Attention Dear Readers: I have broken my own rule and posted something halfway serious on this blog. For those of you who came looking for more of my usual fare, please tune in tomorrow for my take on the ACT test. I apologize to anyone who read this post unwittingly and I’m prepared to offer a full refund.
As I’m sure nearly everyone is aware by now, the movie “Lorax” opened this weekend and from all accounts it did really well. As I predicted. Also as predicted, the movie was a vomit-inducingly cheerful remake of Dr. Suess’ timeless classic which describes in his unique style the costs of rampant consumerism and the ultimate price of our short-sightedness.
How could I possibly know this since I made it quite clear that under no circumstances would I even tacitly endorse such an insult to everything that is good by buying a ticket? Well, as it turns out the RW Clan fell victim to the siren song of 3D glasses and while I was washing my referee uniform in the rain, they snuck out of the house without permission and went to go see the movie.
Everyone who saw it apparently loved the film. It was witty and sarcastic and had plenty of slapstick for the children. The Hobbit even went so far as to say that the film was “about the environment” and that I would have enjoyed the film. I hastened to explain to her that technically everything is “about the environment” even when the subject in question isn’t “about the environment” because whether we like it or not, the environment is fairly all-encompassing. I’m pretty sure that even though the Hobbit is very bright, she is still only 10 and that this went right over her head.
The piece of technicolor faux art which referenced The Lorax apparently had a happy ending wherein new Truffula trees are planted and everything turns out swimmingly well for everyone and there’s nothing to worry about at all. Really?! That’s all it takes to make all of the world’s problems magically disappear? Just plant some trees, kids, and everything will be fine! Oh, and buy my latest POS plastic toy while you’re at it! Oh and strangely the Lorax also wants everyone to buy a Mazda!
This movie and the thinking behind it is a travesty. If you enjoyed this movie for its humor and brilliant animation, then I would also hope that you wept for the almost-subtle message of the film. The original books ends with (yes I have it memorized) “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not” and the Once-ler tosses out the very last Truffula seed of them all. The book has no happy ending and no one knows whether that seed was ever planted.
The movie goes on to say that the tree was planted and everything was set right. But has it? Isn’t it the height of irresponsibility to suggest that things are looking anything but grim for the natural world? Have any of us actually learned from the Once-ler (myself included)?