Could an animated film about cars become Big Oil's next nemesis?
In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, "Cars 2" director John Lasseter discussed the major overhaul to his upcoming film, a revamp that makes Big Oil the bad guys.
He told the paper:
I kept thinking about, "OK. A spy movie in the world where cars are alive. What would be a really good kind of über bad guy? Who is an über bad guy?" I kept going to big oil. This is before what happened in the Gulf of Mexico.
Why isn't alternative fuel more... Why isn't everybody jumping on that bandwagon? It makes so much sense: Electricity, solar, whatever. There's ethanol. There's all this stuff you could be doing. And so I thought, well, that could be really cool in that you could have big oil versus alternative fuel. That's when we kind of crafted the bad guy's story.
The greatest bad guys, you understand where they're coming from. They believe they're doing the right thing. Sometimes it's for greed, sometimes it's for other reasons, but they are what they call the center of good. They always believe they're doing the right thing.
A "Cars 2" trailer advertises, "On their next big road trip, they're not only racing across the world, they're racing to save the world."
Some conservatives are already enraged. The Lonely Conservative blog wrote, "We conservatives and believers in free markets are accused of being paranoid when we say the Hollywood industry is trying to indoctrinate our children with left wing propaganda. But now movie directors and producers are coming out and admitting what they're doing. I'm just glad I found this out before I allowed my kids to persuade me to take them to see the movie 'Cars 2.'" Indeed. Evil films can brainwash children into caring about the environmental degradation that their generation will have to pay for.
Another blogger questioned whether John Lasseter's message is hypocritical compared to his own actions. Christian Toto wrote, "Doesn't he realize how much oil will be burned bringing "Cars 2" merchandise to the marketplace? Should Lasseter, CEO of Pixar and director of "Cars 2," be criticized for trumpeting green causes while helping Disney burn so much energy for a profit?"
While some movies are embracing green filmmaking, the movie industry produces large amounts of waste during and after production. Some would argue that the eco-awareness raised by some films ultimately outweighs the production's carbon footprint.
This isn't the first time that a Pixar film has upset conservative audiences. According to ThinkProgress, "WALL-E" left right-wingers "apoplectic" over a cute robot on a trashed earth seeking love.