The Left, the Right and the Lorax

Anyone who has ever read Dr Seuss knows that he always had a lot to say about character, friendship, social concerns and more. His children’s books always had a message to them so it’s no surprise that the movie adaptation of The Lorax has the same original message that Dr. Seuss was trying to get across.

Let me start by saying that this movie was a great movie. Very kid friendly, it is a Dr Seuss story after all. The animation was well done and stays true to the illustrations and imagination of all the books that I remember reading as a child. And the fact that it’s in 3-D is pretty cool too. Of course, the story line follows the book’s story and its original message.

My favorite line in the movie was “If a guy does something stupid once it’s because he’s a guy. If he does the same stupid thing a second time it’s usually for some girl”. There’s even a reference that, at least my kids didn’t get, they steal a bed and the background music they sing is the theme of “Mission Impossible”. Overall it’s a great family movie to go see. A movie that should encourage some good family discussion if you want to challenge your family and not just look at it as entertainment.

Now to address some of the buzz that’s been going on about the message of the movie. I saw an article a out how some on the right are saying that it’s just a liberal tree hugger agenda being spewed to indoctrinate our kids. But if you’ve ever read a Dr. Seuss book you know that he always had a message to teach, so with that in mind I thought I’d give my perspective.

There is definitely a message being expounded in this movie. I would say that all entertainment, art, amusement give out the agenda or view point of the person or people who created it. This movie is no exception, the clear message is; take care of the earth, don’t deplete our natural resources, a message that I think is what the good Dr. was getting at when he originally wrote the book.

The left tends to paint the “right-wing-religious-conservatives” as hating the environment as is seen in one of the first songs where everybody is happy with life without trees and they “thank God for our brand new parking lot” or how the protagonist is only interested in monetary gain and he has no interest in the environment.

On the other hand the right tends to paint the left as tree huggers who don’t care about anything other than worshiping trees and nature and would rather see the death of the human race than to see another tree cut down. Hence the reaction in the above mentioned article, with people bashing such movies and discounting the message.

As the saying goes, there’s three sides to every story; yours, mine and the truth. I think there’s more common ground to be found in this simple little story than either side sometimes admits. A kids movie with a grownup message. Not to alarm or shock you but, here’s my perspective as a Christian, I actually agree with the message of this movie, I’m just not necessarily with the reasons behind it.

As creatures created in God’s image we are called, as a creation ordinance, to subdue the earth, take care of it, basically we’re called to be stewards of creation. God left nothing to chance when He commanded His people to give the land a year of rest once every 6 years.

As a Christian I believe we have a clear reason and mandate to take care of the earth. This isn’t some random ball of dirt that we live on. It was created for God’s glory and for our enjoyment. To not take care of it or even to get to that very improbable point where we no longer have trees would be a dishonor, not because of the loss of the trees in and of themselves but because we would have mismanaged God’s beautiful creation and thus would have dishonored God Himself.

Whatever your point of view I encourage you to take the opportunity of seeing this movie and talk to your kids about what they learned form it. I think that’s what Dr. Seuss was always trying to get from his readers.

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About newsphotojournalist

The day in the life of a photojournalist. Actually more like the week in the life. This Vlog is the week in review of the stories I did through the last week, using the sound bites and video that ... well ... didn't make the cut. View all posts by newsphotojournalist

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