IMDb > Watership Down (1978) > Parents Guide
Watership Down
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Parents Guide for
Watership Down (1978) More at IMDbPro »

The content of this page was created directly by users and has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.
Since the beliefs that parents want to instill in their children can vary greatly, we ask that, instead of adding your personal opinions about what is right or wrong in a film, you use this feature to help parents make informed viewing decisions by describing the facts of relevant scenes in the title for each one of the different categories: Sex and Nudity, Violence and Gore, Profanity, Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking, and Frightening/Intense Scenes.
Visit our Parents Guide Help to learn more


During a meeting between two brother rabbits and the chief rabbit, the chief mentions that they're in the middle of May, which is mating season.

Several references to the need of does (female rabbits) to sustain the warren.


There is some strong animal violence in this film.

A rabbit is attacked and killed by a hawk offscreen. A rabbit is nearly choked to death in a snare, he coughs out blood. Very violent. It appears he is dead, however, we soon learn this is not true. A rabbit is found beaten, he is covered in scars. Another rabbit has his ears torn as a punishment. For the rest of the film, his ears are disfigured. A rabbit is shot in the leg, but he survives. There is a bloody bullet hole in the leg that was shot. The bullet is removed from the wound, and the rabbit requires time to heal. For the rest of the film there is a scar where he was shot. Two rabbits are hit by a train.

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, causing both of them to bleed. They bite each other in a way that almost looks cannibalistic. 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.


Rabbits call each other mild names. Two uses of "damn" and one use of the phrase "piss off."


A rabbit finds a smoldering cigarette near a fence post, which he seems to fear will start a forest fire.


Several scenes contain potentially nightmarish images that may be too strong for the youngest viewers.

The most frightening scene shows rabbits being gassed underground, their heads then form an abstract ghostly head of a rabbit.

In the climatic sequence, a rabbit is caught by a cat who is able to kill him, but the cat's human guardian orders her to back off before she does any harm.

The music and general mood of the film is rather bleak and intense.

Even if this movie isn't as gruesome as other animated movies - such as Felidae - the strong violence used in the movie is still disturbing and scary.

Overall Rating: 21/50

Should be okay for 13+. Most likely too intense for younger children.

Final Note: Even though the ratings and reasons of sex/nudity, language, and drugs seem appropriate enough for a PG rating even today, the overall violence and intense moments would definitely move is past that rating.(PG-13 did not yet exist in 1978, it wasn't introduced until 1984).

Suggested BBFC (UK) age Rating 12A: Strong animated bloody violence, upsetting sequences.

Suggested MPAA rating: Rated PG-13 for intense violence, terror, and disturbing / bloody images.

Argentina:Atp / Australia:PG / Australia:NRC (original rating) / Brazil:16 / Canada:G (Manitoba/Nova Scotia/Quebec) / Canada:F (Ontario) / Finland:K-12 (2012) / Finland:K-3 (2011) / Finland:K-8 (1995) / Finland:K-10 (1979) / Iceland:L / Ireland:G / Ireland:12 (2005 DVD) / Netherlands:AL / Singapore:PG / Spain:T / Sweden:7 (cut) / UK:U / USA:PG (certificate #25402) / West Germany:6

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