Won’t anybody think of the children? This Easter Sunday afternoon, the kids were all hyped up from their Easter Egg hunt, so they needed something soothing to calm them down. And oh, look, a lovely film about bunny rabbits was aired on Channel 5…
The film broadcast is called Watership Down and tells the harrowing tale of a group of rabbits fighting tooth and claw to escape the tyranny of their warren. Blood is shed. Fur flies. Rabbits bleed from their teeth. Bunnies die. Channel 5, you evil fucking genius.
Parents on Twitter were upset. Their children were upset. No, their children were traumatised. Based on a novel by Richard Adams, Watership Down has been ending childhood innocence since its 1978 release, so it’s surprising that anyone forgot about its penchant for wanton destruction. Still, that ‘Bright Eyes’ song by Art Garfunkel, which features on the soundtrack and reached Number One – that’s a nice ditty, isn’t it?
Yet even Art Garfunkel’s dulcet tones, as warm as melted chocolate, weren’t enough to placate Mister Vivian, who was furious.
Michael ran with the religious theme.
Just found out Channel 5 aired Watership Down for Easter Sunday. You mad fools! What're you gonna show next year? Passion of the Christ?
— Michael Beckwith (@Brawler1993) March 28, 2016
But it was all just wicked bantz to Koizumi.
channel 5 showing watership down on easter sunday is banter
— ayaze「あやぜ」 (@sosayaze) March 28, 2016
Watership Down has a U certificate, so anyone’s allowed to watch it. There were also plenty of tweeters telling the complainants to get a grip, never did me any harm, that kind of thing. In fact, the film isn’t unique in being a terrifying kids’ movie…
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937)
In general, this is quite a lovely Disney tale, except for the bit where Snow White is tricked into eating an apple that has been secretly poisoned by the hooded, gnarly Wicked Witch, who is genuinely one of the scariest film characters ever committed to screen.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
This heartwarming kids’ tale, based on a book by James Bond author Ian Fleming and scripted by Roald Dahl, who knew a thing or two about scaring the shit out of children, featured a character called The Child Catcher. He is a man who snatches up kids and throws them in the back of a van. It’s all just fun, isn’t it?
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
Aside from the fact that young Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) is clearly a sadist, this sequel features at least one genuinely chilling scene. She – spoiler alert – turns out be totally sound, but the introduction to Pigeon Lady rivals any horror film reveal.
The Witches (1990)
Roald Dahl’s at it again. Witches walk among us, and if you see a woman wearing gloves in warm weather, chances are that she’s a witch (they’ve got weird pointy hands that they keep covered up in all seasons). So that’s a horrifying enough thought… and then Anjelica Huston reveals herself to resemble Freddy Krueger’s mad aunt.
Toy Story (1995)
It’s one of the greatest kids’ films of all time, and arguably the first in the greatest children’s trilogy, and Toy Story is heartwarming in is suggestion that our toys live and breathe. For the love of God, though, who invented the terrifying ‘Spider Baby’?