The Lorax, Thneeds, and Popcorn

by Abby on March 5, 2012

“I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.”

Dr. Seuss holds a special place in my heart. First, as a writer: not only was Theodor Seuss Geisel the editor of Dartmouth College’s humor magazine in 1925 (a title which, incidentally, he was stripped of when he was caught drinking gin in his room; this was during Prohibition), but before he went on to become an award-winning children’s author, his first book, “And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street” was rejected 27 times. The dude paid his dues.

Second, of course, Dr. Seuss plays a big part in my life now that I have children. Each of my sons has a photo we refer to as his “Lorax picture,” in which he is perched on top of a tree stump. Miles’ (below left) was taken around age 22 mos. in Yosemite, and Riley’s was taken at age 2 just last summer in western Maryland.

Lorax Pictures

A thneed tree grows in Baltimore.

A thneed grows in Baltimore.

So you could say Dr. Seuss’ works have become woven into the fabric of our family. We were walking around Baltimore this weekend when my husband said, “Hey, look – a thneed!” And there before us was a tree adorned with a hand-knit sweater of sorts. Indeed a thneed! So I suppose it’s only fitting that we took the boys to see “The Lorax” movie the very next day.

I have to admit, I had my reservations about bringing the 3yo to a movie. Even my 5yo was a little hesitant. He’s hypersensitive to certain themes in movies, which may have something to do with the fact that his mother was traumatized by “Cinderella” at a young age. It wasn’t the evil stepsisters that upset me, but the meanness towards the weight-challenged mouse, Gus. Anyway, where was I? Oh, right. The Lorax. After a couple of neighbor kids my sons’ ages saw and liked it, we decided to give it a go.

What a fun movie! It was pretty true to Dr. Seuss’ original story, except an additional modern-day part has been added about a young boy named Ted who lives in a manmade, nature-less town called Thneedville. To impress a girl, he needs to find a real tree. And that’s how the story begins. It’s got some musical numbers, a sort-of love story, and plenty of laughs mostly from the Bar-ba-loots and the Humming-Fish.

I kept shooting nervous glances at Riley, sitting next to me on his dad’s lap. Some of the scenes where Ted ventures outside Thneedville (“to the far end of town where the Grickle-grass grows”) are a little dark, and it’s sad when the Bar-ba-loots are banished because there are no more Truffula fruits. But that didn’t seem to bother my kids.

Discussing it on the way home, we learned that Riley liked the movie but not the theatre. (Too dark, too loud. It “freaked me out,” he said.) Miles enjoyed the movie, but announced that his favorite Dr. Seuss stories were still “Mulberry Street” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” which we read when we got home. But the highlight of the whole Lorax adventure was unanimous: the popcorn. I’m sure Dr. Seuss wouldn’t mind.

FACT O’ THE DAY: Did you know that Dr. Seuss is one of several famous children’s authors who did not have children? Others include Lewis Carroll, Beatrix Potter, Margaret Wise Brown, and Maurice Sendak. (Source:

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathleen Basi March 5, 2012 at 8:59 am

I’m looking forward to taking the kids to this one. Growing up I didn’t recognize the environmental implications of that story–now I wonder if it “primed” me for many of the au naturel lifestyle choices we’ve adopted.


stephanie March 5, 2012 at 9:30 pm

It looks so beautiful- I am probably going to try to take my little ones, too.


jetts31 March 5, 2012 at 10:23 pm

There are certain things and people our kids need to know about. Dr. Seuss is one of those people. His work is one of those things. Such a huge part of my life and a lot of kids lives, he needs to live on and I think its our duty to ensure it does through our kids.
Hats off to you and your boys for it.


Rachel March 8, 2012 at 8:38 pm

I love this post! Can’t wait to see the movie with my kids.


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