Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax,” first published in 1971 and made into a TV special in 1972, is now a major motion picture.
The 3D animated film takes a few liberties with the original Seuss story, but over-all the plot of the film remains true to Dr. Seuss.
It seems a young boy, living in a plastic city, has a crush on a girl. Since trees are virtually extinct, she has a dream of seeing a real one.
To make an impression on her he goes on a mission to find out what happened to all the trees. On this quest he hears about a man known as “The Once-ler” who might know what happened.
After seeking him out, the Once-ler tells the boy his story.
It seems, as a young man, the Once-ler invented a super-duper contraption everyone needs.
As the demand for his invention increased, the Once-ler had to use more and more of the forest, causing an imbalance in the ecosystem. As that happened, a mythical creature known as “The Lorax” turned up to be a voice for the trees.
But that voice wasn’t convincing enough. Things got out of hand as the demand increased and the richer and greedier the Once-ler became. So more and more trees were gobbled up until the very last one was cut down, leaving the forest devastated.
But because of the lack of trees, the world is now suffering from a lack of oxygen and a new greedier industrialist is selling air to the O2-starved community. And he knows growing trees would put him out of business.
The story is a simple one about progress vs. environment, with the focus on the environmental effects of supply and demand and the movie makes no apologies for having an agenda.
And it shouldn’t. We all know trees are good.
“Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” stretches the original story by adding some incidental characters to the plot, but the message of slowing progress a “little bit” remains intact.
Overall the film is worth seeing with your kids, who will probably want to plant a tree when they get home.
Which isn’t a bad thing.
“The Lorax” gets a B and is rated PG.