Movie Review: Lorax
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
This week I had the pleasure of watching the Dr. Seuss film “The Lorax,” which offers sharp political commentary amidst flamboyant, colorful natural scenery. In this heartwarming story, a young boy who lives in a walled, harshly regulated town devoid of nature sneaks out into the dark, desolate world outside his sheltered town in search of a tree and encounters The Once-ler, an old man who tells him about the way things used to be before greedy capitalists destroyed the beautiful environment despite the protests of the forest’s protector, The Lorax. I sobbed toward the end of the film when all of the beautiful trees had been chopped down and the absolutely magnificent landscape transformed into a dark wasteland.
The concept of the film is yawningly heterosexist—the reason the boy wants to find a tree is so he can give it to a girl he likes, who is fittingly voiced by the queen of female passitivity: Taylor Swift. But even though it features a male protagonist (like almost every other animated film), its supporting female cast saves it from being a queer/feminist nightmare. The seemingly mundane mom in the film has a few tricks up her sleeve and queer icon Betty White steals the show as the boy’s grandmother who is by far the gutsiest, funniest character in the movie.
The movie ends with the beautiful Dr. Seuss quote: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” I think this is a wonderful call to action to those of us in the queer community who are loving every minute of our fun gay lives. Maybe we need to take time between shots* to volunteer with queer youth or educate ourselves on the history of our people. Because I do believe we all care a whole awful lot and that we can push ourselves to push this concern into action that improves our community conditions.
*Warning: Please do not take this metaphor literally; pregaming any sort of volunteerism is shameful and not advised.