What Would Walt Say?

"The picture got great reviews but let's take a chance anyway." That's what I usually say to my wife when we're planning a night out at the movies. Critics and I are not usually on the same page. But the Disney release called "Earth," a compendium of brilliant nature footage cribbed from a BBC series, seemed irresistible, even though it got raves. True, there'd been quibbling about the corn-ball narration and the selection of stentorian-voiced James Earl Jones to deliver it, but the summation of the reviews was: don't miss it.



Disney had taken miles of extraordinary footage from the long-running English nature series and condensed and shaped it into a story of sorts: mama polar bear and her cubs emerge out of hibernation in the arctic snow, with the adorable babies blinking at their first sight of the summer sun. She begins the task of teaching them to survive. Papa bear, meanwhile, or "dad" as he's known in the narration, is off on the ice floe, trying to catch a seal for his dinner. But "global warming" is making this difficult to do as the ice is breaking up earlier than usual. Dad falls into the frigid water and begins swimming for his life. He swims and swims till he gets to Antarctica where there is an abundance of seals. But dad is too weak from all that swimming, can't nab a seal, and lies down and dies. End of family.

Now, polar bears don't mate; they copulate and split. "Dad" has never seen the cubs he spawned and never will. Neither is he any longer interested in mom nor she in him. It's not a family. And "dad" is, in all probability, played by a number of polar bears from different episodes in the original series. This sad downer of a story has been cobbled together by the Disney writers to make a point: we Homo sapiens are a mortal danger to families and to our beautiful planet.

After a lucrative opening weekend, moviegoers realized that this picture was not something they wanted to take junior to see, and business fell off sharply. The movie could have made a fortune if an uplifting story had been created. Sure, nature can be treacherous and the world is often a dangerous place to live in. But that's not the main fact of life. The main fact of life is that a gloriously beautiful and perfectly designed planet (and universe) has been created for us and for all our animal and vegetable co-inhabitants (my brother the carrot). Sunrises and sunsets are thrilling; even rainstorms and hurricanes are breathtaking. The BBC photographers captured all of this and the Disney film does show a lot of it, including the mass migration of thousands and thousands of animals. But of course, they focus in on the one baby elephant that gets separated from the herd and wanders off to starve to death. Hour upon hour of glorious footage, filmed by brilliant and intrepid photographers are turned into an agitprop picture condemning consumerism and capitalism.

"Wall-E," a brilliant animated picture, is another example of the Disney crowd using its powerful creativity to send a message to the younger set: we are destroying the earth. "We" meaning, of course, America with its incredibly successful production of "stuff". And like all good propaganda, it has more than a kernel of truth to it. The waste in this country is overwhelming. I don't object to reasonable preachment in favor of conservation and against waste. What pisses me off is the fact that the cultural left is frightening the children. And they're doing it on purpose. Polls of little kids have been taken which show that they are scared as hell that the earth will be an uninhabitable place to live in when they grow up.

There's a video called "The Story of Stuff" being shown in classrooms around the country. It has been put together by a former Greenpeace employee and, to quote The New York Times, it "paints a picture of how American habits result in forests being felled, mountaintops being destroyed, water being polluted and people and animals being poisoned". The filmmaker also complains that the federal government "spends too much on the military."

Children are being frightened. It's not enough that the cultural left is sexualizing them at an early age, it's also making a generation of worrywarts out of them: trans-fats and second hand smoke and climate change and toxic this and toxic that. And who is strong enough to save us from all this? Only the government, of course; only Big Brother. Worriers tend to vote Democrat and the left is systematically manufacturing a generation of them. Child molesters belong in jail.

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