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6 Animated Kids Movies with Annoyingly Intrusive Political Messages

"Just a spoonful of sugar helps the Marxism go down / In a most delightful way"

by
John Boot

Bio

September 27, 2013 - 10:15 am
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 Cloudy_With_a_Chance_of_Meatballs_2_-_3

The animated children’s movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 lands in theaters this week with a strange anti-food processing message: The bad guy wants to take adorable anthropomorphic animal-foods and feed them into his giant food processor to make energy bars.

Surprisingly, this movie is actually less obnoxiously political than lots of other offerings being sold to your kids. Here are five especially egregious examples of kids’ movies with intrusive political messages.

1. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009).

The original film took a fun kids’ book and loaded it up with political freight: it’s set in a struggling island town that hits a windfall when a young inventor named Flint Lockwood invents a machine that can turn water into food.

Before you know it, it’s raining meat and produce. Sounds like a resource-management problem: If it rained gold, would we figure out a way to profit from it or scream that doomsday has arrived?

The movie turns into a lecture on materialism, inviting us to see the connection between consumer habits and extreme weather/global warming. See, if we don’t get out of our big comfy SUVs and stop craving so much food, the weather-gods will plague us forever. Hollywood’s neo-Puritanism is alive and well. 

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Top Rated Comments   
Some of these are definitely obnoxiously political, but I'd have to disagree about WALL·E and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (CWACOM). WALL·E is another "green" flick, yes, but as others have pointed out, it's against the real (though diminishing) problems of trash and general pollution, not some superstitious Gaia-worshiper's conspiracy theory about anthropogenic global warming or how fracking is EEE-VIL! Yes, we could do with a "Yay for all the big corporations who make the stuff we like at an affordable price!" movie for a change, but as "green" flicks go, WALL·E is actually pretty benign.

As for CWACOM, I'm not really seeing the "consumerism is bad and big corporations are EEE-VIL!" message there. If anything, the movie seems to be more about how truly great ideas can get out of control and have unanticipated side effects. The great food-making machine Flint invents is unambiguously presented as a good thing: his very first successful invention after a long line of failures, and of great benefit to everyone, especially his fellow townspeople. That it gets out of his control and starts causing real trouble is largely due to government meddling in the form of the town's opportunistic mayor who keeps manipulating him into cranking up the machine to the breaking point so his government can take credit for even more largess being dealt out to everyone and thereby increase its popularity. (Sound like any governments you've ever known?)

As far as I can see, the lesson here is that government meddling can turn even the most benevolent of ideas and inventions into a curse and do great harm to the very people they were designed to help; hardly a message that would sit comfortably with the nanny-state leftists and green fascists of our time. I do think CWACOM could have examined more closely the point that a device capable of producing a well-nigh infinite supply of food at minimal cost would come at the price of mass-unemployment for farmers and other food producers (which would be worth it, however, since even people who were flat broke would still have plenty to eat forever afterward), but on the whole it seems a rather pro-business and anti-government film.

You want to rip a movie for having a crummy political message, why not The Iron Giant with its obnoxious anti-gun beatnikery? ("You don't have to be a gun!" Oh, shut up, Hogan, you whiny little brat!) Also, whatever goes into the upcoming Captain Planet film, I'm guessing if it's anything like the cartoons, it'll be so preachy and misanthropic that it'll generate more sales for RiffTrax than anyone else. (Their track for this movie will likely feature lines like "Why's he cutting down trees? Because he HATES trees, that's why!" and "Captain Planet loves cute puppies! Quick, dump some of our radioactive waste on some cute puppies!")
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It is called indoctrination of young innocent minds of mush as my teachers used to call them. Children are impressionable and global warming is a scam and not science, but sudo science as has been proven by the cooling experienced over the last decade without explanation, hence the move to "Climate Change." And this article is not aimed at children, but their parents who are trying to protect their children from indoctrination. You are right, it is not the obligation of the movie makers to baby, it is to make money and they would make a lot more money if they would stop being political in their films geared towards children.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"on the dangers of over-consumption, big corporations and the destruction of the environment"

To do my part in not over consuming, supporting big corporations who can destroy the environment, I've stopped going to movies.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (36)
All Comments   (36)
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So, is it the obvious propaganda that's dangerous?

Or is it the subtle propaganda that does more damage?


A compass that's 90 degrees off is soon discovered and discarded. That one that's 9 degrees off is likely leave you in the wilderness far from where you thought you were.

If I were trying to harm you I'd probably try to slip you the 9 degree compass.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Can anyone tell me what the real plot of Cars 2 was? Once I started thinking about it, it fell apart. Something about the new green energy not being new and green at all, but an attempt to discredit green energy by the guys trying to promote green energy but only pretending to in some kind of Bond double face switch off with a back handed flip?

What I got out of it was "Oh look, talking cars again! That was yummy popcorn. Let's go home."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
See also, Astro Boy (2009), which was plenty Marxist -- not the Groucho kind, unfortunately.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And why shouldn’t Leftists make films for children that incarnate their ideology? There is plenty of Christian fiction, too.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Here's why: because Christian ideology is good and leftist ideology is evil.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Happy Feet, Happy Feet 2, Cars 2, and The Lorax definitely all fail the Duck Test.

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs is a major stretch. It is about a machine that makes food from clouds that gets overloaded. While it is a bit of a rant about consumerism, taking it from there to consumerism driven climate change is just a bridge too far. Why not just cite the interference of the Mayor and say that it proves climate change is purely politically driven at that rate?

Wall-E though is the big one. I remember everyone complaining about it when it came out, then when the lists of Pixar movies was being made, and now it comes up again. As I said then it stands more against crony capitalism/Corporatism than it does against "evil" pollution and what not. And then there is the whole Genesis allegory aspect as has been mentioned. Overall I think there are much better arguments to be made regarding its flaws as a "secret" conservative propaganda movie than some subversive environmental message. Well, unless of course the corrupt and incompetent government-corporation portrayed in the movie really does represent something conservatives would support rather than what "progressives" have produced.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Huh? You included The Lorax? Just kidding! Believe it or not, my son's 7th grade honors science teacher actually used that stupid book as part of the curriculum. I'd have recommended an "A" for the year to the first student that asked "How many trees were used to print Dr. Seuss books?" My husband wondered whether they'd used The Grinch to demonstrate physics...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So don't watch them...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
At least you didn't descend into posting a sophomoric "who cares?".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Some of these are definitely obnoxiously political, but I'd have to disagree about WALL·E and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (CWACOM). WALL·E is another "green" flick, yes, but as others have pointed out, it's against the real (though diminishing) problems of trash and general pollution, not some superstitious Gaia-worshiper's conspiracy theory about anthropogenic global warming or how fracking is EEE-VIL! Yes, we could do with a "Yay for all the big corporations who make the stuff we like at an affordable price!" movie for a change, but as "green" flicks go, WALL·E is actually pretty benign.

As for CWACOM, I'm not really seeing the "consumerism is bad and big corporations are EEE-VIL!" message there. If anything, the movie seems to be more about how truly great ideas can get out of control and have unanticipated side effects. The great food-making machine Flint invents is unambiguously presented as a good thing: his very first successful invention after a long line of failures, and of great benefit to everyone, especially his fellow townspeople. That it gets out of his control and starts causing real trouble is largely due to government meddling in the form of the town's opportunistic mayor who keeps manipulating him into cranking up the machine to the breaking point so his government can take credit for even more largess being dealt out to everyone and thereby increase its popularity. (Sound like any governments you've ever known?)

As far as I can see, the lesson here is that government meddling can turn even the most benevolent of ideas and inventions into a curse and do great harm to the very people they were designed to help; hardly a message that would sit comfortably with the nanny-state leftists and green fascists of our time. I do think CWACOM could have examined more closely the point that a device capable of producing a well-nigh infinite supply of food at minimal cost would come at the price of mass-unemployment for farmers and other food producers (which would be worth it, however, since even people who were flat broke would still have plenty to eat forever afterward), but on the whole it seems a rather pro-business and anti-government film.

You want to rip a movie for having a crummy political message, why not The Iron Giant with its obnoxious anti-gun beatnikery? ("You don't have to be a gun!" Oh, shut up, Hogan, you whiny little brat!) Also, whatever goes into the upcoming Captain Planet film, I'm guessing if it's anything like the cartoons, it'll be so preachy and misanthropic that it'll generate more sales for RiffTrax than anyone else. (Their track for this movie will likely feature lines like "Why's he cutting down trees? Because he HATES trees, that's why!" and "Captain Planet loves cute puppies! Quick, dump some of our radioactive waste on some cute puppies!")
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I didn't have problem with WALL*E. It's overall message seemed to be that it's not good to be fat, lazy and apathethic.

I would have put "Planet 51" on the list instead because nothing but 91 minutes mocking of tradional America. It may not deserve mention because it was a terrible flop, but I hated it more than any movie on this list (or any other list for that matter).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Is Avatar included, since it's sorta / kinda animated, and is *really* a PC message about both the environment and the evilosity of the military.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Who needs Avatar when you can go straight to the source material, Fern Gully? It really was animated and was pretty much Avatar just without the James Camaron treatment.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I haven't seen any of these. The last movie I saw was The Departed, whenever that was. But I was thinking about youth indoctrination to the left via film and the earliest one I could recall was our much beloved Mary Poppins. I'll never see it the same way again.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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