Many of us grew up reading the colorful and entertaining Dr. Seuss¹ books. But did you know that many of these classic children’s books contained themes tied to politics issues that were relevant from 1954 through 1984?
His latest book to be turned into an animated movie, is The Lorax2.This story is about the Lorax, a character who is an advocate for the trees against The Once-ler who wants to make products (called Thneeds) out of the trees, and this product is what every household “needs.”
This age-old story was created in the mind of Dr. Seuss in 1971 to address the issues of: environmentalism and anti-consumerism. After all, he stated that, “…there’s an inherent moral in any story.” These very themes are still relevant and discussed in the present day, and that means The Lorax will be addressing something very relevant in modern-day politics. Another recent film with the theme of environmentalism and anti-consumerism throughout the movie, was Avatar, released in 2009.
Other themes found in Dr. Seuss books:
Horton Hears a Who! – (1954) anti-isolationism and internationalism
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! – (1957) anti-materialism
Yertle the Turtle – (1958) anti-fascism and anti-authoritarianism
The Butter Battle Book – (1984) the arms race
My personal favorite Dr. Seuss book growing up was: Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! My grandfather would read it to me at different times and I would follow along because all of the illustrations kept my attention as he would read to me. I was also very familiar with The Cat in the Hat and I remember some friends looking at Green Eggs and Ham in elementary school from our school library, and since elementary school have heard different spin-offs using similar phrases adapted from this book in cartoons and shows on television.
¹Dr. Seuss was the pen name for the American writer Theodor Seuss Geisel.
2The Lorax is scheduled to be released in March, 2012. Danny DeVito will be the voice for The Lorax.