Are Kids Movies with Environmental Themes Influential?

Freakonomics author, Stephen Dubner, brings up an interesting point about the influence of children’s movies on a generation’s perception of the threats caused by global warming:

Freakonomics Blog » Are Children Sounding the Global-Warming Alarm?

One theory came to mind the other day when I was looking over a list of the most profitable worldwide movie releases of 2006. No. 1 on the list was Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, an animated — and apocalyptic — kids’ movie, which took in just over $1 billion at the box office. And as you can see here, the animated kids’ movie Happy Feet has also been huge, with over $350 million worldwide, and counting. While Happy Feet isn’t quite about global warming, it is about mankind’s disastrous overreach into nature. (In order to appreciate the reach of these kids’ movies, consider that Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, a global warming jeremiad, has done $42 million worldwide, a huge figure for a documentary but a drop in the bucket compared to the animated blockbusters.)

What’s one heck of a large audience.

Earth-exploiting corporations seem to agree with Dubner’s theory based on the way they’ve managed the reporting on this issue on FOX news. Many of the show hosts have attacked movies like Happy Feet, claiming they’re nothing but enviro-propaganda. It’s strange hearing movies that are emotionally appealing and scientifically based being referred to as propaganda, but I suppose that’s the case if you don’t believe is science or see it as a threat to your company’s profits.

So, is your 6 year-old giving you a hard time about your SUV? What kind of car will they be driving when they get their license in 2017?

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