You have probably seen the trailers for the upcoming movie, The Lorax, set to be released this Thursday, March 2nd (and also Dr. Seuss’s birthday, who happening to be the author of the book the movie is based upon). I’m sure many of you have read The Lorax as a kid in elementary school, or you’ve at least some general idea of the plot. Basically, it is about a creature, the Lorax, who wants to protect the Truffula trees. However, it appears that the movie adaptation is going to take a different direction. It instead focuses on a boy who wants to win over a girl he likes by showing her a real tree.
The movie has sparked controversy on both side of the political spectrum. I recently came across an article where students of a 4th grade class from Massachusetts started for the movie to include the “green” message that is a big part of the book:
“Wells notes that his students thought the trailer made the movie look “more like an adventure and romance, like it had totally lost its message about helping the planet.”
On the other side, Fox News denounced The Lorax (as well as other recent children’s movies, including Arrietty) for promoting a liberal message against capitalism and big business, stating:
Conservative filmgoers beware: Hollywood is after your children (again) with the release of two new films that shamelessly deliver a pro-liberal message.
As for my own opinion, I can’t see these movie adaptations as being some kind of liberal agenda. We all know that The Lorax is based on a book by Dr. Suess written in 1971. Arrietty is also based on a book by an American author, Mary Norton, called The Borrowers, which was published in 1952. As for this being some sort of liberal propaganda aimed at children, I seriously doubt it. These stories were written decades ago, so they don’t have anything to do with the “Green” movement or “class-warfare” of the 21 century. Hollywood certainly should’t be promoting political ideas through children’s movies, but I agree with the class of 4th graders that the authors’ intended messages shouldn’t be left out of movie adaptations of their work.