So, channel five air one of the best-animated films – def my fave as a kid – and today it is headline news as parents have actually complained that it was too violent to be shown at Easter. How dare they show poor little bunnies getting hurt and killed; Easter is all about the Easter Bunny don’t you know, not at all about a man being executed by being nailed to a cross!!
My main question is do these parents even know the full story of this beloved book and can they not see the deeper meanings it offers? I watched it as a child and never once was I scared or traumatised by it. I watched rabbits being brave, taking a different direction in life, which may have been tough, but they had belief that there was something better out there for them. They came up against the dangers from man, which for me as a kid was a major plus as I was really into saving the world. Seeing a rabbit in a snare is upsetting, yes, but it is also a reality and as a child I wanted these things to change, so in effect the film opened my eyes to what nature has to go through due to human’s selfishness. Fiver, the young rabbit who they all choose to listen to, has his intuition telling him what to do next and even though he is small and young and in no way seen as a leader, they still continue to take the time to hear his thoughts and follow his decisions.
When they come across the warren with the dictatorship they decide it may be the best place to stay as it offers a home and food… this does not last long, and even though their lives are at risk, they do not know what is over the next hill or what the future has in store, they break the mould, they stop conforming and they break free in order to find their happy ending where they can run free, lay in the sun and have families.
It is a story of courage, of teamwork, of belief in each other and loyalty. All strengths that parents should be teaching their children and encouraging. If people stopped to look further into a story they would realise that there are much worse things happening and being watched by their precious children – I wonder how many of them are playing Grand Theft Auto, battling zombies, shooting soldiers, killing aliens etc. on all their video games. I wonder how many watch the news, especially after the tragic events of last week in Belgium. Are these ok for children to see? The film is just as fictitious as these violent video games but you don’t hear stories in the papers of parents in uproar over these. Plus, if you don’t like what they are watching simply turn it off.
Books can teach us so much about the world and children need to see that even through the toughest times, choices can be worth it and a happy ending can happen.