Over spring break, I went to see The Lorax movie with my family. I have seen quite a few Dr. Seuss re-make movies, so I was expecting what I got: an animated movie with a modern twist combined with the occasional Dr. Seuss rhyme. THIS Lorax, however, doesn’t exactly speak for the trees. Instead, the producers speak for plastic consumerism and pollution.
Throughout the movie, the boy who lives in the plastic-filled Thneedville tries to escape into the outside world to talk to the Once-ler, the man who came into the forest and made the Truffula trees extinct. While he is telling his story, an alternate plot is happening in Thneedville. The executives who run the town are selling bottled air (similar to the bottled water crisis today). Also, everything is made out of plastic. The town sings that the smog is so bad they need to sell bottled air. Everything is plastic, and the consumption is through the roof. They also say that they don’t know where the trash or pollution goes.
A girl in town finds out and tells the community that real trees make free air and bottled air would be unnecessary with the planting of Truffula trees. When the boy gets a seed from the Once-ler, he ruins the careers of the men who sell air and knocks down the walls to Thneedville, exposing the world beyond. At the end of the movie, the town has expanded and a forest of new Truffula trees has begun to grow.
All in all, I think that parents should read the book to their kids first in order to push conservation efforts more than plastic consumption. Yes, our consumption of plastic is outrageous, but The Lorax was made by Dr. Seuss to explain how deforestation can lead to pollution and overconsumption, which can hurt us and the environment.
The Lorax Project, launched in 2008, has a great website for those who want to learn more about environmental conservation. Their mission statement promises to “engage individuals of all ages to do their part to conserve the places and species that are critical to the future of our planet.” The website also explains that The Lorax Project helps “generate funding, raise awareness and inspire earth-friendly action by generations of passionate individuals world-wide.” Users can learn more about the forests and animals that The Lorax Project targets in their outreach.
I enjoyed the movie a lot, even if the main premise was plastic consumption, consumerism, and pollution. Environmental and wildlife conservation has been on the radar of many for a long time, which perhaps is why the producers chose to highlight different issues. All of these environmental hazards need to be put in to the mainstream media in order for anything to change, and this may have been the perfect way to get attention.
On the actual movie website, you can see green tips on how to change your habits in the categories of products, food, water, and household. Of course, you can also play games and watch video. Check it out! And go see the movie, too!