"The Lorax" is used to Hawk U.S. Forest Service "Discover the Forest" Campaign

© Universal Pictures. The Once-ler chops down a Truffula Tree in Dr. Seuss' The Lorax

The U.S. Forest Service has launched a PSA campaign for its “Discover the Forest” initiative with footage from the upcoming movie "The Lorax" to encourage kids to find a nearby forest via its website.

The 3D animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ classic environmental tale arrives March 2 with Danny DeVito voicing the title role of the forest creature, Ed Helms of "The Office" as the Once-ler and "The Daily Show"’s Rob Riggle.



The Forest Service campaign turns kids on to nature centers, parks and wildlife refuges for hiking, camping, water or winter sports. “It’s good to spend time in nature,” it states, encouraging parents to share the great outdoors with kids. “Nature is closer than you think.”

I checked the site and within 15 miles of my home, I discovered a wilderness area and Audubon Center (I already knew about the botanical garden, arboretum and hiking trail).

The tone of the PSA seems pretty straight-forward with “Fresh Air” and “Clear Water” title cards, but there are some whimsical Seuss-esque moments and it would go nicely with the Cuties ad I saw yesterday for kid-friendly Clementines.

© U.S. D.A. Forest Service
Dr. Seuss' The Lorax pitches for the "Discover the Forest" campaign

Danny DeVito claims his character "The Lorax" could be a kid-friendly eye-opener for more environmental action. "Look, I don't want to be gruff about it, but we've got to wake up and smell the oil burning," DeVito says. "I feel sometimes the only way to get things done is shake people up a little bit, and the Lorax is not a guy who pussyfoots around. He's not a guy who uses kid gloves."

Hollywood Brainwashing Kids?

There's been criticism in Treehugger of this upcoming twist on Dr. Seuss’ "The Lorax" as sugar-coated and that DeVito is, in fact, too gruff. The updated trailer (below) might address some of the concerns. Hopefully the film will plant some seeds with the unconverted who don't want a "plastic and fake world" and to quote the forest creature: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

On the other hand, the Media Research Center recently accused Hollywood of brainwashing kids against the oil business in "The Muppets" movie.

On "Fox News" Dan Gainor of the conservative group was interviewed stating, “This is a Muppet movie. The only thing green that should be up there on that screen is Kermit the Frog."

I imagine they’ll call "The Lorax" outright propaganda.

Tags: Deforestation | Forestry | Movies | video

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