I am the Lorax, I speak for the merchandisers!
Okay, first off, in full disclosure: I haven’t seen the movie.
This really isn’t about the movie. Although Grist has a few things to say about it.
So do many reviewers, including ScreenRant; there’s one quote from that one I find particularly to-the-point in a disturbing way:
“The final third of the film wisely invests more effort into preaching environmental responsibility on a personal level, than it does condemning big business or pushing a larger environmental political agenda. If you’re ok with your kids wanting to help plant trees and/or keep their neighborhood clean, then The Loraxis no threat to your values or politics.”
Good. Excellent. We wouldn’t want anything presented in a movie about environmental responsibility to actually take on the corporations that present the greatest threat to our planet, as long as our kids feel good about doing little nice things for our neighborhood…
But that’s not what this post is about.
This is about all the new cheap Made In China merchandise I’m suddenly seeing everywhere with the Lorax’s face or some truffula tufts. There’s IHOP, selling a new line of Lorax-themed breakfast items, including “Truffula Chip Pancakes.” (A photo can be found here.) Mazda is selling a new crossover SUV, which has apparently received the “Truffula Tree seal of approval.” (Did anyone actually ask the Truffulas about that?) It doesn’t stop there–Pottery Barn, Target, tote bags, stuffed animals, t-shirts…on and on and on.
I’ll end with another reviewer quote, this time by A. O. Scott of the New York Times:
“Don’t be fooled. Despite its soft environmentalist message “The Lorax” is an example of what it pretends to oppose. Its relationship to Dr. Seuss’s book is precisely that of the synthetic trees that line the streets of Thneedville to the organic Truffulas they have displaced. The movie is a noisy, useless piece of junk, reverse-engineered into something resembling popular art in accordance with the reigning imperatives of marketing and brand extension.”
Yup. That sounds like it may be about right. Sigh.