Animated family films are at their best when the main story is saying something more. Think about all the films Pixar has made in recent years. Is Wall-E just about a robot cleaning a planet? Is Up really just about a flying house? Of course not. These stories are used to teach us all some of life’s valuable lessons.

Other films use their stories to push agendas and ideologies. Michael Moore’s documentaries immediately come to mind. But no matter what the filmmaker’s intention with a movie is, the great thing about film is that we can all read whatever we want into it.

So when Lou Dobbs came on Fox News recently and suggested that The Secret World of Arrietty and The Lorax were liberal attempts to indoctrinate America’s youth into advocating the Occupy movement and enviromental issues, he has every right to say that. And we have every right to laugh at his insinuations. Check out the clip below.

Thanks to Cinemablend for the clip and well-thought out context. Here’s Dobbs.

No matter what your political affiliation, I think we can call agree Dobbs is stretching, especially with the Arrietty comparison. First of all, The Secret World of Arrietty was made in Japan, not America. It was origianlly released in 2010, which means production began in like 2008. The source material was published in 1952. That’s all slightly before the Occupy movement.

Beyond that, yes. The borrowers of the film are technically living off the hard work of another class of people. However they’re more or less an endangered species, not thriving in the lap of luxury. They’re fighting to survive and have more in common with 99 percenters than 1 percenters. Plus the clips he shows of President Obama demanding people pay their fair share has pretty much nothing to do with the movie.

As for The Lorax, of course there’s an environmental subtext. Dr. Seuss’ work is all about saying one thing and meaning another. But to suggest adapting a book that was originally published in the Seventies is a calculated move by the current administration to push an agenda is pretty wild. It just so happens the film got made now.

What are your thoughts on all of this?

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