The Lorax 2012 - More than marketing

March 16, 2012 I took my brother to the movies for his birthday. It had been a few years since I did anything for my brother on his birthday, so I decided that I would extend the olive branch and take him out. We went to the movie theater. There wasn't much playing, except for the Lorax. Personally, I was super excited about this movie, since it was my absolute favourite Dr. Seuss book as a child. So we went to see The Lorax made into big screen material (not 3D though... eff that.)

 

Now, if you're like most people that I know, this is where you would look at me cockeyed and ask the redundant question: "how old is your brother??" as though perfectly healthy adults can't enjoy a movie based on a book that was an integral part of their childhood. Where I would then look at them like boring old fuddy-duddies, and say "23, what's your point?"

 

Animated children's movies aren't just for children. They are for those who want to remember childhood, who have positive things to remember or to cling to. They are for those who enjoy being light-hearted, and who like a little bit of light-hearted joviality in their lives. I am one such people, as is my brother.

Back to The Lorax. I went in expecting something decent, alright, mediocre, and underwhelming. (Consider: The Cat In The Hat, Horton Hears A Who, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas... notice a trend?) I was expecting fun childish passing of the time, without much depth or oomph.

 

Let me just say that I was absolutely blown away.

 

The story of the Lorax is one that is fairly well known to just about every single Dr. Suess fan out there. It is a story of over-consumption and how it can destroy the world (pretty well literally).
 
The basic plot overview is this one guy, The Once-ler, has this smashingly awesome idea to knit a Thneed (which is basically one ugly piece of couture) that has a million and one uses. The Thneed catches in popularity (like a lot of useless crap nowadays) and everyone wants one. So, to keep up with demand, the Once-ler expands and grows his tiny little affair into a huge corporation. The pollution from the factories combined with the ever-shrinking forest of Truffula trees creates a barren landscape in which nothing can grow, and the air is filthy.
 
Not too unlike our world, nowadays, dontcha think?
 
Now, admittedly, the movie does add a fair bit of creativity to the storyline. There is further backstory into the little boy (Ted, in the movie) as well as the Once-ler himself. There is also the whole story of Thneedville, where the citizens have to buy air to be able to breathe, and everything is plastic.
 
It just further instills the message that over-consumption and reliance on plastic is not a good thing for anyone except the big corporations (who don't really care about people... at all).
 
 

The Once-ler feels horrible guilt for all the destruction he caused, and does redeem himself in the end. The backstory of the Once-ler also shows how absolutely easy it is to get caught up in greed and consumption. He isn't a bad guy at the heart of it, just easily sucked in by the appeal of making money. Aren't we all, at least a little bit, Once-ler-y?

 

The end is a positive one, of course. But I won't ruin that all the way for you.

 

But I will leave you with the famous words of the Lorax:

 

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,

Nothing's going to get better.

It's not

 

RIP Theodore Suess Geisel (pen name: Dr. Suess)

 

Naturally, a huge number of corporations jumped all over this film as a way to promote their businesses. Which would make sense, if all of the 70-odd businesses were in line with the moral story of The Lorax. Mazda is one example of one business that is not. Yet, the story that is portrayed in this movie has the potential to be more powerful that the marketing gimmicks that went along with it.

Focus on the true message of The Lorax: over-consumption will destroy our planet. And we only have one. So take care of it any way you can. It is worth it, and it isn't so hard. Reduce, reuse, recycle.

 

*Laura*

Laura blogs her random thoughts over at http://mrsomniscient.blogspot.com

(this blog post originally posted on the above mentioned blog, thank you for reading, please share your thoughts on the movie, and anything else you care about)

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