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I am a mother, a teacher, and a nature lover. I grew up on a mountain we called Owls' Knob in the Ozarks of Arkansas. The first seven years of my life were spent living in a log cabin, far from a store or streetlight, without electricity or running water and after twenty years of travel, I returned to the abondoned homestead. Now I live on a hill by a small lake and work at a public garden. These are stories about nature written from a women deeply influenced by place.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Criticism of the Lorax Movie

Every week I act out the Lorax for students at the Ozark Natural Science Center. So when I heard the movie, "The Lorax" was coming out, I was excited and worried. The movie of the Lorax was fun. I give it one thumb up! It was a good movie. Not the best, but I am hard to please. More people hearing the story of the Lorax is a good thing. The overall message is beneficial, delivered in  fun and cute way. That being said, I have three major problems with the movie:

1) The biggest problem is that the process was lost! The once-ler came and cut a few trees, a fast pace song played, and then the last tree was being cut down. Only then did the animals leave. Which does not show children that the animals NEED the forest to survive. It gave the impression that the forest was there for beauty and fun only. It was almost like the animals left because they were sad that the land was ugly, not that they were leaving (dying) because they had no food to eat, water to drink, or air to breathe. This was only intensified by the theme of selling air. This gave the message that there was no air because there were no trees and that was the only problem. But air is NOT the only reason we need trees. What about food! Water! Energy! By focusing on the air issue, it glassed over all the many reasons we need nature! Similarly, the process was lost on the other end as well. The boy planted a tree in the middle of town with a happy song and no struggle, and then the next moment the forests were returning. Of course, it would have been harder to show this process. But the process is so important and the movie skipped it all together.

2) Dr. Suess LOVED to rhyme! The movie purposely changed words and lines so that it would NOT rhyme. I did not expect the movie to rhyme the whole way through, but I wish they would have kept more of Dr. Suess language, lines, and rhymes!

3) I liked that the Lorax came back in the end. But when he returned he said to the once-ler "You did good!" I get that they were trying to show forgiveness but the once-ler did NOT "do good." He didn't "do" anything but tell the story (reluctantly) to a kid and give the kid a seed. They kid did everything. The once-ler did not deserve to be called "good." Some smaller remark of forgiveness would have be alright.

Again, I actually like the movie. It was fun and I think kids will enjoy it. There are a lot of stupid movies out there for kids. This is a great movie and I am glad children will be watching it!

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