Published on

Watership Down


Watership Down: Perspectives On and Beyond Animated Violence

Editor: Catherine Lester



"Watership Down: Perspectives On and Beyond Animated Violence," part of the ANIMATION: KEY FILMS/FILMMAKERS series, delves into the complexities and nuances of animated violence through the lens of the iconic film, "Watership Down." Edited by Catherine Lester, this scholarly work explores the thematic and narrative depth of animated features, challenging conventional perceptions of animation as a medium solely for children's entertainment.

Key Themes

  • Animated Violence: The book examines the portrayal of violence in "Watership Down," arguing that it serves as a critical narrative and thematic element rather than gratuitous content. It highlights how the film uses violence to explore themes of survival, leadership, and freedom.
  • Audience Perception: Analysis of audience reception sheds light on the varying interpretations of animated violence, discussing its impact on both children and adults. The book argues that such content can foster engagement with complex themes and moral questions.
  • Animation as a Serious Medium: Lester and contributors advocate for a broader recognition of animation's capability to handle serious themes and narratives. "Watership Down" is presented as a case study demonstrating the medium's potential for depth and complexity beyond conventional expectations.


The volume features essays from various scholars, each contributing unique perspectives on the role of violence in animation, the narrative sophistication of "Watership Down," and its significance within the broader context of animated film history.


"Watership Down: Perspectives On and Beyond Animated Violence" offers a comprehensive examination of the film as a profound narrative work that utilizes violence not for shock value, but as a means to engage with complex themes. It challenges readers and viewers to reconsider their perceptions of animation, advocating for a deeper appreciation of its narrative and aesthetic potential.