From fun kid’s films to dystopian thrillers!
By Sonam Kaloti, Arts Editor
I watched this with my parents when I was a kid, but I wouldn’t recommend it for your children who may get haunted by the scene where people throw themselves to their death.
How do you teach positive environmentalism without scaring your kids? Luckily, there are films that can help with that—as well as films that can cater to your doomsday hunger. Although, I’m not so sure who would want to view those. Regardless, sit down, grab some popcorn, maybe cry a little, and get ready for some activism!
A young children’s story based on the book by Dr. Seuss follows young Ted on his mission to retrieve a seed from “The Once-ler” and plant a tree (in a tree-less world) to impress his crush. However, he is met with incredible backlash by the mayor and the rest of the town. The story is a commentary on pollution and activism and is tailored for educating children on environmentalism.
This charming Disney classic for kids is about a lonely trash-picking robot deserted on planet Earth. With a unique love story (pairing Wall-E with Eve, a modern robot), and an overarching plot of humans being overconsuming zombies floating in space, Wall-E is about a little robot’s mission to save humanity from itself and to bring the humans back to Earth.
A classic Studio Ghibli animated film, Princess Mononoke,shows the battle between humans and forest gods. Multiple attempts at peace between nature and society creates more and more conflict until it feels like nothing can be done. This tale follows a gruesome story about finding balance between mankind and Mother Nature. Wouldn’t recommend this one for young kids because the movie can be rather stressful, gory, and potentially scary—but it’s suitable for any higher age group.
Ready Player One
This 2018 Steven Spielberg action-adventure film is based in a future reality that has been completely rundown by climate change and fossil fuel emissions. The only escape humans have is a VR-type of video game reality (which may be some teenagers’ dream come true). Even so, the video game reality is still a capitalist environment where the poor continue to struggle.
Every climate crisis seems to hit at once in 2012. Solar flares, massive earthquakes, tsunamis—you name it. We follow a father and his family trying to make it to arks built in the Himalayan mountains so that they can survive the end of the world. I watched this with my parents when I was a kid, but I wouldn’t recommend it for your children who may get haunted by the scene where people throw themselves to their death while trying to latch onto the boardwalk to get onto the ark.
The Day After Tomorrow
I have a vague memory of watching this movie on a little DVD movie player in India and being slightly terrified despite being a child who didn’t have a clue about what was going on. Though, that’s a different story now. This film is about what happens after dropping temperatures in the ocean cause destructive hurricanes to form and wreak havoc on parts of the world, while politicians dismiss warnings issued by scientists. Probably best for adult viewing.