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Green on the Big Screen

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Our kids are the keepers of the future. No time like the present for us camping and RVing parents to instill in them a sense of environmental consciousness. The sooner they learn about their role in preserving the environment, the sooner they'll get active and consciously take measures to protect it. Rather than bore them with lectures, why not let them absorb it through a medium they unequivocally love, movies? There are lots of wonderful "big screen" and DVD movies that your kids will love and have great environmental messages too. Here is a great selection.

1. Avatar

Even if you strip aside the amazing special effects, the star director (James Cameron) and certified blockbuster status, Avatar is a movie with a great storyline. Greedy capitalists on one hand, a civilization that lives in perfect harmony with its environment on the other. You'll have your kids cheering from the rafters for the good guys, and also get them thinking about the wonder and beauty of nature.

Here is a link to the movie's trailer.

Emperor Penguins and chick
We are family

2. Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest

An animated predecessor of Avatar of sorts, Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest tells the tale of an enchanted rainforest of fairies who believe that humans are extinct until one fairy, Crysta, spots them cutting down trees. She accidentally shrinks a human lumberjack, Zak, who falls in love with the wondrous forest and together they battle to stop humans and an evil spirit (who consumes and gains power from toxic waste) from destroying their beloved Fern Gully.

3. An Inconvenient Truth

Former Vice-President Al Gore felt passionate enough about global warming to make a movie about it. In An Inconvenient Truth, Gore explores the phenomenon of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions, busts the myths and gives us a reality check on what we need to do now to avert a future meltdown. Kids will be able to see the frightening results of our past actions and learn how to take preventive actions now to reduce our carbon footprint.

4. Over the Hedge

Over the Hedge tells the story of a pack of woodland animals who wake up from their winter slumber to find that their home has been urbanized. Only a hedge separates their remaining patch of forest from suburbia. The movie follows the adventures of this motley group of friends as they attempt to steal food from humans. The green message in this movie is clear, that the urban sprawl is ever encroaching upon animal territory.

5. March of the Penguins

This is a poignant portrayal of the mating rituals of emperor penguins. The movie follows their single-file march in freezing winter to their mating ground, where they find a partner and mate. It shows how the father penguin goes hungry to protect his egg all through the harshest winter conditions imaginable until it finally hatches in spring. March of the Penguins will have kids falling in love with these endearing birds.

6. Happy Feet

Happy Feet will instantly draw kids into the charming world of Mumble, a tap dancing emperor penguin who struggles to find love because he is different. As Mumble fights for acceptance a larger storyline about the dangers of commercial overfishing threatening the penguin food chain is revealed. This movie drives the environment message straight to the hearts of kids.

7. Free Willy

This movie was such a success that it spawned 3 sequels! The original Free Willy has an Orca whale Willy trapped by whalers and brought to an amusement park, where Jesse, a lonely orphan boy befriends him. As their bond develops, Jesse must save Willy's life and reunite him with his family before the money-minded amusement park owner has him killed. The message this movie gives kids is to let animals be free in their natural habitat, rather than trap them for human amusement. Make sure you and the kids catch up on the previous movies before the latest installment hits theaters later this year.

These 7 kid friendly movies will not only entertain your little ones but will help cultivate a greater sense of environmental responsibility. So microwave the popcorn, get the sodas ready and curl up on the couch with your kids to go green on the silver screen!

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