If movie theatres depended on people like me, they would go out of business in short order. In the last year I have gone to a theatre to see a movie exactly three times--and two of those times were within one week to see the same movie! Ever since the trailers for The Lorax started running on TV, I had promised my younger grandkids I would take them to see it, and I did one Saturday afternoon. The next week my other grandkids were on spring break, and I asked them if they would also like to see a movie. To my surprise, both the 7-year-old and 12-year-old grandsons also chose The Lorax. The same movie twice in one week?? Well, why not?
Dr. Seuss's books were always favorites of my children, and I loved reading his tongue-twisting stories to them. After seeing the movie the second time, I checked out The Lorax to refresh my memory of the book.
In the original story, a young boy seeks out the story of the Lorax and goes to the Street of the Lifted Lorax where "the wind smells slow-and-sour when it blows." There he finds the Once-ler who tells his sad story. Long ago, the Once-ler set out to make his way in the world and found an idyllic place filled with Truffula Trees.
But those trees! Those trees!
Those Truffula Trees!
All my life I'd been searching
For trees such as these.
The touch of their tufts
Was much softer than silk.
And they had the sweet smell
Of fresh butterfly milk.
But the Once-ler's appreciation of the trees is not that of a nature-lover; instead he sees opportunity and begins chopping them down one by one to make Thneeds, "which everyone needs." Soon the Lorax, "who speaks for the trees," appears and warns the Once-ler that the trees are there for everyone and not to cut them down. The Once-ler, now a successful entrepreneur, of course doesn't listen and continues to ravage the forest. The charming inhabitants of this paradise slowly are forced to leave, and it isn't until the last tree falls that the Once-ler realizes how short-sighted he has been. The Lorax, too, leaves--with some parting words--and the once-beautiful Truffula forest becomes a deserted wasteland.
The original story is quite short, and the movie's creators had to add additional story lines to make the movie long enough to be worth the price of admission. The story of the Lorax is framed by another story featuring a young boy living in a futuristic society where everything is "plastic and safe." Ted has a crush on a young girl who is a dreamer and wants to plant a real tree. In order to impress Audrey, Ted seeks out the Once-ler (hearing the legend from his grandmother) in order to find a seed for a tree. After hearing the story of the Lorax from the Once-ler who eventually gives him a precious Truffula seed, Ted returns home but faces many obstacles before that seed can be planted.
|The residents of the movie's Thneedville have artificial "trees" that can change to a seasonal color--with the flip of a switch. That hardly compares to Nature's transformation from this . . .|
|. . . to this in just a few short months.|
|Brown Bar-ba-lots cannot survive without Truffula fruits.|
|Without trees, little boys and dogs wouldn't have sticks to play with!|
Most of all, though, it is the one word left behind by the Lorax on a small pile of rocks that sums up what Earth Day is all about : "UNLESS" . . .
UNLESS someone like you
Cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better.
Visit The Sage Butterfly for additional reflections on Earth Day, April 22. Also, next Friday April 27 is Arbor Day. Why not celebrate both by planting your own "Truffula" tree?