Indoctrination on the environment is everyplace

Why I don't want my kids to see the movie "Wall-E." Penn Jillette wrote this in the LA Times:

I took my children to see the film "Wall-E." This wonderful family entertainment opens with the given that mankind destroyed Earth. You can't turn on the TV without seeing someone hating ourselves for what we've done to the planet and preaching the end of the world. Maybe they're right, but is there no room for "maybe"? There's a lot of evidence, but global warming encompasses a lot of complicated points: Is it happening? Did we cause it? Is it bad? Can we fix it? Is government-forced conservation the only way to fix it? . . .

We have liked all the previous Pixar movies, but I am not going to take my kids to see this movie. While most movie reviews are falling all over themselves saying what a wonderful movie this is, here is one useful review here.

UPDATE: One reader responds that I shouldn't hide this from my kids, but should explain what is in the movie to them. 1) This movie is hardly unique. I have to constantly respond to this type of propaganda all the time. There is little new here. My kids get shown movies such as Charlton Heston's Soylent Green in their science classes. Kids can't make it through junior high without seeing Al Gore's movie at least once and they can't make it through senior high without seeing it several more times.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think hiding it from your kids serves no purpose. Watch it with them and explain to them the problems. Discuss as a family.

7/05/2008 1:05 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Anonymous:

Please see the "update" above. Thanks.

7/05/2008 2:36 AM  
Blogger James said...

I think the film is fantastic, but I see where you're coming from. It's easy as an adult to digest the story and enjoy it but kids can easily get the wrong impression.

That said, I didn't think that the film crammed the message down the viewer's throat. They put the scenery to very good use.

7/05/2008 11:35 AM  
Blogger Matthew T. said...

I understand your apprehension. When I first realized it was a post-human-induced-apocalyptic story I was apprehensive as well. But I figured I had loved (almost) every Pixar to date so I saw the movie and loved it.

WALL-E didn't shove any message down your throat. It was actually a bit tongue-in-cheek and had more to do with the apathy, gluttony and laziness of society, rather than it's destruction of the environment.

Global warming wasn't mentioned once. It wasn't even implied. The villain implied in the movie was a selfish corporation known as "Buy-N-Large". The rest of humanity was painted as guiltless.

I don't want to give any more away, but I will say that I would recommend this film to anyone.

7/05/2008 5:11 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

John, I was a little concerned about that side of the movie as well, but as one or two others have already noted, the message is not nearly so overt or even as condemning as it sounds.

I'm a far stretch from an environmentalist, and I found the film to be fantastic. The trash and dependent humans are story devices, nothing more. The director, Andrew Stanton, reports that he didn't even intend the movie to have the environmental bent that people interpreted it to have. He said so in this interview:


7/07/2008 9:50 AM  
Blogger GEM said...

I enjoyed Wall-E despite the gloomy back story - I figure it's almost impossible for Hollywood to leave out stuff like that anymore, so I just ignore it. I thought it was far less offensive than "Happy Feet" several years ago, a film that angered me for it's incredible nerve of masking as an innocent children's story.

7/08/2008 6:44 PM  

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