The Lorax: Fun, Strong Message Welcomed

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The Lorax is an adaptation of the Dr. Seuss book by the same title. The movie version adds in a love story and musical numbers to give it enough content for a full length feature but consider those elements bonuses. I have small children and it was enjoyable for all. Even for my husband who is a movie snob and refuses to even watch any romantic comedies with me.

The story is simple enough to follow for tots but has the complex nuances to make it interesting for adults. Which makes it the perfect family movie. The layers are subtle but enough to keep me awake the entire time (I am notorious for falling asleep during movies! Quiet and dark? Taking advantage of the luxury just like any other mom, right?).

My girls get scared by everything, they even lump in “excitement” into the scary category (like chase scenes or the part in Toy Story 3 where they almost get incinerated) but there was nothing overtly scary here. There is one scene where Ted goes into the dead forest which is a bit creepy and they cringed a little but nothing too traumatizing. The chase scene is so fun thanks to Betty White’s grandma character that they just hung on to their armrests and had a blast.

The message is extremely clear. Deforestation, pollution, renewable resources – this is like Al Gore’s dream come true as far as propaganda material goes. But it doesn’t feel like a lecture. The forest animals were made to be extra super super cute so you feel their loss very heavily. And we can all generally agree that deforestation and the absolute destruction of all living things for the sake of capitalism is not a good thing. No nuance there. That part was clear. What I loved and didn’t expect was the questions my 7 year old had for me afterwards. She asked if people actually cut down all the trees in a forest. When I Googled “deforestation” and showed her the pictures, she was appropriately horrified. It lead to a very grown up conversation about what we can do to stop it.

Obviously, my recommendation is to see the movie. And take the opportunity to talk about the issues in a way that even the little tots can understand. And, between Danny Devito and Betty White, there are plenty of laughs along with driving the message home.

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