Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
opens in theaters this Friday to the delight of children, parents and landscapers. If you haven’t read the book from which it’s based, then 1) you must and 2) you’re off the hook because the movie is not entirely similar to the book. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
(the movie) is about a futuristic society in which trees no longer exist and people buy bottled air like we now buy bottled water. The movie and the book do share amazing messages that should soak into every kid and adult: accessing independent and critical thought is a crucial skill, one person has the ability to create change, and preserving the environment is in society’s own best interest.
The works of Dr. Seuss are enjoying a good run with three other films hitting screens in the last 12 years: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, The Cat in the Hat and Horton Hears a Who. With book adaptations outnumbering original screenplays, Dr. Seuss is a reliable source of creativity. So, the question is simply, which Seuss story should become a movie next?
In this era of 1% versus the 99%, could there be a more earnest Have and Have Nots story than The Sneetches
who use stars on their belly to decide who among them is socially privileged? With Congress’ current state of legislative paralysis, audiences would see the truth in The Zax
, which follows two characters who literally walk into each other and refuse to budge one-step to the right or left so that the world eventually evolves around them. And then there’s the story about the self-absorbed dictator, Yertle the Turtle
, which is particularly relevant given Arab Spring. Yes, these are all socio-political themes, but with The Muppets, Cars 2
and The Lorax,
apparently that’s the trend in movies for kids. See more picks
for Seuss stories to movies.
Meanwhile, here are films other than The Lorax to see with your family:
The Secret World of Arrietty:
From animation legend Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli, Arrietty
is the movie version of the classic children’s book series, The Borrowers
. The story follows a tiny but capable people who live by “borrowing” things that humans will never miss. Carol Burnett reminds us that she makes an excellent villain – just as she was in Horton Hears a Who!
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.
A teen boy and his stepdad put their love of books to good use when they go in search of Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island and a long-lost grandfather. A wacky, colorful island where small things are big and big things are small that all comes back to reading? Dr. Seuss would approve!
Three California gray whales trapped in the Alaskan ice brings enemies in politics and business together. This true story is told in a heartwarming and funny manner and sends a much needed message that there’s more to a person than their ideology.