5 Comments

Summary:

It used to be if you weren’t online you didn’t exist. Now, it seems, if you don’t have an online video series you don’t exist. San Francisco eco-startup SustainLane has recently launched an animated webisode series called “The Unsustainables” about a “blended urban family” trying to […]

It used to be if you weren’t online you didn’t exist. Now, it seems, if you don’t have an online video series you don’t exist. San Francisco eco-startup SustainLane has recently launched an animated webisode series called “The Unsustainables” about a “blended urban family” trying to live the sustainable life, but often stumbling on the way there.

The show’s very “blended” family consists of your usually racially diverse sitcom cast as well as a prophetic talking goat and a vain marble fountain. Between caprine commentary and egotistical statuary, each two-minute episode focuses on issues ranging from mercury poisoning in fish to junk food in public schools. Aimed at a younger audience, The Unsustainables has a high production value with interesting voice acting, attractive animation, and an entertaining cast of stereotypical characters.

Nellie, the socially active high schooler, is filming her own protest piece for YouTube. How meta! The site even runs a blog where the characters comment on their actions in the episodes and talk about recent sustainability issues.

However, as a piece of activism media, it’s not clear what The Unsustainables is trying to teach. While some episodes are clean cut and show how natural cleaning products are superior and safer than their toxic chemical counterparts, other episodes have mixed messages about recycling and consumer consumption. The show’s tagline, “Stumbling Towards the Future,” speaks volumes about the content. Most confusing of all its idiosyncrasies is that the female protagonist, the most level-headed of the entire cast, smokes cigarettes. I can’t remember the last time I saw a cartoon character casually smoking.

While it’s great to see environmental cartoons getting away from the legacy of Captain Planet, who probably did more harm than good by teaching kids environmental problems are caused by singular polluting criminals, The Unsustainables is not teaching a cohesive message. As green living becomes a very profitable niche market, green entertainment grows too, but the environmental movement has yet to find its own Chuck Jones.

SustainLane, founded in 2004 by Netscape veteran James Elsen, indexes sustainable government and business policies and practices, with reviews of everything from green baby diapers to green kitty litter. The Unsustainables can be seen on YouTube, Google, and Blip, as well as Comcast’s first “green” TV channel, “Green Scene,” available to Bay Area subscribers.

  1. [...] Case in point this week: a look for Don Imus will pull up a YouTube post just for quick for the reason that his own (former) media outlets. The site even runs a blog where the characters make an observation on their actions in the episodes furthermore talk on the subject of recent sustainability issues. I’m excited for the reason that I’ve thought for more than a year now that YouTube is going to play a major role in what is sure to engagement the most … I have included three YouTube videos on the subject of Laugh Yoga. Kurt Vonnegut has passed elsewhere this week for the reason that well for the reason that YouTube is a great place to find video within reach to him. Nellie, the socially lively high schooler, is filming her own protest piece for YouTube. One of the things SplashCast makes easy is aggregating your favorite YouTube videos in one embeddable player. By the way, I did not link the Imus YouTube post given that of the language found in the comments – talk just roughly a … I hope you enjoy these videos at … How meta! It seems really strange principally ..although it really makes a great deal of sense. … There is in point of fact quite slightly of medical evidence proving the benefits of laughter. Governor Huckabee’s new YouTube route is up plus running with as a minimum 10 videos sooner than now in place. … read rest of article… [...]

    Share
  2. [...] new YouTube route is up plus running with as a minimum 10 videos sooner than now in place. … read more… [...]

    Share
  3. [...] new YouTube route is up plus running with as a minimum 10 videos sooner than now in place. … read on… [...]

    Share
  4. [...] NewTeeVee » The Unsustainables Green YouTube Really loving this Corporate Media Property. Shame the media property is a sideline to the project: integration with the main activities would bring more substance to the episode. (tags: animation cartoon video CMP phoarmat) [...]

    Share
  5. [...] come up with some compelling online video to inform AND entertain? While drum circles and half-baked “green” ideas can be found all over YouTube, iTunes featured eight separate channels in this week’s Podcast [...]

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post