Dr. Suess' The Lorax

Ah, “The Lorax” is a refreshing, fun and playful film that renews your optimism and your fight.  The genius of this film really resonates from the originator of this tale, Dr. Seuss.  From the exciting scenery to the relevant themes, this movie is something you should support for our younger generations to see, and something you should see for yourself, too.

My movie theater was filled with children, small ones at that, who were actually very well-behaved, captivated by this colorful movie.  Although I was hesitant to share the theater with such noisy patrons at first, in the end, I walked out of the theater proud at what we’re teaching these generations and hopeful at what they’ll accomplish one day.

“The Lorax” obviously looks at environmentalism and the loss of trees, but it also spotlights activism and speaking up for yourself.  It uses the metaphors of “planting a seed” and “busting down walls” to talk about planting ideas and getting people out of their bubbles.

Smiling forest animals, fluffy marshmallows and musical numbers aside, the film gets serious just enough when it matters.  The darkest part of the movie is when a tree is cut, when a dangerous axe tears through the old tree trunk, collapsing it to the ground like a building.  The Lorax comes down to mourn the first tree cut, honoring its life with a memorial of rocks.

Following this dark descent (well, dark for a Dr. Seuss movie), greed takes over the main character (the Once-ler, voiced by Ed Helms) as his business swells and the forest of trees dies.  All of the swirling, soft, colorful treetops churn into some kind of “thneed,” a completely useless product that locals hungrily consume.

The silly thneed is a perfect metaphor for the endless new things that we all think we need, and yet instead, what we really need is to conserve and respect the natural resources we already have.

There’s a strong anti-corporation sentiment here, as everyone that creates an out-of-control, monster of a business does so out of one motivation – money.  They crunch up the trees and bottle the air all to make the citizens of Thneedville dependent on their products, which ironically were once all free.

This ugly cycle of greed and destroying the earth returns to one of the important themes in “The Lorax” – speaking up.  From the Lorax who “speaks for the trees” to the boy that planted the seed in the middle of town, all it takes is one person to begin the ripples.

As the Once-ler said, “Unless someone like you cares an awful lot, things aren’t going to get better. They’re not.”

See the movie trailer for “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.”

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” also stars the voices of Danny DeVito as The Lorax (protector of the trees), Zac Efron as Ted (the boy who plants the seed…for a girl), Taylor Swift as Audrey (the girl Ted pines after and who wants to see a live tree in Thneedville again), Betty White as Grammy Norma (Ted’s wise, feisty grandmother who directs him to The Once-ler to find a tree), and Rob Riggle as Mr. O’Hare (the corporate mogul who sells bottled clean air after The Once-ler destroyed the trees and air in creating the thneed).