Has Universal Pictures’ The Lorax forgotten the lessons learned? #Loraxwashing

My last blog post was about Universal Pictures’ The Lorax and how hope will change the world. I was actually optimistic that the new movie would inspire more people to change their worlds. I was optimistic that the movie The Lorax would reach more people with an uplifting environmental message.

But, a recent article by Mother Jones has crushed that optimism. According to the article, The Lorax has over 70 launch parties, including many not so environmentally friendly products, such as standard fuel injection engine Mazda SUV, Pottery Barn Kids, dispoable diapers and more.

Wasn’t one of the more compelling messages in Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax that conpicuous consumption will result in environmental gloom and doom UNLESS we care? Shouldn’t the good folks behind the movie care a bit more about the launch partners, consistent with the environmental message of the story? Shouldn’t the products be at least environmentally friendly, even if they are products that we don’t really need? An electric car? Disposable diapers made with reclaimed materials or some environmentally friendly concept?

Or are those good folks just like the Once-ler – caught up in making money?

Pimping products is just, well, #loraxwashing.

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  1. This, along with the dangers of letting Hollywood retell a beloved story, is what I was so afraid of when I heard that they were doing a new movie of ‘The Lorax.’ When I heard how many green bloggers were excited, I was dismayed. Now I can see where many were coming from. We all need to relate to the discussion about things that we can all do to make a difference. I am just not sure that this is the right way to do it at all. I wish they could have started with an original story instead of co-opting ‘The Lorax,’ and stayed away from the mindless consumerism that too often goes along with children’s movies.

  2. Disappointing, yet not surprising. Yet another company “washing” something and hanging us out to dry.

  3. A round of applause for your article post.Much thanks again. Really Great.

  4. I was afraid of that too. I’m just waiting to see a plastic Lorax sitting in a toy store. Optimism is fun, but when we’re talking big Hollywood movie, it’s just not likely to pay more than lip service to the environment.

  5. I love the term #LoraxWashing 🙂 I am pretty upset about some of the partners- esp IHOP (food dyes- yuck!) but I am still excited to take my kiddo to the film. I have taught her that if she sees something on TV, we can’t buy it. She is ok with that. It’s the parents responsibility to say no to the thneeds. I look at it as a lesson for our children. Ask them what they think and what would the Lorax say to all this marketing. Maybe if they get it, they will be the change.

  6. I thought that Beth Terry’s review of the book was an excellent one, although very different from the usual. You might like to read it, at her “My Plastic Free Website.”

  7. Oops, My Plastic Free Life website

  8. What a bummer. I hope the movie message prevails despite the waste for the promotion.

  9. i’m not sure if you’ve heard, but it actually gets worse: http://BoycottTheLorax.com. They tied the Mazda campaign in with kids in schools, getting them to persuade parents to test-drive a Mazda for a “donation”.

    I think the best thing to do is to spread the word and let people decide what they want to do. In my case, to boycott the movie and tie-in related products.

  10. We were really looking forward to the movie until a few weeks ago when all the merchandise started coming out. Special editions of the book would have been fine… or maybe even one toy or plush character that plants a tree for every purchase… but the SUV and sugary snacks are insane. It’s sad.

  11. I’m terribly disappointed by all the commercialism too. And I’m confused. Because the message of the actual movie is TOTALLY anti-commercial. There were parts I didn’t love, but they were more because of artistic choices than point of view. What’s really crazy is that the corporate bad guy company in the movie puts up billboards for products saying “Lorax Approved.” You’re meant to understand that co-opting the Lorax’s image is a bad thing. And now Universal is employing the exact same tactics to sell SUVs and other crap. I can’t figure out if they realize what they are doing or not. It boggles the mind.

  12. Jenni Upole says:

    Youre so cool! I dont suppose I’ve read anything like this before. So nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. Really thank you for starting this up. This website is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality. Useful job for bringing something new to the internet!

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