Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Manipulating Dr. Seuss to Make Kids Afraid of Plastics

A new animated film based very, very loosely on the classic Dr. Seuss children’s book The Lorax will be in theaters on March 2, 2012. It’s from the makers of Despicable Me, which I enjoyed, but if you are in the plastics business I doubt you will enjoy the film version of The Lorax – unless, that is, you like being presented as a villain, a real bad guy, and an ugly person who is nasty to young kids.

The just-released promotional trailer gives you a good idea of how the film does that to you, and makes it clear why you are evil, so go ahead and watch, but I wouldn’t say enjoy.

Before you start looking for

that old copy of The Lorax that you used to read to your kids, or still do, the book does not contain any reference at all to plastic, nothing, nada, zilch, not a word. You can thank Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment, the film’s creators, for making plastics and plastics industry people into mean, nasty villains. Won’t it be fun explaining this to your kids?

I try to be polite on this blog, even when people slam plastics using junk science, baseless rumors, or their personal fears based on something they heard somebody say sometime somewhere. But using Dr. Seuss to turn kids against me . . . well that’s a big click too far. Published in 1971, the original book definitely has an environmental theme, and a villain chopping down all the trees, but the villain isn’t plastics or the plastic industry.

I doubt that Dr. Seuss, bless him, would ever have created a nasty villain scaring little kids. So before I become loud and profane, note that you have three months before the film comes out; less if your kids see the trailer sooner.

4 Responses to “Manipulating Dr. Seuss to Make Kids Afraid of Plastics”

  1. Here’s what I wrote at another blog:

    Oh the irony! Kids will see the movie’s images that are created by shining light through a PLASTIC film (possibly viewing it through PLASTIC 3D glasses), sitting in chairs covered with PLASTIC fabric (which covers the PLASTIC foam underneath), sucking up soda through PLASTIC straws (and putting the soda into the PLASTIC cupholders in the seats), and eating popcorn from PLASTIC lined buckets.

    At least the toy figurines from the movie won’t be plastic! (Right? Right?)

  2. I saw this trailer last week and was as thoroughly disappointed as you are. It will be interesting to see the backlash against the industry the film stirs up and how many adults out there start citing it as their new sources of junk science, baseless rumors and personal fears.

    Luckily my kids are young enough to remain oblivious to the movie and enjoy the classic the way Dr. Seuss intended – read aloud from a book by my husband and I, not animated in CG and peppered with someone else’s agenda.

  3. Hi Heather,

    My son is too old for Dr. Seuss, so I’m safe too. I’m glad to know I’m not alone in being offended by this. We have close to a million people in the USA working with plastics in some way. I suspect a few of them might be blindsided — take the kids to see a nice Dr. Seuss story and then find out they’re the villain. Hollywood…yeah, right.
    Stay well,
    Rob

  4. Thanks, John, irony is appreciated here. Of course the toy figurines won’t be plastics. They will, however, cost $15 apiece. Should be no problem, right?
    Rob

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