Adm. Robert Papp, the State Department's special representative for the Arctic, had a slippery time trying to convince Disney to feature characters from Frozen in a climate change PSA project.
Speaking at the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø, Norway, Papp revealed that he had discussed an educational opportunity with executives from Disney:
"In explaining why we wanted Disney's assistance on this, I said, 'You've taught an entire generation about the Arctic. Unfortunately the Arctic that you've taught them about is a fantasy kingdom in Norway, where everything is nice.'
"And I said what we really need to do is educate the American youth about the plight of the polar bear, about the falling tundra, about Alaskan villages that run the risk of falling into the sea because of the lack of sea ice protecting their shores."
The conversation didn't go too smoothly, Salon reports:
"As I continued to talk, I could see the executive getting more and more perplexed," Papp continued, "and he said: 'Admiral, you might not understand: Here at Disney it's in our culture to tell stories that project optimism and have happy endings.'"
What a fucking shame. Imagine if companies like Disney actually had a soul, actually cared about literal survival of their consumer base/humanity at large. In another way, though, I'm ever so slightly encouraged: This was a pretty good idea. Even if this particular partnership doesn't work out, there's at least one person out there trying to be creative in reshaping our woefully ineffective communication tactics relating to climate change—and that can't be a bad thing.
Image via Disney