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Forget Trees, The New Lorax Speaks For The SUVs

Forget Trees, The New Lorax Speaks For The SUVs

When I heard that there would be a movie adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, my inner 10 year-old clapped and squealed.

One would be hard pressed to find a Dr. Seuss’ tale that I didn’t love as a child, from Go, Dog, Go all the way to the Butter Battle Book. But it was the Lorax, with his crystal clear message of environmental stewardship, that spoke to my heart, and forever changed the way I viewed the world and its natural resources.

But then my several-decades-older self started to see commercials for Universal Pictures’ Lorax movie, and my glee quickly turned to disgust.

It seems that as soon as Hollywood got a hold of the Lorax, he suddenly changed his worldview. Rather than recreate the fantastic-yet-somber tale of the Lorax’ fight to save the Truffula trees, Hollywood has made a mockery of his message. The movie’s trailer shows a dumbed-down cartoon, complete with slapstick comedy and a sappy love story, and none of the book’s original emphasis on caring for the planet.

And then, just when I couldn’t be any more disappointed, I saw this:

Yes, my friends, that’s an actual commercial in which the Lorax endorses the new Mazda CX-5 SUV as the only car with the “Truffula Seal of Approval.” And it gets worse. Other corporations have joined in the blasphemy, kidnapping the Lorax and using him to promote everything from diapers to pancakes.

Is nothing sacred? Is Hollywood no longer content to pollute our minds with the pandering plot lines we see everyday at the box office? Must they now destroy our favorite books and authors retroactively as well?

It is both cynical and hypocritical to use a beloved children’s story with a prescient environmental message to sell children and their parents more crap that they (and the planet) don’t need. The real Lorax would tell us all to stop our wanton consumption of the Earth’s resources before it’s too late. He would beg us to think of our children’s grandchildren, and the type of world our actions will force them to inherit. And most of all, he would never insult the wisdom and innocence of a child by sugar coating his plea with dumb songs, or confusing it with an SUV commercial.

“Who cares?” you might ask. “It’s just a movie.” A quick read of the original book provides the best and only answer to that question.

“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Related Reading:

Rediscovered Dr. Seuss Stories To Be Published

Elephants Tortured During Making Of “Water for Elephants”

Post Rated R for Language: MPAA Limits Access to Anti-Bullying Movie

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Image taken from YouTube clip above

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107 comments

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7:12AM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

I took my family to see the movie--and agree with Sam T.--it was a timely adaptation. It's not commercial to write a story about the destruction of the environment, but the movie took an interesting spin to discuss redemption following a corporate-driven, environmental disaster. Truly, it was thoughtful--in the same vein as Wall-E--and I'm not ashamed to admit I cried near the end (as did my son). We left the theater feeling hopeful that kids would see this and learn to "speak for the trees", too.

7:09AM PDT on Mar 15, 2012

Go, Dog, Go was not a Seuss book. It was written by P.D. Eastman

11:51AM PST on Mar 9, 2012

Jennah, I hope you plan on actually seeing the movie before you write anything about it! My birthday is the same as Dr. Seuss's and it was the opening day of The Lorax movie. I promised my 8 year old we would go on my birthday and we even took one of his friends. We own the original movie from the 70's, and was not much like the original, but it did fit today's society. There were signs saying "Too Big to Fail" and other little hints. It was about an evil company that sold clean air in bottles much like the huge water jugs people use in home an offices now days, was ruining the planet for capital gains, making the air worse and seemed to have ownership of the whole town. The world was so plastic that it did not have any trees. Taylor Swift's character's greatest desire is to see a real tree, so a boy very much in love with her, but too shy to tell her leaves the plastic town (he even had to climb a metal wall and go through a sealed door) in search of a real tree. He finds the Onceler and that tells the story in a much more relate-able way, crappy family and all. It is a good story and very well done! Hollywood is still Hollywood and with so many people making bootleg movies they need to find new ways to make money, so they promoted an environmentally friendly car, so what! People will not stop driving! All in all it was a great story and well done. It is not Dr. Seuss's version, but it does get his point across in a very up to date and fun way! I think it is still a must see

8:02PM PST on Mar 7, 2012

I wonder what Dr. Seuss would say... :/

2:21AM PST on Mar 4, 2012

I'm writing my own article about this horrid film adaptation and am glad to see your writing on care2 about The Lorax, Beth!

6:04AM PST on Mar 3, 2012

Thank you for the sharing this information.

1:33AM PST on Mar 3, 2012

noted!!

6:28PM PST on Mar 2, 2012

What else can you expect? The Once-Ler trounced the Lorax in the original story too. Though it may be quite a while before the real-life versions see the error of their ways.

7:11AM PST on Mar 2, 2012

Thanks.

5:07PM PST on Mar 1, 2012

Are you freakin' kidding me?

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