An online cartoon is creating controversy for a popular St. Louis company. Build-A-Bear Workshop produced the video with a clear message about Global Warming for young viewers. But so far, it's only raised the temperatures of some parents.
The three part web story explains how fossil fuels and emissions are melting away Santa’s North Pole home, threatening the habitat of polar bears and the elves.
(Watch the Build-A-Bear video: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3)
Critics call it political preaching for too young an audience.
News 4 tried to get answers by going to the Build-A-Bear headquarters in Overland, but was told to leave a message. Later an email from a company spokesperson stated the intention of the story was to inspire children to make a difference and not politicize the topic.
“At Build-A-Bear Workshop we have always strived to empower and encourage kids to help others by participating in their communities and the world. We listen to parents and kids about topics that they are interested in and care about. Our goal is to entertain and engage the imagination of children with our stuffed animals, our store environment, and online. Our intention with the Polar Bear story was to inspire children, through the voices of our animal characters, to make a difference in their own individual ways. We did not intend to politicize the topic of global climate change. The webisodes concluded this week with Santa successfully leaving on his journey to deliver gifts around the world. The webisodes will no longer be available on the site. We value the input of parents. We are listening and taking all points of view into consideration when developing future webisodes.”
Do you think it’s right for Build-A-Bear to tell kids that Christmas may be cancelled this year because of Global Warming? Take our poll on the right-hand side!