460. The Lorax – Hawley Pratt

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SUMMARY: The Lorax who speaks for the trees attempts to stop the environmental devastation wrought by the Once-ler, a greedy industrialist bent on cutting down all the of Truffula trees to create Thneeds.

WHY IT’S HERE: Hawley Pratt’s TV special of Dr. Seuss’s powerful environmental fable ‘The Lorax’ is one of the best Seuss adaptations around. Following the story of the Once-ler, a faceless industrialist who causes devastation to the Lorax’s environment as he builds up his profitable Thneed factory, ‘The Lorax’ retains the overwhelming sense of gloom and foreboding that is present in the source text before positing just the right amount of hope at the ending. The 2012 big screen adaptation of the book unfortunately fumbled the message, presenting a happy ending rather than a hopeful one, meaning children would leave the cinema feeling safe in the knowledge that all was well, rather than leaving with a sense that they should do something about the problems in the world. The final image of this original adaptation, a small boy put in charge of the last Truffula tree seed, is deeply resonant and inspiring. Told with a splash of humour, ‘The Lorax’ is nevertheless largely a deadly serious short which still has the power to send a chill down the spine and deserves to be more widely celebrated alongside Chuck Jones’s beloved Seuss adaptations.

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