CATEGORIES Movie NewsEarth Day may have been on Monday, but this entire week schools and communities around the country have been celebrating the environment with various events and rallies. If you want to tie in your weekend entertainment with the environment, check out these three films, each of which provides an ecological message for preschoolers, kids and teens alike.
After seeing these green movies, turn off the TV and computer and head outside to help the environment!
Rated G Pick: "FernGully: The Last Rainforest" (1992, 76 minutes) Netflix Amazon Instant iTunes
Kids Will Love: Even though the animation is a bit dated, young kids will get caught up in this fantasy adventure about a young fairy who discovers that humans are cutting down all of the trees of her magical rainforest, so she shrinks a boy and teaches him about preserving their shared land. Magic and friendship (with a dash of romance) make for an exciting (and eco-friendly) tale.
Parents Will Love: It's a bit trippy to hear stars like Robin Williams, Tim Curry, and Christian Slater voice various characters, and the story plays out like an elementary-school version of "Avatar" -- human realizes the beauty of another world by living in it, making him want to fight to save it.
Did You Know? The movie won best feature film in the second annual Environmental Media Awards, which has honored film and television projects with environmental messages since 1991.
Rated PG Pick: "The Lorax" (PG, 2012, 95 minutes) Netflix Amazon Instant iTunes
Kids Will Love: Dr. Seuss's environmentalist tale of the Lorax, who "speaks for the trees," and the misguided Once-ler, who greedily used up all the Truffula trees to manufacture more Thneeds, gets a slick makeover that appeals to even the youngest of moviegoers. Purists may prickle at the changes, but the spirit of the story is still clear.
Parents Will Love: "The Lorax" is the quintessential environmental story to share with children, and the movie -- although not 100 percent faithful to the picture book -- is a great way to kick off an Earth Day activity, whether it's as simple as planting flowers in your yard or participating in a park clean up or more.
Did You Know? The characters of Ted and Audrey (voiced by Zac Efron and Taylor Swift) are not in the book, but in the movie they are named after Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel) and his widow Audrey. In another nod to the legendary author, the movie was released March 2, 2012, Dr. Seuss's 108th birthday.
Teen Pick: "An Inconvenient Truth" (PG, 2006, 97 minutes) Netflix Amazon Instant iTunes
Teens Will Love: OK, so maybe they won't love it as much as seeing the latest superhero action flick or paranormal teen romance, but the truth is that if you want teens to become environmentally aware, they need to learn about what's happening to the world because of global climate change. Even though this film focuses on Vice President Al Gore, it's not a political documentary; it's a scientific one.
Parents Will Love: Regardless of your personal politics, this documentary will make it clear why we all need to do our part to lessen our carbon footprint. This is a documentary that's a wake-up call for every one of us to think about how our daily lives impact the environment and make those little changes that can in turn make a big difference. Did You Know? Al Gore may have been the "star" of the documentary, but he didn't direct or produce it. The director is Davis Guggenheim, the filmmaker responsible for the public-education documentary "Waiting for Superman" and the U2 documentary "From the Sky Down."