Friday, February 24, 2012
Not any Lorax I know, I HOP
Over the past decade or so, I've watched precious childhood memories fall to the monsters of mass marketing and Hollywood's refusal to come up with their own damn ideas. A Christmas Carol (with Jim Carrey, no less.) Horton Hears a Who. The Cat in the Hat (with Mike Myers. Please.)
So I've come to accept that nothing is sacred. Still...in the back of my mind, I was really hoping that the Powers That Ruin Everything would keep their grubby hands off of my favorite Dr. Seuss character of all time, the wonderful, socially responsible Lorax. But until I actually see the film, I'll give the studio the benefit of the doubt and assume they don't rape and pillage the original message all THAT much.
However, my willingness to give Hollywood a pass- for now- does NOT extend to IHOP. Someone explain to me how Dr. Seuss's defender of the environment could ever endorse a chain of restaurants which peddles huge portions of steaming animal fats drenched in butter and swimming in their own yummy greases. To a nation suffering from an epidemic in childhood obesity. While half the world is starving to death.
Somehow I never pictured the Lorax as a fan of flabby bacon, sausage links, and other products churned out by industrial "farms." Always just assumed he'd be a vegetarian- if not a vegan- and a friend to pigs, cows and all other Animals With Mothers. He sure seemed to like the bears, fish and swans in the original cartoon, which I have included here for your convenience (and perhaps to help rekindle a bit of your childhood, if you happen to be around my age.)
Or should I say "liked"- because the updated version of our favorite Tree Hugger seems more interested in eating his fellow creatures than speaking for them. The Lorax in this commercial isn't rejecting the wasteful materialism of a soulless society infected by greed and avarice. He's stuffing it down his throat and washing it down with coffee and juice. With a smile on his face. This is NOT an improvement.
Oh, but the kids DO get a packet of free seeds with every 3000 calories of sugary, buttery, meaty sludge they manage to assault their bodies with, courtesy of mom and dad's pocketbook and lack of common sense. (I understand that if your kid suffers an actual heart attack during his visit, he gets a free Lorax coloring book when he gets out of the hospital.) I suppose that little bone tossed to mortified Gen X'ers like me is supposed to shut us up. Sorry- not good enough, IHOP.
I guess speaking for IHOP pays a lot better than speaking for the trees, eh Mr. Lorax?