TOM THE DANCING BUG: The Lorax Speaks for the Trees, and Now the SUVs



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  1. It’s such as shame that he’s hawking so much stuff. When I was growing up, The Lorax was actually one of my favorite stories. I may work in advertising, but I still have my limits and personal ethics. I get they’re trying to cash in, but come on! REALLY? An SUV?! 

    1. If I recall, Ted Geisel, while he was alive, adamantly refused to allow his works to be licensed commercially. It’s sad that the Dr. Seuss foundation, or whomever controls the estate, has sold out so shamelessly.

  2. when i heard there would be a lorax movie, I knew it meant another potentially fatal blow to a body we’ve been publicly flogging for quite sometime now: irony. It may “live” in some sense now, but I think it’s perhaps only vegetal.

  3. If you’re going to pastiche Seuss, you have a RESPONSIBILITY to write verse that scans.  It wouldn’t have even been particularly hard in this case.

    1. There once was a man from Milan
      Whose poems, they never would scan
      When asked why it was,
      He said, it’s because
      I always try to fit as many words into the last line as I can.

  4. But…but…you get seeds with your pancakes! Seeds you can plant! Seeds that will grow into trees!

    Seriously, though, I’m less concerned about the commercialism being associated with the new version of The Lorax than I am about how they’ve wrecked the ending. Admittedly I haven’t seen the new version, but I suspect the deeply ambiguous ending of the original wouldn’t “test” well in today’s market. Even though I remember as a child that I liked that about the story’s ending. What I took away from it was that  that one last truffula seed meant that possibly the Once-ler’s damage could be undone…but it couldn’t be undone overnight, or very easily, and there was a very strong chance that it was permanent.

    Those were pretty dark thoughts for a five-year old, but then that was what I liked about it. I found the story very entertaining but never felt that Dr. Seuss was trying to sugarcoat the underlying reality.

    1. Lots of good points in there, but it would be far more persuasive if I hadn’t met any loggers.

    2. Ah, responsible logging has saved the forest from the ravages of wildfires, which otherwise would have reduced the forests to a cinder. Not, like, we removed all the old, large trees and left young, susceptible ones and lots of dry tinder that makes the forest more vulnerable to fire? News to me, news to me.

      I’m also not quite sure I followed the argument about old growth – is it attempting to argue that old forests don’t exist, because trees continually get culled by fire and disease? Is it attempting to argue that modern forestry, by clearcutting huge swathes of land, somehow preserves old growth? Is it attempting to argue that the biodiversity that exists in old forests is similar to the biodiversity that exists in young ones? Or is it just throwing out some vague gibberish and hoping we won’t notice there is absolutely no argument to be made there?

    3. Yes, because we urgently need to derail a conversation about whether or not an animated film is a vulgar travesty of the book on which it’s based.  Okay, totally impartial and unbiased industry lobbyists at the National Wood Flooring Association disagree with Dr. Seuss on logging; that is their right.  However, the question raised here in this post is about the makers of a film based on his book totally subverting the message of that book, either on purpose or merely through sheer clueless ignorance.  Personally agreeing or disagreeing with the message of The Lorax is a fascinating topic of discussion for some other venue, certainly, but that isn’t the issue here.  It’s whether or not an author’s intended message has been respected.  Hell, you can even disagree with Seuss and be a tremendous fan of logging and still say a great author deserves to have his words treated with more care than this.

      1.  Not an attempt to derail the conversation… Rather, I wanted to point out that this is not the first time that the Lorax has been “rewritten”. The “truax” is obviously pro-lumberjack propaganda.

        With the film, things seem to be less clear.

        As you point out, the interesting question is:
        Is this just a badly scripted adaptation, or were they intentionally trying to subvert the original message?

        1. My apologies!  (I wish you’d said that along with the link so the relevance was clearer…but I don’t want to turn this into a Limbaugh-type apology.  It was my bad for misunderstanding.)

    1. I just finished reading Walden for the first time… ouch, man. Chemical-whoring supercorps pulling something like that as a greenwashing exercise is just too plausible to be funny.

  5.  Even worse than The Grinch hawking a bunch of cheap plastic merchandise at Christmastime.

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