Oh, the sinking, unbelievable irony of it all.
Once upon a time a very clever and inventive man named Theodore Geisel wrote this amazing fable about a little fellow called the Lorax, who took a greedy entrepreneur to task for cutting down all the truffula trees and gunking up the air. He was upset because this astute businessman, the Once-ler, was more interested in making thneeds (which is something that everyone, EVERYONE NEEDS!) than he was in protecting the environment. The Once-ler kept turning out more and more thneeds, until the truffula trees were all gone and the Lorax picked up his own tail sadly and disappeared.
That children's picture book was a pretty stark, stern lecture about materialism, commercialism, and the dangers of putting economic advantage ahead of environmental concerns. Now, it has been resuscitated, updated, calibrated, elongated, sterilized, pacified, romanticized, and above all cutesified to be ready for a multiplex near YOU!
Now YOU too, can revel again in the story of the Once-ler, who sits alone in the ecological wasteland he's created with the destructive force of his own greed. You can listen to him tell his story to an eager young boy, who wants to know the truth about a time when trees existed and the world was beautiful. You can see him offer up that one, precious truffula seed, (which is something that everyone, everyone needs) in the hopes that this young boy will plant his seed and bring beauty back to the world.
But that's not all folks! There's MORE! Let's jazz the story up, really make it marketable! Let's add a bunch of really cheesy songs! Let's hire fan favorite Betty White to play a saucy, zany grandma character that was never in the original book! The crowds will love it! And that adventurous kid, who comes looking for the Once-ler out of mere determination and a thirst for knowledge? Naw, that's not interesting enough. Let's make this romantic! He wants to find a Real Tree.. to please a girl. By the way, her name is Audrey. His name is Ted. Audrey is the name of Ted Geisel's last wife, and she had some creative control over this film. Yikes.
Yep, in the end, the Savior of the Universe, the great ecological hope of Thneedville is only doing this because his hormones are wrecking havoc with his head. It's not about intellectual curiosity at all. But wait, there's MORE! The Once-ler is not a good enough villain. He's too three-dimensional. He's too full of regret and desire to fix his wrong-doings. You might end up liking the guy. We've got to add a NEW baddy to be utterly and soundly defeated, because that's what the audience wants to see. So we add this new character named O'Hare, who suffers from Short Man Syndrome, shouts a lot, and wants to corner the market on clean air by selling it in bottles, like we currently sell... water.
Ooooooh, Isn't THAT clever. But more to the point, O'Hare allows The Lorax now to be a story about a distopian government that must be overthrown through a series of exciting CHASE SCENES!!!!
Chase scenes! And romance! And bad songs! And cheese! For chase scenes are something that everyone, EVERYONE needs!
And when you get done, when the lesson is learned, and you get out into the real world again, the good people who brought you this movie version of the Lorax will be happy to provide you with lots of wonderful merchandise that ensure you never forget its timeless message. Show your commitment to saving the earth by purchasing a genuine, authentic, Elope Dr. Seuss Lorax Hoodie Hat (adult) because an Elope Dr. Seuss Lorax Hoodie Hat (adult) is something that everyone, EVERYONE needs!
Do you think I'm joking? Look at this damned thing. And be assured, it's an Officially Licensed Dr. Seuss Product.
It sure looks like a thneed to me. I swear to god, there are doodle books and plush Lorax figures to cuddle like teddy bears, and stickers and posters and pop-up books and get this - a Truffula Forest Quilt Kit - and t-shirts and my personal favorite, the Lorax Project Carbon Footbring Paper Cut-Outs so that you can decorate your room with the Very Important Message to reduce your carbon footprint. Seriously.
Somebody has completely missed the point that Ted Geisel (yes, that's Dr. Seuss) was originally trying to make with his book.
And yet, I am also guilty here. You see, I'm a parent. I took my kid to see this flick because he wanted to go. I put him in my car and I drove him there, and we bought a pretzel and a big drink. Then we had a hamburger afterwards. I am also the Once-ler.
But I won't be caught dead in that damned Elope Dr. Seuss Lorax Hoodie Hat (adult.) I have this sudden urge to plant a tree.