As a Lord of the Rings (LOTR) fan, I can’t help but post this great eco-parody of The Lord of the Rings, where Frodo is instead the Lord of Recycling and goes on a quest to destroy a PET bottle, “a plastic type one bottle to rule them all.”
The spoof has got lots of the LOTR characters and incorporates a Coke bottle as the source of all evil—which I think is quite fitting, considering the company’s role in selling addictive sugar water to children, its water issues in India, human rights abuses in Colombia, and many other issues.
Lots to point out in this excellent 2 minute film but let’s start with the most important: it uses a great element of popular culture to draw attention to environmental issues in a fun and engaging way–an important type of social marketing (similar to The Meatrix), as Jonah Sachs and Susan Finkelpearl discuss in State of the World 2010.
Now onto great elements of the film:
First, they include a play on the best line of the film, when Frodo says to Gandalf:
“I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”
And Gandalf replies: “So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
Such a beautiful quotation to remember in these times of rapid ecological change and the inevitable turbulent societal disruptions that will come as a result.
And the parody’s line is a good one too:
“I wish the bottle had never come to me,” says Frodo.
“So do all that pay the 5 cent bottle deposit fee. But that is for local legislation to decide.” While lacking the original gravitas, it is an excellent nudge to push for stronger deposit laws, which were passed mostly in the 1970s and are now devalued to just 1.2 real cents due to inflation (thus we should be paying closer to 20 cents for every bottle and can purchased today, which would certainly reduce trips to “Mt. Dump.”).
As you watch this hilarious film notice also:
- Sam who seems to be an excessive drinker of soda products (or has a glandular problem).
- Elrond’s reference to the inability of plastic to break down in the environment for “centuries (actually thousands of years but point still made).
- The subtle reinforcement of littering laws and later picking up of litter–nice social modeling!
- And the second best scene in the film made it in too, “You shall not trash!” (but unfortunately not the subsequent part, “Drink less soda you fools!”)
- And of course, the excellent punchline that I’ll let you enjoy yourselves and that gives the reworked epic its title (though as a comment on YouTube suggests that the title would have sounded better as “Lord of the Bins,” which I agree would maintain the sound of the original title and would have been a bit subtler, but considering this whole film was made in two months, the results are fantastic).
So this short film certainly gets an A+ in creativity and in packaging a sustainability message in a way that will virally spread around the Interweb–30,000 views so far on YouTube. Two weeks ago it won First Place at Trailer Trashed, an eco-themed film trailer festival in Vancouver. And it turns out they couldn’t have picked a better film to spoof considering those that recycle least are single males between ages 18-34, according to Trailer Trashed. What film hits that demographic better than Lord of the Rings!