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Wall-E takes over my Two-Year Old and what it can do for the environment
Kristi Scott   Jun 21, 2008   Care to Elaborate  

So, there’s a new robot movie coming out for kids, and humorous enough for adults: Wall-E. Looks like R.O.B from Nintendo and Number 5 from Short Circut? Cute? Inescapably addictive to young children? That’s the one!

Disney-Pixar is the reason for my daughter’s current infatuation with, a robot. She’s not screaming for a Roomba, she’s completely disinterested in the Scooba, I’m not I’d love to have both. For that matter, she could care less about our Robosapian, Roboreptile, mini-sapian thing, or the other -Sapian my son has lurking in his bedroom.  All it took was clever marketing, snazzy graphics, and a cute voice/catchphrase, and done, you’ve got the youth market in a tizzy over robots again.

My daughter is just a hair shy of becoming three and can already do a dead ringer impression of Wall-E. If it was up to her, he’d move in with us tomorrow. We’ve already purchased the plate and couldn’t make it through the store without constant cries of, “There’s Wall-E!!”, “There he is!!”, “Can we get it?! MOM!!”. She’s two and a marketer’s dream, and I know this. It’s unavoidable somehow. All she’s seen is the teasers like everyone’s else with a TV. With the two robots, one say’s “Wall-E” in it’s cute robo-voice and there’s some “At Last” and Wall-E in robo-love and a bra on his eyes. Somehow, that’s all it took to make a two-year old fall in love with a robot. Doesn’t matter if he’s cold steel or if the movie’s no good, which I doubt since it’s Disney-Pixar, but that’s the point I think. It doesn’t matter, she’s sold, hand’s down and so is her brother who’s nine.

There are a lot of big topics out there that we want to communicate to children about. Imagine if Disney-Pixar made Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth into a kids version…I’d be planting trees and walking everywhere. And buying a LOT of eco-friendly materials I would imagine. I can see the kids marketing now and product placement with Subway, because they serve healthier fast food that’s moreso eco-friendly than the other fast foods. All it takes is clever marketing, snazzy graphics, and a cute voice/catchphrase, and done, you’ve got the youth market on track to save the environment with ferver.

It just makes me wonder, what else?

Kristi Scott M.A. is an IEET Affiliate Scholar. Her work centers on the way popular culture presents issues of identity, body modification, cosmetic surgery, and emerging technologies. She has been a freelance writer since 2003 writing for a variety of magazines over the years, most recently as a writer and copy-editor for h+ magazine.



COMMENTS

Same thing is happening here at our house with my six-year-old. I’ve read that the movie has a message about overconsumption, but I can’t help but wonder how many useless plastic Wall-E toys will come out.

I love your idea for the Pixar/Al Gore collaboration, but since Pixar is owned by Disney, and Disney is a major supporter of the Republican Party . . . I don’t see it happening.

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