Sunday, March 25, 2012

My Bone to Pick with "The Lorax" Movie


So I saw The Lorax today (with Belle and my ex-husband).

Okay, it goes without saying that I'm going to be all over any movie adaptation of a book.  It's just my nature (no pun intended, heehee).

That's not my biggest problem with the new adaptation of The Lorax, though.  Well, not directly anyway.

Here's the thing ...

The bottom line of what I got from the movie is that allowing technological advances can lead to some dark, dreary, downright desolate places.  What appears to be shiny, flashy, and new is almost always merely a surface thing.

(MINOR SPOILERS FOLLOW, ALTHOUGH YOU'LL STILL BE ABLE TO SEE AND ENJOY THE MOVIE)

The fictional city of Thneedsville is perceived as a paradise; its citizens, after all, don't know any better.  Their opinions are shaped on the unscrupulous, money-obsessed O'Hare, who's made a fortune selling air (said fortune, of course, would be threatened by trees, which make air for free).

It takes a boy named Ted, whose noble quest for returning trees to the world is initiated at first by his shallow crush on a girl obsessed with nature, to get to the root of the matter (sorry, the puns just keep writing themselves).  He gets the dirt from the Onceler (who is, annoyingly, human ... what exactly he was actually happened to be an open-ended question of my youth), who of course destroyed all the truffula trees and deeply regrets it.

So Ted convinces the good citizens of Thneedsville how valuable a tree is, how what's shiny and new and seemingly better than the original ... well, just isn't.

Is the irony of this movie, cute as it may be (and, to be fair, it is cute ... Belle adored it, and I was pretty entertained myself), basically serving as a new, flashy, graphically ingenious "new and improved" version of a classic, timeless book lost on anyone else, or am I just overly critical?

Sometimes my inherent need to hate movies based on books gets in the way ...

4 comments:

  1. I don't know why they can't just stick to the story for these kinds of movies. The only Dr. Seuss adaptation I ever liked was the 60's cartoon version of The Grinch.

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  2. They can't just stick to the story because it would be a ~22 minute movie. My little guy loved it, we loved it, and he asked for the book afterward (which he now has us read at least daily). I don't think it was "new and improved"; it was movie vs. book with contemporary animation. They have to add believable motivations for characters to do things, and if the makers wanted to honor Dr. Seuss' allegory, they have to slap the audience in the face with it for, you know, the non-book learnin' folk.

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  3. That does actually seem kind of ironic, I will give you that. Just make sure that Belle reads the book and you'll feel better.

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  4. All they did was take the title and turn it into someting else, albeit loosely based on the original. It seems to be more of a sequel to the book.

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