(L-R) Disney's Mark Zoradi, DisneyNature Jean-Francois Camilleri, Disney's Dick Cook, Disney's Robert Iger, Director Alastair Fothergill and Director Mark Linfield at the World Premiere of DisneyNature's "EARTH" on April 18, 2009 at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California.
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Yep, that’s right. Mickey proves Kermit wrong in the whole “it’s not easy being green” arena with the release of Disneynature’s first film, Earth. Opening today in theaters, the movie follows three animal “families” on a journey for survival across our planet.

Although something of a Disney-fied version of the popular Planet Earth series, the company is doing more for the environment than merely recycling old footage. To promote the release of Earth, Disney promises to plant one tree for each person who sees the movie during its opening week. So far the company has pledged to plant 500,000 trees, and with advance ticket sales growing, that number is expected to rise.

Dismissed as an act of green sheen by some, this promotion, coupled with the release of Disney’s first corporate responsibility report last March certainly shows an effort on their end to enhance the company’s environmental policies. Disney promises the trees will be planted in “critical areas of biodiversity,” such as Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, one of the most endangered eco-regions in the world.

If this is an act of greenwashing, who cares? Any effort that combats deforestation and creates environmentally-conscious children by exposing them to the majesty of Mother Nature deserves a big green thumbs up.

To find a theater near you and to purchase tickets, go to www.disney.com/earth. Just make sure you walk to the theater; it is Earth Day, after all.

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