By Ava Cotlowitz
Entering the movie theater, I strategically took a seat behind three four-year old boys. Their tiny hands grasped jumbo-sized Cokes while simultaneously shoving popcorn into their mouths. Not only were their innocent interaction entertaining, but it was an added bonus to be able to see the movie screen without any head obstructions.
But, once the lights dimmed and “The Lorax” began, the age barrier between myself and the three boys slowly dissipated. As an animated movie, “The Lorax”, based on the book by Dr. Seuss, is ultimately a whimsical and quirky commentary on our environment that can appeal to all ages. Its eclectic cast includes everyone from Danny DeVito to Zac Efron, adding an interesting spin to each characters interpretation.
The story of “The Lorax” focuses on the plastic city of Thneedsville and one boy’s quest to acquire a tree for the girl he loves. In doing so, he learns how the environment disintegrated, and he proceeds to do whatever he can to bring it back.
While, at the surface, the movie seems to be padded with somewhat corny musical numbers and distracting animations, it is also undoubtedly embedded with metaphors that are clearly important in today’s society. “The Lorax “stresses the significant value of the natural land on our earth, and the harm done when it is destroyed. It also displays the determination of a single boy to restore the environment in order to benefit others, as well as the horror of consumerism.
Even though this movie expresses clear and vivid themes that should have only a positive effect on viewers, there has been much controversy disputing whether “The Lorax” is, in fact, hypocritical. Some critics abhor the creation of a movie that harshly rejects the patterns of consumerism while nevertheless benefiting from promotional goods sold by the studio. In addition, the environmental aspect of “The Lorax” has been attacked for being a faulty and naive representation of a serious issue.
With this in mind, it is important to take into consideration that “The Lorax’s” target audience, children, will never have these thoughts cross their minds. For the rest of us viewing this movie, it is okay to relax and take in the more superficial, yet well-intentioned themes of “The Lorax” without needing it to be the sequel to Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”