Sunday, 4 March 2012

I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees

I don't think there's any movie that really puts my last post into perspective more than the new 3D animation The Lorax.

In Theaters NOW

The Lorax is the story of the ambitious Once-ler, who comes across a paradise upon his search to find the perfect material to make a "Thneed". What's a "Thneed" you may ask. Well, a Thneed can be anything from a hat to a boat, or a brand new goose feather coat. On his travels, the Once-ler finds the Truffular (that's how I'm going to spell it) tree, that has leaves softer than silk, all the delicious colors of the rainbow. With a few hits of his axe he fells the first Truffular tree, summoning the Lorax, the guardian of the forest. But the greed of the Once-ler grows ever bigger, to such heights that the voice of the knee high Lorax is eventually unheard.

Well that's the original. 

In the new one, we follow a boy who wants to find a tree to impress a girl. His name's Ted, and his Grandma tells him about the Once-ler, whom he finds and asks how he can get a tree. The Once-ler tells his tragic tale and the boy goes against the will of the salesman of the air, Mr. O'Hare, in order to save the trees.

It wasn't "bad" I would say. The animation was amazing as the animation always is. The 3D effects were not obnoxious, so they didn't get annoying, and the integration of the original story into the life of a boy living in Thneedville worked extremely well. The trees powered by batteries and blow-up flowers sent a good message, staying true to the original intention of Dr. Seuss. 

But, the message was also sprinkled with goodness and shoved into a fresh chocolate croissant.

Looks tasty as fuck
The original Lorax ends with the word "Unless" carved outside the ruined factory of the Once-ler. After the last Truffular tree was cut down, the paradise that had once been lush with Truffular trees became a smog filled, stump infested wasteland. The animals were driven out, and nothing was left. The Once-ler had risen and fallen from glory, and he'd taken the forest with him. 

Unless the Lorax wrote. Unless. 

True story
 I don't think the new movie pushes this point like it should have. It showed the story of the Lorax, and then gave it a happy, singing flowers kind of ending. There was no focus on the fact that the world had been destroyed by the Once-ler, but instead he was told that he'd done good. He had managed to get someone to plant the last Truffular seed. 

What the movie needed was a real hard hitting ending, that sends goosebumps down the audiences back. A real "Unless".

But, the movie was still and movie. A movie for kids. So, really the creators did an excellent job of creating what they wanted too. The cute animals and singing fish added life to the world, and created characters that I'll remember in my Truffular dreams for a while. The Lorax spoke for the trees, and the town of Thneedville realized that we should indeed "let it grow". 

This part makes very little sense...BUT THERE SO CUTE
What the movie failed to do however, was to see it's own hypocrisy. To make the movie get more sales, which it undoubtedly will, the ending was happy and trouble free. They did this to better care for the needs (or should I say Thneeds) of the target audience. Isn't that against what the story of the Lorax was preaching? Shouldn't we think more of the message than the money?

You can't expect too much from the movies though. 

Overall the movie was decent. If you want to go to the theaters for an hour and a half to see bears dancing around with a little bit of an environmental message, go watch it. It was funny enough. If you want to feel that tingle down your spine that can inspire you to anger, courage and bravery in the face of the world; or if you want to really feel Dr. Seuss message, more true today than it was decades ago, then watch the original. 

The new movie was pretty, the original had a point.

Lorax original link (It's about 25 minutes long):


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