Beautiful, engaging story -- but very realistic death and violence
This is an excellent adaptation of Richard Adams' masterpiece novel about rabbits trying to survive in the English countryside. The beauty of both the book and film is that they treat the rabbits with utter realism, even while humanizing them. They live, die, eat, and poop just like real rabbits -- yet they have society, culture, and even religion, just like any human community. That dual-view gives a perfect view of creatures at once different and similar to us. A brilliant storytelling approach akin to Aesop and other great myth-makers.
Make no mistake, though: that realism can be upsetting. The film, while animated, depicts rabbits with personalities you can identify with being injured and killed with vivid bloodiness. This may well upset young children, and even some adults. But, frankly, death is a part of life and children need to learn that. In our urban world, we shelter our kids from that natural cycle to a neurotic degree that would baffle our farm-reared ancestors (or contemporaries). A movie like this, that shows
life-and-death consequences without the sanitization or (even worse) cavalier sadism often present in what is foisted off as children's entertainment today is of real educational value.
Still, be cautious before showing it to kids under 10, or older kids (or adults) who are easily disturbed. This is a fine movie for a wide swath of ages, but it is by no means a "kids" movie.
This title contains:
Violence & scariness
Positive role models