Movie time together as a family is a favorite activity in most households. Popping some popcorn, snuggling in, and having the ability to hit pause for food runs and bathroom breaks is an ideal way for moms, dads and children to enjoy a show. This month as we stop to observe Earth Day, I thought it would be fun to suggest some films that raise awareness about protecting the planet, and may even spark some quality conversation about the environment.
this slightly amended Dr. Seuss story is a cautionary tale about the planet. The quest to see a “real Truffala tree” bonds characters Ted and Audrey, takes them from their completely artificial home Thneedville, and pushes them to the unknown outskirts of town where all that was once green and beautiful, is now barren and polluted. The journey also introduces Ted to The Onceler, a greedy businessman who exploited and destroyed nature, and the Lorax—who has taken on the task to protect the last of the precious Truffala trees from extinction.
The story centers on a captured whale named Willy, who is separated from his family and held in a tank at an aquarium to be a part of an aquatic show. Lonely and out of place, Willy is both unhappy and unruly with no interest in becoming a performer. Then along comes foster child Jesse, who because of his part creating vandalism at the theme park, is sentenced to cleaning up the graffiti he left behind. Because of their time spent together, the two create a special bond, and it becomes Jesse’s mission to free Willy and to return him to the sea…and his family.
this film sends a strong message about self-acceptance, and realizing that the very things that make you struggle because you are different, can give you a special purpose in life. Mumble, an often bullied penguin because he cannot sing, must venture out to the “forbidden shores” looking for food to help his family, suffering because commercial overfishing has depleted their resources. In addition, Mumble is looking for help for his friend Lovelace, who has become ensnared in plastic rings tossed into the ocean by humans. In the end, Mumble’s brave and likable personality, as well as his gift for dance draws attention to the plight of his fellow penguins, and there is a “Happy” ending.
Discussing each story before, during, and after watching is an ideal opportunity to talk with your kids about how important it is to preserve the environment and to respect nature’s gifts. The value of family and friendship are evident in each storyline as well
Kids Quest—Playtime for Kids, Free Time for You!