August 17, 2007, - 12:41 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Watching “Arctic Tale,” I was reminded of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) cruel tactics against kids in the late ’90s. PETA activists waited outside McDonald’s with indoor playgrounds, where they knew many kids would accompany their parents for Chicken McNuggets. They approached young kids and gave them toys and “Happy Meals” featuring bloody photos and depictions of slaughtered animals. I called it “McCruel Child Abuse.”
“Arctic Tale” is just as “McCruel.”
The beginning credits of the movie serve as a warning that you and your children are seeing the kids version of global warming propaganda film, “An Inconvenient Truth.” Four words say it all: Narration by Kristin Gore.
Yes, Al Gore’s daughter is taking his scary–but false–message and frightening your little kids with it. With animals dying or being savagely killed and eaten, this is anything but the cute cuddly movie they want you to believe that it is. Parents who brought their children to the screening I attended were disturbed that they’d brought their children to such a sad, brutal movie. The attack on males isn’t great for kids either.
The story: We see footage of two arctic children and their families–Nanu, the polar bear, and Seela, the walrus. They are babies and we watch them through adulthood. The only voice in the movie is that of annoying narrator Queen Latifah. She really should stick to acting. Her constant insertion of hip-hop slang isn’t cute. It’s cloying.
At first, you are sucked in because the baby polar bears are so cute. But that’s the bait. Then, there’s the switch. Latifah repeatedly lectures moviegoers about how their way of life has changed forever because of global warming. We see weather patterns change and destroy the way of life for both polar bears and walruses. They can’t find food and starve to death. They are abandoned by their mothers. They are attacked by other starving animals. They have no safe place to live.
Cute little Nanu’s brother dies, first getting sick, then dying of starvation. Nanu, just two years old, is abandoned early by her mother and forced to fend for herself because global warming has hastened things and they must compete for food.
Throughout, haunting “Halloween” and “Psycho” style music playsin the background. I was waiting for Jason and Norman Bates to make cameo appearances.
Then, there is the fact that these humanized animals are all women. Single mothers and “aunties” raise polar bears and walruses, and the men are never around. They only approach for sex. Oh, and they attack starving young women who beg to share in a morsel of their food. Please tell your children that this dramatization of men as animals who are losers, boors, and creeps is fake. This is the animal kingdom, not the human world, no matter how badly Al Gore’s daughter and Queen Latifah want us to believe the two distinct worlds are identical.
The only thing your kids are spared are the usual graphic animal sex scenes, which are standard fare on “National Geographic” TV broadcasts. (Only brief animal kissing, hugging, and cuddling is shown.) Thank Heaven for small favors.
In the end, Queen Latifah asks about the polar world,
What will their children do if it disappears? What will ours do?
Do you really want to scare your little kids with this? Not if you’re a responsible parent.
Oh, and by the way, a lot of the movie is a lie. As Latifah tells it, global warming has changed everything forever within a year. But the footage for the film was shot by National Geographic for 15 years. Not a problem to lie to the kiddies to make a point. The ends justify the global warming means.
Save your money and rent “March of the Penguins,” instead. Taking your kids to see “Arctic Tale,” isn’t just subjecting them to propaganda.
It’s child abuse.
Tags: Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth, Arctic Tale, Debbie Schlussel Watching, Ethical Treatment of Animals, food, Halloween, Jason Bates, Kristin Gore, Latifah, McDonald's, Nanu, National Geographic, Norman Bates, Psycho, Queen, starvation