Practicalmomma is generally not one to advocate movies or television for youngsters, but I will make the occasional exception. With Earth Day right around the corner, now is a great time to weave a few lessons about why it’s important to care for the environment. Cartoons, beautiful in their simplicity, are extremely influential on young children, as is evidenced by the abundance of marketed character apparel and action figures seen on today’s kids.
I suggest using this to your advantage by selectively choosing movies that the family can watch together and talk about. Although Wall-E is not a new release, our family only recently put it in our Netflix queue. It arrived yesterday in the mail, and tonight Jibbers and I settled down and watched it. So why am I a proponent of this movie? If you’ve already seen it, you may already understand. If you don’t want me to ruin the movie for you, then stop reading.
Wall-E tells a story of human overindulgence, materialism, and pollution– of our bodies and the environment– in a simple way that even a child can understand. Seven hundred years in the future, humans have completely destroyed the world and are so obese they are dependent on hovercraft to get around. Their need to be constantly entertained and constantly want more is told in a humorous way.
The robot hero and heroine, Wall-E and Eve, help and inspire a few humans to overcome the “problem is too big, so let’s just give up” mentality and return to their ancestral homeland. The humans get a second chance at a real life, learning to respect plants and animals and reconnect with others in a meaningful way.
I strongly suggest that you see this movie with your young children and take this message to heart. In this age of “instant satisfaction,” we are constantly updating our Facebook status and texting back and forth, when we could actually be interacting with those around us.