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Monday, March 5, 2012

I Saw The Lorax, And I Speak For The Trees

Yesterday my 2 cherubs and I went to see "The Lorax." I was sporting my "Love the Earth" t-shirt and in the mood to hug a truffula tree.  Being the "green" schoolers that we all are, my kids were excited beyond belief.  Additionally, I was thrilled that there was now another movie out there in addition to Big Miracle (which I loved) that had a strong environmental message for children.  I wanted to LOVE it.  I wanted it to be "THE BEST MOVIE EVER!"  I wanted it to be THE beacon of environmentalism and get everyone to change their ways.  I wanted it to be the recommended "If you only see one movie in your lifetime, this should be it!!"


Can we say high expectations, anyone?  I must admit, I sat there and watched it with trepidation.  I had high hopes, and I had heard some very good reviews from some of my good friends (aka: reliable sources) who saw it and loved it.  Yet I'd heard many reviews from the left, the right, and the middle saying it was perhaps not enough "eco," yet too much "other," leaving everyone a little high, dry, and disappointed.  Yes, I sat there and watched it with trepidation, which probably isn't ever the best vantage point.


My verdict:  It was cute. Period. End of sentence.  As an environmental educator, I'm disappointed in that response, but that's where I land every time I try to land somewhere else. There were definitely parts I really liked, and there were parts I really wanted to like but... Eh.  The opening song and the final scenes/song were great, and perhaps my favorite. The movie also had a well-placed text of the very poignant quote: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

 I also really found smirk-worthy humor in the selling of O'Hare's bottled air, and the commentary that apparently anyone would want to buy something in plastic bottles.  My kids definitely saw the similarities to the 5-gallon "air jugs" and how they are remarkably reminiscent of 5-gallon water bottles.  Not a thinly-veiled comparison at all!! 


I will say, I definitely give thumbs up to Discover The Forest, for using the Lorax to speak for the trees.  By clicking the titled link, you'll get a slew of outdoor activities to get yourself out there and reasons to "care a whole awful lot."  Thumbs up too for Universal delivering it on Dr. Seuss's 108th birthday on March 2nd.  That was a nice tribute to the author du jour.  Definite kudos to Ted Wells 4th Graders for getting "The Lorax" movie site to ramp up their green offerings. And, most certainly, thumbs up to the book and its revitalization in stores.  Dr. Seuss had his finger on the pulse back in 1971 so very well!

Thumbs down to the Mazda CX-5 advertisement, with their "Truffala Tree Approval Rating" and using the Lorax to sell cars.  Somehow, I don't think Dr. Seuss or the Lorax would go for that commercialism, materialism, or the factory pollution that would be made creating said-Truffala-Tree-approved-automobile.  Same-same for IHOP's Lorax-inspired cuisine line.  And there's more, which the Green Mom in the Burbs detail in their blog article: "I am the Lorax, I Speak for the Merchandisers."

I think what I'll truly need to do is watch it again, in the comfort of my home, when it comes out on video. Knowing what to expect, without taking in any curiosities, fear factors, or expectations, I think I'll be able to have a clearer vision and perhaps a better view. Do I recommend it?  Yes, I do. Remember: It was cute. It most certainly has a good message.  It gets people thinking, hopefully...which is always a good thing.


Lorax "Explore Nature" poster from http://www.treehugger.com/culture/the-lorax-hawk-us-forest-service-discover-the-forest-campaign.html, Book photo from www.amazon.com,  Discover the Forest PSA from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKiUevIghNI

1 comment:

  1. While the movie is funnier than the book, the drawback of this modernized version is that it loses the timeless quality of the story on the page. Still, I had a good time and it will definitely resonate well with plenty of adults and just about every kid imaginable. Great review. Check out my review when you can.

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