Fresh Update: An Arctic Tale

Here’s a link (scroll through) to the National Geographic piece on the movie.

Here’s a link to my opinion of the movie.

Good camerawork and good moviemaking———-Yes.

Good ideas?

Mostly bad ideas.  Anthropomorphism, global warming wackiness (seeking to prove what you already believe), a lot of sentiment.

Kids:  If you study science, and math, and one day come to make a discovery (even in a field not related to global climate change, zoology, animal intelligence or anything to do with the subject of An Arctic Tale) you will likely have done more than anyone involved in this movie.   You will have done much more than me commenting on the movie.

Go for it.

Addition: Check out the comments.

5 thoughts on “Fresh Update: An Arctic Tale

  1. On the movie Arctic Tale
    I don’t know what you are talking about Chris. The filmakers spent fifteen years in the arctic making the movie.
    They have a very good chance of knowing far more than you do on the subjects and themes of Arctic Tale.
    You should know that everything in the movie is actually science, each “Idea” and fact backed by three sources of research refrences. Do you scrutinize your own work the same way?

    I recommend the movie highly, especially for families and young people. There are not that many G movies out there, this is worth seeing.

  2. Pete. Thanks for reading.

    I won’t dispute the moviemakers credentials, nor the use of referenced facts.

    I will dispute how these facts are interpreted, not only as a part the larger phenomena of global warming, but also by imploring the viewer to act and appealing to emotions and anthropomorphizing the animals involved.

    I believe we may very well be endangered by the phenomena of global warming (though there exists a much healthier debate than the movie portrays), and teaching young people science, mathematics and the rigors of clear thinking is more important than good camerwork, good music, and long experience in the field.

    It’s entirely unclear to me whether An Arctic Tale achieves such a goal.

    Chris N

  3. My point is that there is little anthropomorphism in the movie, not nearly as much as you suggest.
    All the narrative is fact, just written playfully, not scientifically.

    The movie’s point is to inspire. To be amazed by the animals qualities and sheer will to survive.
    These animals and indeed the inuit people of the north are the first people to be experiencing on going global warming. The Arctic is warming three times faster then the rest of the globe. In fact this summer set a record for ice decline in the north. If bears and walrus can react with such ingenuity and boldness, then why shouldn’t humans?

    Teaching young people science and math and critical thinking is good, but also teaching them that their lives are linked to other creatures is a first imperative. Connecting young people to the natural world is important and giving them a powerful message about the preciousness of life a good lesson. Most kids can name 10 corporate brands from TV, few can do the same for 10 species of flora or fauna that live in their backyards.

  4. Pete,

    Point taken. These seem to be worthy goals.

    Ultimately, though, these are quite moralistic (however useful) goals. I suspect that what is gained by achieving these goals comes at a loss to the overall level of debate. The thinking of the scientists is clearer, and that, in my opinion, is vastly more important to pass on to children (since we are both being moralistic).
    In fact, clear thinking by example (as embodied in much of science used in the movie, not necessarily in its interpretation) is likely more important than a hundred inspirational movies that try and point the way to such thinking, and rely on such thinking for authority.

    I would ask that everyone involved in An Arctic Tale doesn’t overlook such an argument.


    Chris N

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