get out their warren which has been blocked up.

Oh and also the weird warren run by a mad dictator (General Woundwort).

For those of you who don't know the story it is about a young rabbit who has visions that terrible things are going to happen (he continues to have these throughout the film). He convinces a group of rabbits to leave the warren with him and they go off to search for a new home making their way through constant terror and danger.

It's supposed to be a religious allegory btw and is based on the book by Richard Adams (a very good book btw).

But aibu in thinking that this film should definately not be rated as a U?

worraliberty Fri 08-Apr-11 22:36:39

I don't know. I have to turn the radio off when Bright Eyes is playing...there's no way I could watch the film blush

dexter73 Fri 08-Apr-11 22:37:26

My mum took my brother and I to see it at the cinema when we were little and had to leave halfway through as we were both in floods of tears. I have never watched it since. The music is enough to make me teary! It is a very sad film.

AgentZigzag Fri 08-Apr-11 22:37:30

It is a bit of a dark story, I'm surprised it's a U actually.

Always makes me bawl my eyes out so I try to avoid it grin

IHeartKingThistle Fri 08-Apr-11 22:39:35

I saw it once as a kid and can very clearly remember it. I will NEVER watch it again and will do everything in my power to keep it away from bunny-obsessed DD.


LetThereBeRock Fri 08-Apr-11 22:42:35

I love the film,and the book,but it's definitely not a U.

mybrainsthinkingfuckyou Fri 08-Apr-11 22:45:31

Yep similarly traumatised as child. An i write in remembering some weird red eyed mixamatosis type evil rabbit lsd type hallucination? Or am i just suffering from ptsd?! Never shown it my kid, never would...

BlueAmy Fri 08-Apr-11 22:46:02

DS has not been shown this film, and if it's within my power to control, he won't ever see it. Neither will DD when she's old enough. It should not be a U. It might sound silly, but this film has actually traumatised children, and that's not something I want to subject mine to.

AgentZigzag Fri 08-Apr-11 22:46:11

If you think of Monsters Inc including the big blue hairy monst ripping bits off the green cyclops monst it'd be almost laughable to think it'd still be a U.

mybrainsthinkingfuckyou Fri 08-Apr-11 22:46:21

god sorry i am tired. That should say am i right in...

LetThereBeRock Fri 08-Apr-11 22:46:44

Do you mean the black rabbit of Inle/Death?

LetThereBeRock Fri 08-Apr-11 22:47:22

That was to,Mybrain.

LetThereBeRock Fri 08-Apr-11 22:48:55

I'll admit to watching it at every opportunity when I was a child.It didn't traumatise me at all,but the animated creation story at the beginning did disturb me somewhat,actually more so now than back then.

flyinstar Fri 08-Apr-11 22:54:09

scared me wittless as a kid,and made me cry,shouldn,t be a kids film,we were on a school trip,all staying in an old school with dorms full of bunks,and in the teachers infinite wisdom,thought it would be a good idea for our treat film to be watership down!!!!
needless to say there were lots of frieked out kids,all wanting to go home.

TheArmadillo Fri 08-Apr-11 22:54:53

I think the rabbit you are thinking of is the ghosty rabbit of death.

Both me and dh were convinced that the film contained references to miximatosis but it doesn't. Maybe the book does.

I have a ds (6yo) and it will be a long time if ever that he is allowed to watch it.

The fields of blood has stuck with me since childhood - it really freaked me out.

Surely standards couldn't have been that different in 1978.

FoxtrotMikiLima Fri 08-Apr-11 22:57:24

One of my favourite films of all time. Bright eyes still gives me chills.

I think it's actually quite healthy for kids to experience things like this as it may act as good preparation, in the right context of course, for grief or upset later in life.

Most memorable kids films have something traumatizing in them - bambi's mum getting killed is the most obvious example, aslan in narnia on the stone slab etc.

Or maybe I just have a dark sensibility!

mrsoliverramsay Fri 08-Apr-11 23:10:45

I can't watch that film. Had me in tears everytime when I was young. What made it worse was that my dad had the single. He used to play it all the time to wind me up for a laugh.

mybrainsthinkingfuckyou Fri 08-Apr-11 23:11:29

1 min in red eyed rabbits
1.59 rabid type rabbit
2.29 nazi troop of rabbits

no wonder i was scared but i also remember being utterly terrified of an episode of armchair thriller where it turned red with blood and an abduction tale-rachel in danger.
Add to that flytrap story in tales of unexpected, Carrie, Bodysnatchers, Stepford wives, Salem's lot. No surprise i was scared of the dark. WTF were my parents thinking?

AgentZigzag Fri 08-Apr-11 23:13:04

And most fairy stories as well foxtrot, like the little red shoes with girl getting her feet chopped off to stop her dancing.

I wouldn't let 10 YO DD watch it, I let her see some 12 rated films, but I know what freaks her out and plays on her mind, and this definately would.

She watched Avatar but not Signs (about hostile aliens) it's making the choice for your DC.

But you'd presume a U would be cut and dried/they all lived happily ever after after a bit of mild peril.

exhausted2011 Fri 08-Apr-11 23:17:07

my sister had to be carried out of the cinema when she was about 4. She was distraught
I think it traumatised her for life

TheArmadillo Fri 08-Apr-11 23:19:22

FoxtrotMikiLima I agree that children should not necessarily be protected from these things completely but I think that exposing a child say under 6 or 7 to these ideas is a bit over the top and likely to upset quite a lot of them. Plus the box doesn't give any mention or indication of any of this. I'm sure a lot if not most parents would not check out a U rated film beforehand as they may do a PG or 12.

I think there should be some warning of what happens in the film on the box. And that includes the age rating.

Of course all this is reasonably pointless as the film was released in 1978 and I doubt they could reclassify it now even if they wanted to.

It did shock me though.

Tanith Fri 08-Apr-11 23:22:10

Loved it as a child, but I was living near Watership Down at the time.

TheArmadillo Fri 08-Apr-11 23:23:01

I meant to add I wouldn't usually check out a U film - its only that I knew the film I questioned the rating.

Interestingly enough it has a parental warning on IMDB which I have never seen before (though admittedly I'm not usually looking for kids films)

Punkatheart Fri 08-Apr-11 23:23:13

Agree. I was taken to see it at the cinema and I was not particularly young. I sobbed and couldn't stop and me too - I can't listen to that flaming Bright Eyes now!

My niece watched it and we had to rewind it so that all the rabbits were alive. It is very dark and brutal but accurate. The world of bunnies is very harsh. Have you seen their teeth?

LisamumtoJake Fri 08-Apr-11 23:25:23

How dare you traumatise me once again!! grin

I cannot understand it either, "bright eyes" is enough to bring me into floods or tears, and there is no way on this earth i'd ever endure the film again!!!

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