If you want to raise your children with an awareness of environmental issues, you can certainly set up a recycling center in your home, grow an organic garden, and talk to them about turning off the lights when they leave a room. But you can also utilize media as a way to teach them what happens when people abuse the environment. If you’re hesitant to throw them into the deep end of the pool with documentary films like The Cove and An Inconvenient Truth (which could easily scare them), then take a gentler approach by starting with movies that were meant to impart an eco-friendly message to kids. Here are just a few you might want to consider screening in your home.
1. Wall-E (2008). This Pixar hit was and is one of the best kid-friendly movies to convey a warning about the dangers of failing to go green. When Earth becomes little more than a dumping ground for humanity, unable to produce plant life, all the humans are forced to enter space, leaving Wall-E behind to clean up the mess. But with the help of a fem-bot named EVE, he will lead the human race back to the planet they left in order to take responsibility and undo the damage they’ve done.
2. The Lorax (2012). This Dr. Seuss classic-turned-movie isn’t due to hit theaters until March of 2012, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning to take your kids to see it by reading them the book. Take them through the tale of little creature called the Lorax, who “speaks for the trees”, as he tries to stop the deforestation and pollution of his land, and the damage it is doing to the ecosystem (including the animals that live there). At the end, nothing is left but devastation and one seed, the hope of the future. After reading the book, you won’t be able to stop them from seeing the movie!
3. Cars 2 (2011). The story might not seem eco-friendly, what with all the cars burning fossil fuels, but as Lightning and Mater enter the World Grand Prix circuit, it becomes clear that the movie is about more than racing. The plot also includes a storyline about a clean-burning alternative fuel and the oil barons trying to stop it from making its way to the racing scene. It will provide an easy forum for you to discuss the problem of global warming with your kids.
4. Free Willy (1993). This movie may be a little dated, but the idea that it is wrong to keep animals in captivity isn’t. Every day mankind is cutting deeper into the natural habitats of animals, causing their numbers to dwindle to the point of extinction. This heart-warming tale of a young boy’s attempt to return a killer whale to its natural environment will serve as a tool to help you teach your kids about the importance of conservancy efforts and treating animals with the same respect and regard they would give humans.
5. Avatar (2009). This one is definitely for older kids, but even young teens can appreciate the message of harmony with nature that is presented in this gorgeously crafted cinematic adventure. Adults may find that the moral of the story is a bit heavy-handed in this three-hour, 3D extravaganza of filmic innovation; but kids will likely be enthralled.
About the Author
Sarah Danielson writes for DVD Copycat which offers blu ray duplication services and an array of other video related services.