“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing’s going to get better, it’s not.” ~Dr. Seuss
A few weeks ago I received an invitation to go to a press junket for the new movie The Lorax coming out this Friday.
The only two words I heard were The Lorax, and I told them I was in. The Lorax was by far my favorite Dr. Seuss book growing up.
A week later I was chillaxing in my room at The Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, waiting for the other parent bloggers to arrive. Blogging is not without its perks.
The weekend was so fun. We got to go to a private screening room at NBC/Universal where we watched The Lorax in 3D. It was a feast for the eyes, and a real delight. I didn’t know it was going to be a musical. The music was fantastic.
The screenplay was written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio. They were also the masterminds behind Despicable Me and Horton Hears a Who. We (as a group of parent bloggers) got to interview them and get inside their brains a little bit. The thing I liked most about these two men was their obvious passion about two things: the story, and doing justice to Dr. Seuss’ message in the book.
And the message of the book is simple but powerful. It is up to each of us to take care of this planet and take care of our resources before they’re gone.
As I watched the movie and thought about the book, I couldn’t help but think back to movies like Free Willy, Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves, and Fern Gully. I remember my mom would always say (when asked if she liked them), “eh, just another propaganda movie.” I think the thought of deeper underlying messages driving entertainment didn’t sit well with her. I’m sure if she watched The Lorax she would say the same thing. “Eh, just another propaganda movie.”
But growing up, (as cheesy as this may sound) I remember watching those movies and loving their messages. I remember feeling something afterward. I remember wanting to conserve our resources. I remember feeling less divide between human beings. I remember feeling more of a connection to this planet. And all of that felt good.
Whether we like it or not, the truth is that as a species, we have not been very good to our planet. And now we have seven billion people living on this planet, most of whom aren’t being very good to this planet.
And yes, some good things are happening to turn things around, but the vast majority of people don’t care and don’t know why they should care.
Which makes me really think about the simple yet powerful message of The Lorax.
The message is not… people are bad. Stop killing the environment.
I think it’s a two fold message. First, people are good, and as individuals we have the power to turn things around in this world. And second, it takes two to tango.
Yes, there are the greedy people, corporations, and organizations who destroy this earth faster than it can regenerate. And there are also the people (ahem, you and me) who support those greedy people, corporations, and organizations by mindlessly spending and always wanting more. And they usually want way more than they need. You and I are as much a part of the equation as anybody else.
Can you honestly disagree that we have a problem?
So if we have a problem, and we have seven billion people who are adding to the problem, how could it ever be a bad thing to use mass media to instill passion, excitement, and enthusiasm for fixing things? What other mediums have the power to reach tens of millions or even hundreds of millions of people? Not very many.
So my hat is always off to people who use their time, talent, money, and passion to try and make real positive change in this world.
Dr. Seuss always had a message.
And big names in the industry making movies like this pack a serious punch when it comes to putting the want for change into the masses. With talent like Betty White and Danny DeVito, and with all-star writers like Paul and Daurio, and with successful directors and producers like Chris Meledandri and Chris Renaud, you can bet that the message will carry, and that you and your children will be entertained.
The movie is funny. Really funny. And the music made the movie. It wasn’t just singing; they had entire chorus lines with dance routines and everything.
Anyway, stepping down off my soapbox.
The entire weekend was superb. On Sunday they threw a big super bowl party for all us parent bloggers. Thank goodness I chose to root for the Giants. Talk about a nail biter. On Monday we went back to the backlot and posed for pictures with The Lorax, interviewed the stars (which I’ll talk about tomorrow), and us parent bloggers goofed around and got into a little bit of trouble like we always do.
Ever since I got home and showed Noah pictures and read him Seuss’ version of The Lorax, he has been chomping at the bit to go watch it. I think I’ll be one of the first in line when it comes out, and I hope all of you go see it with your kids too. You know, if you want to share a beautiful message wrapped in all sorts of hilarious dialogue and singing with them. After all, it’s their children and their children’s children who will really benefit from the amazing things people do to change this world today.
Oh, wait… Now I’m stepping down off my soapbox.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. Are you excited to see The Lorax? How do you feel about movies with messages? What was your favorite Dr. Seuss book as a kid and is it still your favorite?
And here’s a trailer for the movie if you haven’t seen it yet.
Images from Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment