Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014

10 children's movies with rumored political agendas (10 items)

By , Deseret News

March 10, 2014

As early as the release of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" in 1937, critics have sought to identify political messages in children's movies.

"Snow White," for example, was accused of having either feminist or anti-feminist messaging, depending on your flavor of political message-finding.

Lately it seems that Hollywood has taken a decidedly more open ideological turn when it comes to children's movies, with even a couple of writers and directors admitting they've inserted political messaging into films directed at children.

Here is a list of 10 children's movies that are rumored to have political motives.

1 of 10. The Lego Movie, 2014

The popular film premiered on Feb. 7, but it left some wondering of its agenda. Vulture’s Bilge Ebiri wrote that the film was “practically communist.”

In addition, Fox Business News host Charles Payne said the movie’s villain, President Business, “looks a bit like Mitt Romney” and that Hollywood embeds these types of “anti-business” platforms and gets away with it.

However, The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway says that the film may be the most “subversive” pro-business film ever. “It’s also about the importance of hard work, creativity, ownership, innovation and human dignity … it really is anti-crony capitalism, which only furthers the classically liberal message,” Hemingway wrote. “Even if the big corporate interests in this country prefer thwarting competition via massive legislation, onerous regulations and other barriers to entry over the risks of a free-wheeling market, cronyism is not the same thing as capitalism.”

2 of 10. Finding Nemo, 2003

According to the Hollywood Reporter, conservatives were maddened by what they saw as a staple of liberal films: Animals good, people bad. They say that scenes from the scuba diver who captures a “defenseless clown fish” to depictions of a “bratty little girl” who wants it for her pet, humans are largely portrayed as disinterested in the plight of animals and the state of their ecosystem.

It is worth noting, the Washington Post reported, that a team of U.S. and Canadian scientists investigated the ecosystems of the fish involved in the animated movie.

“Sixteen percent of the species associated with characters in “Finding Nemo” that have been evaluated face the threat of extinction, according to the study, which was conducted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Canada’s Simon Fraser University.”

3 of 10. The Incredibles, 2004

According to the Christian Science Monitor, many are saying this movie was hijacked by a “social Darwinist” agenda.

“I can't help thinking of [philosopher Friedrich] Nietzsche and his idea that some people are better and more deserving than others," Mikita Brottman, professor of language and literature at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, was quoted as saying.

In addition, many reviewers saw a cameo of sorts of Atlas Shrugged when the hero of the film balances a globe-shaped robot on his shoulders.”

Another take on the movie, according to the Hollywood Reporter, is that the film is anti-litigious. Many have embraced the film as a “cautionary tale” of what could happen if society encourages frivolous lawsuits while discouraging people to stand up against evil.

4 of 10. Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, 2006

The trials and tribulations of Manny the mammoth, Sid the sloth and Diego the sabre tooth tiger because of global warming are seen by conservatives as propaganda, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The “melting glaciers are meant to convince children of the impending horrors of modern-day global warming.”

However, they also report that conservatives are happy that the film points out that climate change predates humanity, “so it wasn’t manmade pollutants that heated the planet and thawed the ice age back then.”

5 of 10. Happy Feet, 2006

Glenn Beck famously said that "Happy Feet" was “an animated version of ‘An Incovenient Truth’ ” and nothing short of propaganda.

The movie about a dancing Emperor penguin revolved around the theme of human encroachment on the pristine world.

And the film’s director, George Miller, didn’t shy away from the controversy. He told the Wall Street Journal, “In Australia, we’re very, very aware of the ozone hole and Antarctica is literally the canary in the coal mine for this stuff, so (the film) sort of had to go in that direction.”
1. gittalopctbi
Glendale, AZ,
March 11, 2014

Personally, I thought that The Lego Movie was excruciatingly hilarious. It poked fun at itself and the Lego culture. It had a funny plot. It had a hilarious sound track. ("Everything Is Awesome") Sorry, I was way too busy laughing to catch any alleged political message. The bad guy looked like Mitt Romney? Saying that is almost as hilarious as the movie itself. Hmn, Romney's face is so generic that it resembles a Lego face? Now THAT's funny!

2. GZE
March 11, 2014

You are seriously quoting a Stephen Colbert rant?

3. elisabeth
American Fork, UT,
March 11, 2014

regarding #4. of course climate change predates man. we have ice core data that goes back 400,000 years, and the variability of the ice layers correspond to the co2 levels also revealed in the ancient ice. What we are seeing now is an unprecedented level of carbon dioxide and corresponding warming that can be absolutely identified in the carbon molecules as burnt fossil fuels. be afraid, information and truth is everywhere.

4. Ed Firmage, Jr.
Salt Lake City, UT,
March 11, 2014

To today's conservatives, everything is a threat, and rumors count as facts. What a pitiful existence.

5. SlopJ30
St Louis, MO,
March 11, 2014

I thought "The Lorax" was a little too on-the-nose, but most of these are nothing but the same "underdog vs overdog" stories Hollywood has been giving us since the first projector was plugged in. As for the little guy resisting Big Business, "Modern Times," anyone? Charlie Chaplin? Man = evil, nature = good . . anyone seen Bambi? None of these themes are new. If watching Bambi as a kid influenced you to become a godless, America-hating liberal, I would love to hear your story.

Honestly, if you're wired to see everything through the prism of whatever political ideology dominates your cerebellum, there's not much anyone can say to change your mind. Those of us not on the fringes of sanity will continue to roll our collective eyes every time somone like Glenn Beck pops off about an innocuous children's movie being socialist/communist propaganda.