Let's see if I can get this to work right....
Since some people were saying they never read the book I present to you...
I remember the Lorax from when I was a child. The book was big compared to other children's books. It was really tall and I had a hard time holding it. The copy we had was old, I have no idea where it came from but the cover was torn something awful and if I remember correctly it was very plain and I think it had the picture of the Lurkim on it. I really didn't understand it (I was a like 4 years old when I read this the first time so yeah, I didn't get it) but I remember having this haunting feeling for a while afterwards.
It was dark, but not necessarily scary, just...sad. I felt so bad for the Lorax. I was so confused as I had never read a book before with anything but a happy ending. It was almost as if the book had betrayed me and I avoided it for a long time after that. I would find it from time to time as I got older and I understood it more. It was always sad...but for some reason it's one of my fondest memories of books.
So to find out that the Lorax movie betrays that makes me rather annoyed. I still think it'll be a good movie, but it won't be true to the source which is almost as sad as the Lorax being lifted away.
I always wondered where Uncle Wuncler from The Boondocks got his name from, I would have never guessed it was from a Dr. Seuss book or that the name fit him so perfectly.
In any case, I now feel compelled to read all of the books, so at least the shoddy film managed that.
I read the rest of the article expecting it to rhyme the same way the intro did...ruined it for me.
So, essentially, Hollywood said:
"No, no, we can't have deep symbolism and logic in our Lorax movie. That might cause our audience to think, which is completely impossible after they've had their brains diluted by the Transformers and Twilight movies! Besides, we're not making an Oscar movie; we're making a Seuss movie. Everyone will watch that, regardless of what we put in. Hey, someone Google a couple of children movies in the past; we'll use them as the entire structure."
Seuss was just a genius, in my opinion. Fully aware of what he was doing even as he made up some of the craziest words to ever be spoken. And he targeted the right audience, giving kids their first lesson in not being afraid of what's different, why racism is wrong, why pollution is wrong; hell most of us here will agree that it was the Grinch who taught us the true meaning of Christmas. I can barely remember my childhood but I remember all of the Seuss books, by spirit if not by word. He proved you're never too young to learn the important stuff.
I was looking through IMdb and I noticed this in the trivia section. "Unlike the original book, the Once-ler is shown fully in the story as a human. Executive producer Christopher Meledandri said of the change, "The minute you make the Once-ler a monster, you allow the audience to interpret that the problem is caused by somebody who is different from me, and it ceases to be a story that is about all of us. Then it's a story about, 'Oh I see, the person who led us into the predicament is not a person. It's somebody very, very different.' And so it takes you off the hook." But the problem with that is that it takes away the message of the book, and people wonder why I think this generation and the next is doomed with idiocy.
Saw this with my son last week, no awkward questions for me.
However, I really liked the Once-ler song, other than being a pretty good song, I think it represented the character well in that more often than not people like this don't see what they are doing as a bad thing and convince themselves that they are doing the right thing. Actually this makes for a better "bad guy" as you can relate to them. (My opinion at least) Other than that I thought Lorax was okay.
The thing is, the once-ler WAS just like that in the book/animated short, much more so, in fact.
In the book, the once-ler wasn't EVIL. What he thought he was doing was right; he argues that Thneed is an extremely useful multi-purpose product, justifying its manufacture. He also argues that shutting down his empire wholesale would put thousands out of work (I believe the number was 100 000), and when he realises the consequences of his action, he punishes himself via self-imposed exile.
Movie!once-ler, by comparison, is painted as nothing more than a good person led astray, he isn't PERSONALLY responsible, it was society forcing him to act! The result is similar (an "evil" person believing that they are doing the right thing), but the book version is a much better character, being much more sympathetic: its much easier to see things from his point of view.
When I saw the commercials I was like "I don't remember this being The Lorax". Hell, I didn't even remember the Lorax himself. I just remember the guy in the tower and how he tore down all the trees and everything was sad. I guess that was the point. So when I saw the commercials I just assumed I was thinking of something else because I didn't see the once-ler in the commercials or even a tree. Just saw this dumb kid and his stupid animal buddy making awful jokes.
Now I'm doubly sad to hear that this was supposed to be the Lorax.
I've never read the book but the TV special intrigues me. I may be able to find a copy of the book too so there's that. I understand now why Bob was so pissed about The Lorax selling an SUV...it's a slap in the face of the author and it spits on the source material.
Even better, the movie takes shots at commercialism...WHILE they hocked an SUV.