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Family Movie Night: 10 Post-Apocalyptic Films to Blow Kids' Minds

LoraxEveryone inherits the earth. We all have to clean up messes we didn’t make. Our troubles are not the end of the world, because the end of the world is a really, really big deal. These are some of the life lessons kids can pick up by watching a post-apocalyptic film.

Cinematic tales of world destruction, ecological disaster, and civilization collapse can adjust our problems’ scale, teach us to value challenges as opportunities, and offer alternate views into the future. 

Screen one of these ten post-apocalyptic films at family movie night and blow your kids' minds! (They are organized by age appropriateness, starting with films for the youngest set.)

1. The Lorax

Recommended ages: 4 and older

Leave it to Dr. Seuss to give us our first child-friendly version of the post-apocalyptic future: Only the grickle-grass grows and there aren’t any birds, excepting old crows, in the poisonous gloom after ecological collapse in Dr. Seuss' The Lorax.

Of the two animated adaptations of the Dr. Seuss story, I prefer the original 1972 CBS cartoon special to the 2012 animated feature and here’s why: the older, shorter version more powerfully presents the environmental message, the truth of the book.

The scriptwriters of The Lorax (2012) stretched the story to feature length by inventing subplots that simply didn’t exist in the Seuss book. The Hollywood-elaborated backstory of the Onceler made the old industrialist much more sympathetic than the evil villain in the book.

The Lorax (1972) doesn’t have snazzy computer animation (it’s all hand-drawn) and its swinging 70s soundtrack sounds a bit stale. But, from the exodus of the brown Bar-ba-loots to the cutting of the last truffula tree, the message is pure Seuss.

>Next: Wall -E

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