Watership Down Button, 1978

Watership Button 1978

The A.V. Club just ran a feature called “21 Horrifying Moments from Children’s Entertainment” and did not include anything from Watership Down, easily the most horrifying children’s movie ever made. General Woundwort demands an apology.

(Image via Bren Jay/Flickr)

6 Responses to “<em>Watership Down</em> Button, 1978”


  1. 1 welshpiper October 29, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    You ain’t kidding. Our 8th-grade class watched Watership Down after reading the book. The cartoon was orders of magnitude more disturbing than anything I had experienced up to that time. To this day, I leave spinach leaves for bunnies in the yard, and when my dog playfully chases a rabbit, I feel bad. Thanks, Dick Adams.

  2. 2 narvo October 29, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    lol. I didn’t know anything about Watership Down until you told me about it. Creepy indeed. Oh and btw, on that A/V Club post, the Willy Wonka tunnel scene alone has spawned a whole slew of comments (I think that’s the only thing people are commenting on, actually). I’ve only seen that movie once—not even in its entirety, I think—and I remember that tunnel scene to be super, super bizarre. Indelible.

    • 3 2W2N October 29, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      Willy Wonka is definitely a classic, and a very creepy, somewhat disturbing kid’s movie. It doesn’t have a dog ripping bunnies apart and more blood than a butcher’s shop.

  3. 4 Bryan Wilkinson (MicroBry) October 29, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    I wouldn’t really call Watership Down a kid’s movie. I don’t recall it being marketed as such when it was in theaters, and the novel it was based on was popular as mainstream fantasy read by adults, not a kid’s book. Animated films are not always made for children (not even back then).

    If you want to see something even more traumatic in the same vein, the same team later (and less famously as the darker tones of the movie I believe kept it from getting wider distribution) adapted Adams’ later book The Plague Dogs, which is pure nightmare fuel through and through.

    Definitely not for children. Hell, Plague Dogs still creeps me out remembering it.

    • 5 2W2N October 30, 2015 at 2:34 pm

      I couldn’t watch Plague Dogs. I tried many years ago but didn’t think it was very good and, yes, found the experimentation scenes too disturbing.

      Watership Down received the equivalent of a G rating in the UK, where it was presumed to be a “family” film. Much like Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings, producers were hoping to reach a wider audience than traditional animated films.

      • 6 MicroBry October 30, 2015 at 4:33 pm

        Yeah, after I wrote that, I looked it up on Wikipedia and I think my memory may be a bit off. I sometimes get a bit defensive as a former animation student myself there was always a public bias toward animation being for children back in the day that would raise my hackles. 😉

        But yeah, Plague Dogs is definitely no kiddie movie at least. I don’t know if you watched it all the way through, but the ending is particularly unpleasant on top of everything else in that film (though it’s interesting to hear Patrick Stewart play a small role).


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