Besides the much-celebrated Wall-E, there aren’t many quality environmentally-themed children’s movies. That could change when Universal Pictures releases a 3-D animated version of The Lorax in theaters. The movie, directed by Chris Renaud, Cinco Paul, and Ken Daurio will be released on March 2, 2012–Theoder Geisel’s (aka Dr. Seuss) 108th birthday.
Daurio and Paul previously collaborated on the film adaptation of Horton Hears a Who, released last year, and Universal grossed nearly $350 million from its adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! But finding a way to translate a fairly dark book about industrialization, greed, and consumerism into a peppy Hollywood movie suitable for children could prove to be a challenge. Wall-E pulled it off, but that movie didn’t have to adhere to an already-existing story–a caveat that allowed the film to have a cheery, feel-good ending.
Or the producers could go in an entirely different direction and update the story for today–perhaps including a new character called the Banker, invented by a The New York Times Web site commenter named Sean Feit. In Feit’s version of the story, the Banker waxes poetic:
You’re right about one thing, the World is New,
some mills are shut down, the tree-sitters are few,
and even some bankers are starting to do
the responsible thing (or at least one or two!)
But the story’s not over, they’re cutting the trees
in the National Forests as fast as they please,
and the Amazon jungle for grazing and fuels —
A movie like this that can screen in the schools
could start a new wave of green voters and rules
to slow down the destruction — what if it could?