Michelle Obama has teamed up with some unlikely animated allies to educate youngsters and adults alike about our returning veterans.
Have you ever wanted to see a penguin do push-ups? Or wondered where the penguins on Penguins of Madagascar wear their ranking insignia? Well, you’re about to get your wish in this charming and educational animated short featuring Michelle Obama and those irresistibly wacky penguins.
The first lady and DreamWorks partnered on this project as a means of helping parents and teachers talk to children about what it means to be a veteran and hopefully deliver helpful messages to adults, as well. It’s all part of the Got Your 6 initiative, which is a coalition of Hollywood, government and non-profit partners all working together to help create awareness around what returning veterans can provide to non-military communities.
The video is a direct response to what the military sees as a bit of a veteran PR problem: Civilians increasingly seem to view “veteran reintegration” as a major societal hurdle, instead of a healthy opportunity. As a result, veterans often come up against pity or political propaganda within their communities when they return, rather than respect and support. Got Your 6 would like to change that, hence the coalition’s name, which (in military speak) means “got your back.”
And that sentiment is exactly what the video delivers — for children and adults alike. If the group wanted to just reach out to children, they probably wouldn’t have mentioned that veterans have a lot to offer employers or talked about the kinds of skills veterans bring back to their communities. By encouraging parents to watch the video with children, they create opportunities for both parents and children to think about what it means to be a veteran and what we can all do to show our appreciation when veterans return home from service.
But DreamWorks isn’t the only Hollywood company partnering with Got Your 6. Other entertainment partners are helping the organization spread their message, with two such collaborations available to audiences tonight! HBO is hosting a Concert for Valor and MTV is airing a Got Your 6 Veterans Day documentary.
And if you’re still not sold on the project, take a look at the video below — we have a feeling the first lady and those lovable penguins will get you and your little ones to think a little deeper about how important Veterans Day really is.