Conservatives attack animated penguin movie as global-warming propaganda

››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Cultural conservatives, led by CNN's Glenn Beck, Fox News' Neil Cavuto, and syndicated talk-show host Michael Medved, have all criticized Happy Feet, the new Warner Bros. animated movie about Mumble, the tap-dancing penguin, because they say the movie is laced with liberal overtones and tries to "indoctrinate" children. Specifically, conservatives claim the movie is pushing a global-warming agenda. Yet the film makes no references to global warming. Instead, the movie's conservationist subplot revolves around Mumble's attempt to combat man-made pollution and overfishing in his quest to help his fellow penguins. The blockbuster movie, which has already earned more than $100 million in U.S. ticket sales, is silent regarding the issue of global warming.

Nonetheless, Cavuto and Beck, who referred to the film as "propaganda," both complained that the movie amounts to "an animated version of An Inconvenient Truth," a reference to former Vice President Al Gore's critically acclaimed documentary about the threats posed by global warming. Cavuto said that while viewing Happy Feet, he "half-expected to see an animated version of Al Gore pop up." Cavuto also stated that he found the movie "offensive" and asked whether it pushed "a far-left message."

Medved, who is also a professional film critic, complained in a November 17 entry on his Townhall.com weblog that "the propagandistic theme suggests that the biggest menace for the lovable penguins is the human race -- stealing the fish on which the birds depend, or ruining planet earth through pollution and global warming." [Emphasis added.]

None of the commentators supplied any examples from the movie to support their allegation that Happy Feet pushes a liberal, global-warming agenda. In fact, no scenes from the movie mention the issue. Happy Feet is void of any global-warming references, there are no obvious allusions to it, and global warming is not one of the movie's themes. Global warming plays no part in the film.

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Glenn Beck, Neil Cavuto, Michael Medved
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