Green Gorilla in the Greenhouse

3 minute read

Ross and I have been doing some work for Green Gorilla — continuing to develop Sustainable Websites significant expertise in WordPress and SEO for WordPress. It's been a pleasure to work with Jay and Reenita — because they both understand that SEO is a creative and technical process — and want to learn more about it, and because they are already on the WordPress system and want to learn more about it, too. I'm finding that our best clients always want to learn more, and are willing to pay for our time and expertise that we've accumulated over the years. It's a whole different dynamic than a client that just says "tell me how much it's going to cost and all my options - oh and go and do all the research for free". Anyway - they are doing some great stuff with Environmental Education and it's definitely worth checking out the show. Worth watching and also worth looking at a wonderfully designed WordPress site.

Gorilla in the Greenhouse is an action-packed, web-based animated show that inspires kids to take real-world steps towards a healthy planet. The show is set in a magical greenhouse in San Francisco, and features a visionary green gorilla and four kids who use their imagination, their network and their music to tackle the environmental challenges facing their generation.

“Kids can save the world,” says Eli Noyes, kid’s TV veteran and director of the show. “This is the kind of show that will travel effortlessly from the TV to the Internet to the real world. It is by nature interactive, because kids can do in the real world what they see our virtual kids doing. And every imaginary character and action in the show has an analogous real life counterpart.”

The pilot episode, entitled The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, follows the kids as they face a demented plot by Dr. Morlon Hufflebot to create an island of plastic bags in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. In the show, the kids travel to the island to observe the situation, go undercover into the plastic bag factory and then foil the plot though multiple actions. They spread their green message through their social networks, rally cities to ban plastic bags, design a new eco-friendly bag and create awareness through their original song “Bag the Bag (The Gyre Song)”. The next episode planned for later in 2008 will follow the kids through adventures exploring the challenge of energy efficiency.

“When I was a kid, I loved Schoolhouse Rock. The great songs and stories gave us a context for learning how the world worked,” says, Jay Golden, creator of the show. “Gorilla in the Greenhouse is our way of introducing this generation to a world of possibility through story. Instead of ‘put in a new light bulb’, we want to show the most over-the-top environmental scenarios transformed by vision, collaboration and great music. So we decided to start with a huge island of plastic bags.”

The show is a presentation of SustainLane, a green media company based in San Francisco, and created by SustainLane’s VP of New Media, former Free Range Studios and producer Jay Golden, The show is produced by Ralph Guggenheim, a founding member of Pixar, and producer of Oscar-winning short film “Tin Toy” and the classic animated feature “Toy Story.” Animation, art direction and creative consultation for the show is done by Golden’s former teammates at Free Range Studios, known for its wildly successful, cause-based viral movies such as “The Meatrix”, “Story of Stuff” and “Grocery Store Wars”. Gorilla director Eli Noyes, an academy award nominee, has also directed segments for MTV’s animated showcase “Liquid Television” and Sesame Street’s “Sand Alphabet” and “Mad Painter”.

The show and the curriculum will be broadcast to National Geographic's platform of over 1 million kids. It is also distributed through the home site