The Lorax’s lessons

Kids and adults alike can learn from Dr. Seuss

Universal Studio’s animated-movie adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s beloved book, The Lorax, has been causing quite a stir with its environmentally conscious message. The Lorax (played by Danny DeVito) is a fuzzy orange critter who “speaks for the trees” and opposes Once-ler, who chopped down the forest’s Truffula trees to mass produce Thneeds, a Seussian multi-purpose tool that turns out to be useless. As with any good children’s story, there are tidbits of wisdom for kids and adults alike to ponder. Here are several of the movie’s most important lessons:

Consumerism: With the Thneed, Seuss sheds light on the pitfalls of mass production and capitalism—we end up buying a bunch of stuff we don’t really need.

Greed: Once-ler, driven by profit, deforests the Seuss-scape and then becomes a miserable hermit haunted by the Lorax’s warnings. That’s what he gets.

Stewardship: At one point the Lorax declares to Once-ler, “Everyone here needs the trees, and you’re chopping them down.” That’s about as direct a plea for conservation as you can make.

Making change: Seuss also recognized inaction is part of the problem. “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”