Steen: Hope for the world in The Lorax

Released on what would have been Dr. Seuss’ 108th birthday, The Lorax is playing all over town.

The Lorax

Released on what would have been Dr. Seuss’ 108th birthday, The Lorax is playing all over town.

There’s always a message in Seuss’ stories, and this one is no exception.

I missed Seuss in my childhood (here’s my age showing) I was of the Howdy Doody generation—yup, a talking wooden puppet named for a bodily function.  Really?  Ever wonder how the baby boomer generation even managed to walk upright let alone become the largest generation of all time—we could have used Seuss!

We also learned to read with Dick and Jane. How can we forget “See Spot run. Run Spot run.”  Riveting.

Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel actually considered his greatest achievement to be that his booked knocked the Dick and Jane books out of popularity.  He called them boring and unchallenging.  He knew what he was talking about.

So The Lorax shows us Thneedville, a place where everything is made of plastic and devoid of anything real, including trees, which had been harvested for greed and money. The big O’Hare corporation, run by the equally greedy A. O’Hare (voiced by Rob Riggle), actually sells air since there is nothing living that makes oxygen.

This show was not about the star voices, although there were many: Eddie Albert voiced the narrator, Danny DeVito as The Lorax (who spoke for nature), Zac Efron is 12-year-old Ted, Taylor Swift is Audrey, the girl who wants to see a real tree, Ed Helms, the Once-ler and Betty White as Granny Norma. This show was truly about the message and the lesson here is one we are all wrestling with—how we live on an earth that has given us so much without continuing to do great harm.

The good folks of Thneedville are not aware of what havoc has been reaped outside their little world and had the Lorax not intervened and had not a young girl asked for a tree, the disaster would have been irreversible.

Seuss himself was not comfortable with children, but he sure could entertain them and this show entertains as well.

The kid will love the 3D quality, the colours and the lively action. The adults will see the message of greed, money and environmental ignorance, all wrapped in an hour and a half of fun.

You will walk out of the theatre knowing the Seuss generation is so much smarter than the Howdy Doody one and believing there is hope for this wonderful world after all.

I give The Lorax five reels.