Dr. Seuss Never Meant for 'The Lorax' to Sell Diapers

Rant 34

There are always a few off-putting moments when you see how a classic children's book has been reimagined for modern cinema. In Dr. Suess's The Lorax, for instance, I didn't quite imagine the Lorax speaking in Danny Devito's voice. I didn't hear catchy songs in my head when I read the book. Most of all, I didn't dream of all the merchandise and brand tie-ins that could be hypocritically linked what was once, at essence, a story about reducing consumption and promoting conservation.

Today is The Lorax's release date, and if you've seen a handful of movie promotions from Universal Studios over the last few weeks, ohhhh boy. You don't know the half of it.

I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues, And I'm asking you, sir, at the top of my lungs" – He was very upset as he shouted and puffed – "What's that THING you've made out of my Truffula tuft?"

Why, Mr. Lorax, they made
Truffula Chip Pancakes at IHOP, of course. They put your face on Seventh Generation diapers and packages of YoKids Yogurt. They're selling your image at Target, Pottery Barn Kids, and Whole Foods. You're promoting Target, Comcast Xfinity, and more through online games and sweepstakes. You're helping HP market their printers. You showed up at the Blissdom blogger conference to pose with bloggers for photo opportunities.

Remember how The Lorax talked about how the Truffula Trees were
destroyed by greed and overuse? If you ask me, this new movie was created for one reason only: to sell cross-promotions. Promotions for machines that devour ink and paper, disposable diapers, use-once birthday party themes, and cars.

Yes, cars.
Have you seen the Mazda/Lorax ad?

As if the ad isn't bad enough on its own,
Mazda has been targeting elementary schools nationwide with this message. A Mazda representative was at a grade school in Virginia last week to tell children, "That’s the kind of car we think the Lorax would like to drive." A Lorax mascot emerged to give the kids hugs, and everyone was ushered outside to see a couple of Lorax-painted Mazda cars with “Truffula Tree-approved SKYACTIV® TECHNOLOGY.”

Mazda then told the kids that for every parent they enticed to test-drive a car, the company would donate $25 to the NEA’s foundation for public schools.

From the reviews I've read, the new movie manages to convey a message of environmentalism, and that's great. But it's all bullshit.
We can't buy our way into a greener world, and creating more pointless consumer demand goes against everything the original book stood for. I'm not sure what The Lorax would have said about using his image to submerse children in corporate-created materialism, but it might have been something like this:    

Unless someone like you
cares a whole awful lot.
Nothing is going to get better.
It's not.

What do you think about all the Lorax merchandising and corporate tie-ins?

Image via YouTube



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Rachel Schiller

I think the message of The Lorax is totally lost.

lalas... lalasmama2007

They are even promoting The Lorax on Webkinz!

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

I actually feel kind of nauseous. that's really disturbing.

LoveM... LoveMyViolet

I cringe every time I see a Lorax ad. It is my favorite Dr. Seuss book and I feel like they are destroying it! I will not be seeing the movie, nor will I take my daughter to see it.

Madel... Madelaine

Love the book, not the movie

butte... butterflyfreak

Love the message in the book! I'm torn about the movie. I really want to go see it but at the same time, I'm afraid of being disappointed by Hollywood's rendition. If this article is true, then Dr. Seuss is probably rolling over in his grave!

godde... goddess99

I think it's sad. Never should have been done.

Mamai... Mamainthemiddle

I will be taking the kids to see this movie as soon as I possibly can! I just want to throw that out there. lol. We're BIG suess fans, and we just cant wait. (Suess Day! Hooray!)

That said, the tie-ins piss me off, except the "plant a tree" one at Ihop. We dont go there, but at least THEY have a little Lorax-like activism in mind.

Unless someone like you
cares a whole awful lot.
Nothing is going to get better.
It's not.

That quote is on our refrigerator. It has been a reminder of conservation and thought before waste.  Kids cant do a whole lot of save the world, but we can all learn to reduce our waste. :)

Maybe the Lorax movie wont be as good a thing as we wish it would, but it doesn't mean it HAS to be a bad one.

One a note about Dr Suess and rolling in graves, a lot of very wonderful books have been turned into "eh" movies. I feel like we should stop being outraged about that now. We have bigger fish to fry.

eliza... elizabooks

7th generation is an eco-friendly company. So I can see the tie-in with the Lorax there...


MamaB... MamaBear2cubs

I understand 7th generation,they are very eco friendly but the others are a little much imo.

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