Every environmentally-inclined person has some book, show, or movie that sparked their awareness of nature. FernGully turned whole generations against the logging industry; The Giving Tree fostered a widespread empathy for arboreal beings; Captain Planet made people want to stop the world from turning into a giant garbage pile. But as we get older, the line between fiction and reality can become blurry. Are we fighting to restore the natural balance of things, or simply seeking to recreate our childhood fantasies?
This weeklong series examines the lessons we learned from the nature-filled stories we loved as children or teens, and examines how we grew to understand them as more complex as adults.
In This Series
The surprising story behind the making of ‘Captain Planet’
The ’90s cartoon show was based on real issues and real people.
‘The Giving Tree’: How a children’s book became a parable for the climate crisis
And the Earth was happy. But not really.
The ‘Twilight’ romance no one talks about
Bella fell for Forks and its forests. That fantasy transformed the town's reality.
How reptiles in the city went from native species to urban legend
We have been inventing stories about reptiles in the city since long before the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
How ‘FernGully’ ended up in the West Virginia coal mines
The classic movie made fairies out to be nature’s champions. They weren’t always seen that way.