Skip to content

Greenwashing with THE LORAX

2012 February 21
by Shared by Steve Rust

We tend to discourage ranting on this site and aim for scholarly voice — but if I see another cross promotion for the upcoming Lorax film I, well, I will rant. The latest promotions include the Lorax selling a Mazda compact car that gets a whopping 40 mpg (notice the mounting sarcasm that is the sure sign of a rant), children’s meals at IHOP, and the Lorax sitting in as a guest judge on NBC’s reality music show “The Voice”.  All told Universal Pictures has partnered with nearly 70 corporate sponsors – including the EPA.  Apparently, Mazda agreed to donate $1 million to the National Education Association’s “Read Across America” Program in order to secure the rights to use the Lorax in commercials. But the car company has even sent agents out into schools to tell children that they will donate $25 more to the cause if their parents test drive a new Mazda.  Child advocacy groups have recently called for consumers to boycott companies attempting to capitalize on the classic environmental tale.  In fact, Universal dramatically downplayed the film’s environmental messages in promotional materials and only added an environmental education component to the film’s website after students and teachers started a petition to protest the studio’s oversite. If you’re feeling nostalgic, here’s a link to the 1972 CBS television version of the 1971 book by Dr. Seuss.

Update: Now in its second weekend, The Lorax is once again topping the US box office and has already earned more than $100 million domestically. It was produced for around $100 million.

Finally, here is the Colbert Report’s take on the film:


One Response leave one →
  1. joe heumann permalink
    February 24, 2012

    Greenwashing is one way to put it and ecoporn another. But you are spot on by showing off this film trying to have it every way to Sunday. They’ll sell every toy they can, every car and fast food joint that will have them. The commodification of these and so many other “eco films” is standard fare. Thanks for bringing it up, because it does help define irony again.

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS