When I saw this ad at a bus stop I thought I had fallen into some kind of post-modern hall of mirrors. At first I could not believe that it was real. Is the Forest Service really pushing our magnificent National Forests with an ad depicting a simulated forest populated by the Belgian version of Hobbits*? How could I begin to write about this?
A look at the website reveals that the Forest Service has entered into a co-branding arrangement with Sony Pictures (who took a break from helping remove our green bike lane). According to the Hollywood Reporter Sony’s work on this campaign was done “pro bono.” Of course, they do have a Smurf movie coming out this summer. The DiscoverTheForest website explains it all:
As inhabitants of the forest, Smurfs are the perfect ambassadors for forest recreation. As these new PSAs remind us, the forest provides benefits such as clean air and fresh water, and provides children with the ability to explore, use their imaginations, discover new wildlife and engage in unstructured and adventurous play. The Smurfs’ enthusiasm for their environment hopes to inspire families to create their own forest adventure and reap the many rewards that nature has to offer.
Are we slipping into a terminal nature estrangement syndrome here? A complete break with reality? Are we so detached from the actual forest that the folks at the Forest Service would think this is a good idea?
On a completely off topic side note–can someone tell me why the Smurfs wear phrygian caps? Are they revolutionaries?
*Mrs. Homegrown would like to register her disagreement re: the hobbit/smurf comparison. Mr. Homegrown has an underdeveloped understanding of magical creature taxonomy.