Last Halloween I carved 2 pumpkins – one Snoopy, the other The Lorax. Most parents told me what a cute kitty I carved, and I didn’t bother to correct them, because it didn’t really matter, and I wouldn’t have been able to tell them the story of The Lorax until today anyways… I suppose I could have just read the book in a book store or rented it from a Library, but I did it the Y2K way and watched the movie.
I’m such a 10-year-old. I really like kids movies, so I was kind of excited to see it. For a while I’ve sort of considered Dr. Seuss the modern-day Hans Christian Anderson, or Aesop, most certainly a genius with words.
Side notes: Did you know that The Cat in the Hat was written using a list of 236 words of 500 words that were given to him that first graders should know to boost literacy rates in the 50s? Or that Dr. Seuss was pro Japanese-American internment during WWII, but after the war wrote Horton Hears a Who as an allegory for the Hiroshima bomb and the American occupation of post war Japan, dedicating it to his Japanese friend? I didn’t know any of this either, until after the movie, I decided to read as much as I could about his life and his work until I wanted to gauge out my eyes from exhaustion.
So for those of you who don’t know the story of The Lorax, it was written in the 70s and is all about deforestation. The Lorax is the spirit of the forest…the voice of the trees, who tries to stop the Once-ler (one of the main characters who flashes back to tell his story) from cutting down the Truffula trees which are the raw materials for a Thneed (the Once-ler invented it), which is “a thing we all need”. Soon the Lorax is gone, and it’s up to Ted who asked to hear the Once-ler’s tale to plant the last Truffula seed in the world and repopulate the forest to bring the animals and the migrated Lorax back. It’s highly conceptual, visionary, and aimed at children, which is GENIUS.
Even beyond the story that is told – the one of deforestation – the book and movie is symbolic of so much more. I always agreed that Dr. Seuss’s tales were ingenious…if only the use of rhythm and rhyme, but now I’m a true believer, a superfan of the man and the legend. 20 years late, thanks for #26 Dr. Seuss…UNLESS.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” (The Lorax)
“It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.” (The Movie)
“A tree falls the way it leans. Be careful which way you lean.” (The Movie)
My pumpkin…you’ve seen it before, but here it is up close. NOT a kitty, but the returned Lorax!
I started following @TheDrSeuss on Twitter, because at the time I published this, Unless was his last quote. How’s that for an LOA?