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Man: The Polluter (1973)

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Fred H. Knelman ... Hosted by - Professor (as Dr. Fred H. Knelman)
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Pollution Panic
3 July 2017 | by See all my reviews

Featuring sequences directed by a host of animation pioneers such as Chuck Jones and Wolf Koenig, this may be the oddest educational film ever made about pollution. The film is part documentary, with university professor Fred H. Knelman interviewed about sustainability, clips of which are mixed with animated sequences that trace how humankind has ruined ecosystems, right from the discarded apple from the Tree of Knowledge (!). The film is less about current environmental impacts of pollution though and more about the speculated long-term effects and we are treated to some truly bizarre animated sequences as Knelman wildly hypothesises that "we'll go to work in gas masks" in the future. As Knelman further ponders over how to dispose of waste, the animation gets even crazier with notions such as shrinking humans down in size to create more room and sending pollution back in time once time travel is invented! There is also a wacky bit in which a man evolves into a dinosaur as an exaggeration of Knelman's predictions of humans evolving to adapt to polluted environments. This is a strange film for sure, often sidetracked from the pollution agenda and one is never quite sure whether the cartoonists are out to parody or support Knelman's theories, but either way this one of the most deliriously offbeat animated features you are ever likely to come across.


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