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The green machine Reel Guys By Richard Crouse and Mark Breslin Friday April 20, 2012 Metro Canada

katrinaSynopsis: Each year on Earth Day Disneynature does their part to increase awareness and build an appreciation of our planet’s natural environment by releasing documentaries. This year, it’s Chimpanzee. These spectacularly photographed movies show us the world in ways we have never seen before.  This week the Reel Guys have a look at other movies that celebrate and comment on Earth Day.

Avatar is one of many memorable films that pack an environmental punch.

Richard: Mark, the Disneynature docs are great movies, but I think I’ll kick off our look at Earth Day with an animated movie that packs just as much punch as An Inconvenient Truth and is twice as entertaining. Wall-E is a Pixar movie about a garbage-collecting robot on Earth, a planet made unlivable by waste and pollution. It’s a funny, poignant masterpiece and perfect for the whole family on April 22.

Mark: Wall-E is certainly a masterpiece. But what about Avatar? There’s a film with a strong environmental message. Of course, you can only wonder how big of a carbon footprint is made from a $200 million movie. But the strangest irony, Richard, might be the two of us discussing environmentally friendly flicks when we spend most of our time in darkened rooms!

RC: That’s the way I like it; inside looking out. I save a fortune on sun block as well. Continuing our theme, I thought of some good Earth Day thrillers. Everyone remembers Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich, a legal assistant who uncovers some grave environmental wrongdoing, but how about Frogs? This eco-terror film is about frogs who get revenge on polluters. Or The Day After Tomorrow, Dennis Quaid’s ode to climate change?

MB: Now there’s a movie serious environmentalists never bring up. Too exciting, I suppose. But what about the granddaddy of eco-catastrophe, The China Syndrome? Made in 1977, it’s as relevant today on the anti-nuke issue as it was then. And it stars Jane Fonda in her smokin’-hot-but-with-a-conscience period. Or Silkwood, also about nuclear contamination, starring Cher in her smokin’-hot-but-you’d-never-know-it-in-those-outfits period.

RC: You know another movie serious environmentalists don’t ever watch? Bio-Dome. Back when people went to Paulie Shore movies he made this movie about an environmental experiment, predating Al Gore’s global warming message by years. Could Shore be an Earth Day pioneer?

MB: Maybe! He’s definitely a pioneer of the word “dude.” But when you think about it, environmental themes are everywhere. Aren’t zombie films really about sustainability? And aren’t cannibal movies about the importance of eating fresh, and locally?

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