February 5, 1993 – The Educational Short Film Recycle Rex is Released in California
“Everybody throws out too much stuff! We’re running out of places to put it.”
On February 5, 1993, the educational short film Recycle Rex was released in California, with a general release on February 26. It was a joint production between the California Department of Conservation and the Keep California Beautiful Youth Recycling Education Campaign, along with Walt Disney Educational Productions as the producer. The film won several awards, including a Certificate of Creative Excellence at the U.S. International Film & Video Festival. It was created and designed by David Cutler, written by Irene Mecchi, and directed by Howard E. Baker.
The short begins with some examples of dinosaurs not recycling before showing the newspaper headline: “Field of Dreams to Become Landfill.” At the Field of Dreams, Rex is excited about how the kids can use the field, unaware of its future plans. His friends are also excited, until someone driving the Trash-o-Matic arrives to dump trash all over the field. Rex asks the driver to stop dumping the trash, and although the driver wants to, he can’t, as there’s nowhere else to put the garbage. When the kids volunteer to take the trash back to the “awful wasteful creatures who threw it away,” they are soon ashamed to find that they are those horrible creatures. The trash guy offers them a solution: get rid of their garbage without throwing it away, and the field will remain theirs. Rex asks Tucker to look up the solution in his Book of Everything, and the book tells them to “Close the Loop,” which confuses the kids more. Their friend Bunsen finds a solution to reuse their broken and discarded items to create something new, and the kids take it to town to recycle. While in town, Rex’s friends become hungry and decide to enter a department store, but Rex tries to keep them on track with getting rid of their garbage, not adding to it. Unfortunately, hunger wins out, and the kids run inside. The kids inside realize they have more garbage than ever, and are unsure what to do. Meanwhile, the Stomper Twins try to dump their cans off the End of the World Cliff, but are guided away but a daisy named Rose, as there isn’t much left in the world and they need to recycle. Finally, Rex finds the Recycling Center, and brings his friends with him with a song. The short ends with the kids finally getting their field.