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Echo (Adventure) Planet

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Echo (Adventure) Planet

Adventure Planet (originally released as Echo Planet) is available to stream on Netflix. The You Tube trailer: is subtitled but the movie has been dubbed on Netflix.

This animation feature is about the dangers of global warming, unity with nature, over consumption, and excess of electronics in today’s hectic world. The carbon emissions have permeated the atmosphere to an extent to where they have mutated to a form of artificial intelligence and are attacking electronics of the world and turning them into monstrosities (hey, it’s a kid movie!).

The story begins in Thailand with the Karen hill tribe group (known as the long neck due to the golden rings on necks of some tribal members). There is a scouting jamboree in the area, and the arrogant main character trying to cheat his way to win a competition using his tech. When this tech obviously fails, he is separated from the group and ends up in the hill tribe village, and hilarity ensues. This initial part of the film is the fish-out-of-water scenario, which establishes how the urban boy and the rural characters (the real main characters in the Thai version of the film) learn to understand each other, and the boy begins to appreciate nature. The boy is rescued and the two hill children, along with their lovable pot bellied pig are taken to Capital State (which to the trained eye [see the national flag and the overweight Statue of Liberty] is very similar to the United States) in order to try to prevent a global catastrophe. Now the fish-out-of-water is the hill tribe characters in the U.S., I mean Capital State where they learn to adapt, and try to convince the world council to stop a planned launch of a cool down weapon against the carbon emission monsters and just unplug in order to be in harmony with nature and stop the monsters. Will they succeed? Yes. Yes they will.

When I first saw the film, I was slightly put off with the U.S. as a bad guy, and even more so with the dubbed version. When you finally visit Capital State and we see the small parks and the huge mega malls, I stopped to think that as big as our malls are here, the ones in the movie are much more reminiscent to the complexes seen in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. Were the filmmakers trying to make a statement about Thai’s own excesses? Was Capital State, a play on the “Central” mega malls (Central is the name of many huge malls there, much like we have “Westfield”)? If we look at it more globally then it can be used as a discussion on all our excess not just the U.S. Besides, the Capital State government is trying to stop the catastrophe albeit in the wrong way.
I enjoyed the film because of the references to Thailand. Critics complained about the simplistic “go-green” message global warming propaganda, and what the movie The Lorax wasn’t? There is a lot to discuss with kids here about unplugging, and respecting nature, other cultures, and the interaction we have with rural and urban settings. The end credits are cool too as it has the “new world” adapting to cleaner forms of energy, and enjoying nature.
In the class, students can chart, or write in their journal what they could do to go green, and then see the end credits to see if their prediction came true. Contrast/Compare activities abound here with Thailand/Capital State, urban/rural discussions.
edited by dcolato on 8/5/2015
edited by dcolato on 8/5/2015