December 09, 2011

They think we would all be scooting around in solar cars if Big Oil weren’t strangling all kinds of brilliant energy solutions. In this year’s Cars 2, scientists realize electricity is a perfectly viable alternative to oil. That’s right—although it’s been a pipe dream in the real world since 1912, it’s an efficient way to get around in cartoon land. Unfortunately, an ornery Land Rover sabotages the plan and forces people to stick to oil.

2008’s Wall E goes a step further. In this movie, there is no environment. We ruined it. The entire planet has become a gigantic landfill, and a handful of disgustingly obese Americans are forced to live in an escape pod orbiting Earth. I didn’t enjoy explaining the sheer impossibility of this scenario to my kids. We can do damage, yes, but the Earth is a little too resilient to be defeated by some plastic bags.

So is it a given that the moral of the story is always liberal?

Not always. For every commie-pinko children’s movie I found, there was a pro-free-market one to counter it. Whatever the filmmakers’ intentions, 2006’s Ice Age 2 is a great way to show kids that our planet has been warming and cooling for millions of years, and so the past decade of warm winters is nothing to freak out about. The Incredibles is an incredible movie that depicts a world where litigious scumbags sue the heroism out of America. I love my kids learning about the kind of long-term damage lawyers can do to society’s fabric. 1999’s The Iron Giant sure seems to hate guns, but I like when kids’ movies portray the authorities as bumbling fools who blindly smother everything around them with no concept of the big picture. In fact, the feds always seem to be the biggest idiots in the room. Good. They are. I knew this back in 1982 when I saw them screw up E.T.’s visit.

Speaking of Spielberg, he just released his version of Tin Tin and it’s money hungry to the point of absurdity. Tin Tin is so determined to get some treasure, 50 Cent could have written “Get Rich or Die Trying” about him. Tin escapes from boats, flies planes, ransacks Morocco, and almost dies in the African desert, all in a search of a giant pile of gold. Eventually, his determination pays off as he kicks the bad guy’s ass and gets to the loot. Archie Bunker would approve.

In the end (spoiler alert!), the studios will do whatever generates a profit. If criticizing profit-makers sells tickets, they’ll do it. If glorifying a treasure-hunter gives Hollywood more treasure, they’ll do it. I don’t doubt the vast majority of Hollywood is liberal. That’s why conservatives there have to start secret organizations such as Friends of Abe, but if a writer’s dogma is alienating the audience, he’s out of a job. All parents want to be entertained when they take their kids to a movie. Liberals want to be patted on the back for caring about global warming and socialism. Conservatives want a hero that becomes successful by kicking ass and taking names. Both get what they want because where there’s demand, there’s supply. That’s the beauty of the invisible hand of capitalism; it doesn’t need a hand. 



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