“Nature is the ultimate playground for children” are the words that ring out from David Bond’s megaphone as he promotes his product. Our product. Nature. David Bond is the director of this documentary about the importance of venturing outdoors, Project Wild Thing. To take you back a little, when I was a young man, I would go outside shortly after waking up in the morning. I would come back home when it was getting dark, and sometimes when I got hungry. I stress the word “sometimes”. Most of that time was spent playing sports outside or adventures into a section of woods that was anything but dangerous.
I have my own family now, and it’s different. There aren’t kids playing football in the street, yelling “CAR” when a yellow Volkswagen with a noisy muffler comes up and down the street. Hell, I don’t even see yellow Volkswagens anymore. When one of my children is bored, it’s easy to hand them a device to keep them busy. I also know, for a fact, the joy that I see in my children when they go outside to play. You can’t recreate that with a rectangular touch screen.
Bond spends most of his time in Project Wild Thing trying to figure out a way to market nature. Coming up with a marketing campaign for something so unmarketable turns out to be quite the challenge. Marketing thrives off of providing an experience that is the same every time out. Nature is not that. Nature is so much more complex. You never truly know what you’ll come up against when taking a stroll outside. What we do know is that in the long-run it’s a good idea to spend more time in nature. The statistics tell us that children are far less-likely to grow up and experience depression when they spend more time outdoors. Employees are better at doing their jobs when they have a view of the outdoors, or even have some plants spread throughout the office. I’ll give this my stamp of approval.
The problem with a documentary like Project Wild Thing is that Bond is telling us all something we inherently already know. It’s like telling someone not to drink soda. Their argument that “it’s so delicious” is extremely valid. We all know that more time outdoors is a good thing, but Netflix just released a whole slew of new television shows so you can spend ten hours of your life binge watching.
You should listen to your gut feeling. Maybe schedule time for going outdoors if your a very busy person. Bond even finds himself experiencing this very problem during the process of spending all of his time marketing nature.
It’s a very light and easy watch, which I’m grateful for. Sure, it could have used a bit more teeth. Yes, I wish that it slapped us all right across the face. It doesn’t need to. It needs you to watch, and listen. Project Wild Thing has something very important to say.
The Good – The message is obviously important, and something we should all endorse. The little boy that David visits is the most adorable little British kid ever.
The Bad – The British white rapper. Two obvious levels of “no”.
The Ugly Truth – Nature is free. Gaming, computers, tablets, cable television, Netflix, Internet, cell phones, data plans, medical bills, etc. are not free. You can do the math or you can just take yourself and the kids outside.