SustainLane recently released the pilot episode of GORILLA IN THE GREENHOUSE, an action-packed, web-based, animated show that inspires kids to take real-world steps towards a healthier planet.
The show is set in a magical greenhouse in San Francisco and features a visionary green gorilla and four kids who use their imagination, their network and their music to tackle the environmental challenges facing their generation.
"Kids can save the world," says Eli Noyes, kid's TV veteran and director of the show. "This is the kind of show that will travel effortlessly from the TV to the Internet to the real world. It is by nature interactive, because kids can do in the real world what they see our virtual kids doing. Every imaginary character and action in the show has an analogous real life counterpart."
The pilot episode, entitled "The Great Pacific Garbage Patch," launched on Earth Day 2008, follows the kids as they face a demented plot by Dr. Morlon Huffelbot to create an island of plastic bags in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. In the show, the kids travel to the island to observe the situation, go undercover into the plastic bag factory and then foil the plot by spreading a green message through social networks, rallying cities to ban plastic bags, designing a new eco-friendly bag and creating awareness through their original song BAG THE BAG (THE GYRE SONG).
"When I was a kid, I loved SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK. The great songs and stories gave me a context for learning how the world worked," says Jay Golden, creator of the show. "GORILLA IN THE GREENHOUSE is our way of introducing this generation to a world of possibility through story. We want to show the wildest scenarios transformed by vision, collaboration and great music. So we decided to start with a huge island of plastic bags."
The first episode is accompanied by a curriculum for teachers (created by the Earth Day Network) and features a variety of unique environmental actions and videos for kids that include: creating posters, promoting reusable bags at their local stores and creative communication with their city council. Subsequent episodes planned for later in 2008 will follow the kids through adventures exploring issues such as energy efficiency, sustainable food production, deforestation, and global warming. Each episode will include an original piece of music by the kids' band, The Greenhouse Gang.
Presented by SustainLane, a green media company based in San Francisco, the show is developed by a team with topnotch experience across kids' and web media. The creator is Jay Golden, SustainLane's VP of New Media, and former Free Range Studios and Shockwave.com producer.
The producer is Ralph Guggenheim, a founding member of Pixar, who has previously produced Oscar-winning films like TIN TOY and the classic animated feature TOY STORY. GORILLA director Noyes, an Academy Award nominee, has also directed segments for MTV's animated showcase LIQUID TELEVISION and Sesame Street's "Sand Alphabet" and "Mad Painter."
Animation, art direction and creative consultation for the show is done by Golden's former teammates at Free Range Studios, known for its wildly successful cause-based viral movies such as THE MEATRIX, STORY OF STUFF and GROCERY STORE WARS. Vir McCoy, a well-known Bay Area musician, directs the music.