By Nancy Chuda Founder and Editor in Chief of LuxEcoLiving and co-founder of Healthy Child Healthy World.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing’s going to get better, it’s not.”
My friend and Emmy award winning television producer Carrie Cook Platt sent me a note today asking for help. Her niece, Georgia Cook, a fourth grader along with other students helped spawn a petition to bring truth to what has always been regarded as the gold standard in children’s books. Dr. Seuss would never tell a lie. But somehow Universal Pictures is in denial.
There is no doubt that the movie will make a lot of money. Any Dr. Seuss fairy tale does when hollywood spends big bucks. But this time the kids are sensing something is inevitably missing. The truth about the environment. The Lorax (Universal Pictures) will be released nationwide on March 2, 2012.
But thanks to the Internet this group of fourth graders decided to speak the truth. Mr. Wells, their teacher, must sincerely be the real Lorax having inspired them to write this letter.
The Lorax movie, with its millions of dollars in advertising and massive audience has the potential to help heal the Earth. This movie can show the world we should not take our sky, water, trees, and animals for granted. It could inspire more and more people to treat Earth with the same respect you would give a child.
We’d like to see the movie live up to the potential of the book. We’re encouraging Universal to make an improved Lorax movie website that Dr. Seuss would be proud of.
We recommend a “Lorax Tips” button shaped like a Truffula seed sharing ways people can help the planet. Maybe a Truffula Tree overflowing with tips and links pops up when you click on the seed! We can help you make this list, too!
What if Universal gave out tree seeds after the movie to children helping plant thousands of trees? This poetic gift fits perfectly with the hopeful end to the story. Also, could you put green tips into your television and print ads for the movie, or even into the movie’s credits?
Please know The Lorax has power and that this movie could start a movement of kids helping the planet. The movie website and promotions should do what the book does and help the planet. This is possible with a few simple changes such as adding a “Lorax Tips” button.
Universal, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing’s going to get better, it’s not.” Please consider this line from the book; it is also true for the world.”
In contrast, Universal makes this claim in their trailer, “From the creators of Despicable Me and the imagination of Dr. Seuss comes the 3D-CG feature Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, an adaptation of the classic tale of a forest creature who shares the enduring power of hope. The animated adventure follows the journey of a 12-year-old as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.”
But wait a minute! The kids find it somewhat despicable that in the movie unlike the book there is no mention of saving the trees.
These kids really walk the walk not the talk, “Our 4th grade class read Dr. Seuss’s, The Lorax, and liked that the Lorax character “spoke for the trees.” We do this at our school by running a recycling program and by canceling unwanted catalogs - www.CatalogCancelingChallenge.com! The book encourages people to help the planet. We enjoyed that in the end the Once-ler realized that life is not just about making money, it’s about what’s best for others and the environment.”
But making money is the true hope for Universal regardless of the slanted take on the book. What’s worse for the movie goers is the state of eco-denial which replicates as quickly as recycled cans.
How sad and hopeless is a world where the main character is more about protecting profits in spite of saving trees.. What happened to environmental education? And how will future activists emerge when the power of a 3-D CG movie mocks Dr. Seuss’s truth? The holy grail when it comes to childrens literature.
Fear not! The true crusaders of our planet, (many of them are soon to be grandparents now) grew up with Ted Turner’s Captain Planet. And they created other little planeteers who are speaking up loud and clear.
“Our world, like the Lorax’s, is facing major environmental problems like pollution, global warming, oil spills, littering, a Great Pacific Garbage Patch, deforestation, and loss of animal habitat. These problems will affect our future.”
And they are petitioning Universal Pictures to make some important changes to the movie website.
“Adding environmental education to The Lorax movie website is important because this is the message of the book and it should be honored. Dr. Seuss wanted people to be inspired by The Lorax to help the environment. Currently, the movie website, trailer, and story summary have no mention of helping our planet! This is a missed opportunity. There are big problems in our natural world and we need more and more people helping out.”
Here’s how you can help. Spread this message and help support the 4th graders of Mr. Wells class. They are the true crusaders and they care a lot about the planet and your future too.
Editor’s Note: Please become a member of Kids For Saving Earth today!