It's much more than 40 years since Dr Seuss very first published The Lorax, his standard tale that needless consumerism and also environmental ruin. Yet as a brand-new film variation is released in the US, what is the book really all about?

As schoolchildren across the civilization can attest, The Lorax is the story of an ambitious businessman, a Once-ler, who reaps whole forest the Truffula tree to render their soft tufts into luxurious thneeds.

The Lorax, that speaks because that the trees, warns of the dire after-effects of such environmental mismanagement - but his article goes unheeded until it's as well late.

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On Friday, the exact same day the book's author would have actually turned 108, the orange, moustachioed eco-friendly activist recognize as the Lorax do his big-screen debut in a 3D animated movie by universal Studios.

It's to be a long and circuitous roadway for the book, which like many of Seuss's books, uncovered its origin in his personal experience.

But just what is the Lorax about? over the previous 40 years, the publication has meant different things at various times.

The Lorax was published in 1971, just as the environmental movement began to take host (the first Earth work was organized in brand-new York the year before).

It is collection in a dark, murky post-apocalyptic landscape, destroyed by the Once-ler's exploitation that the organic world. The consequence of extreme industrialisation is clear. Yet it ends with a glimmer of hope, together a single Truffula seeds is left behind.

The book went on to sell much more than 200 million copies, and is widely used as a teaching aid for children's great on environmentalism. Numerous university groups specialized to conservation have named us "The Lorax".

Though most of the Seuss archives room housed in ~ the college of California, mountain Diego, the Lorax illustrations are found in Austin, in ~ the presidential library of lyndon B Johnson.

Johnson, chairman from 1963 to 1969, and also his wife were staunch environmentalists. She was well-known for she highway beautification projects; he defended nine million acre of federal land.

When he heard that the book was under way, he called Seuss - unprompted - to give thanks to him in advancement for donating the initial artwork to the Johnson archive.

He likewise implies the Once-ler depends on one aggressive, saturating advertising project to promote the thneeds, shapeless clothing of dubious utility.

"The Lorax to be a brilliant description of capitalism as we understand it," states Peter Barnes, a mountain Francisco businessman and author that Capitalism 3.0.

"If friend look at all the advertising, all the crap that our economic situation churns out, many of that is thneeds, it's no stuff we actually need. It's stuff we're made to think us need."

"Implicit there, is that unless we do something about that, over there ain't going come be any type of trees, bird or fish left."


Seuss's studio in mountain Diego overlooked the Pacific and also the watch was framed through beautiful eucalyptus trees, claims Steve Brezzo, a friend, neighbour and former art human being colleague.

When developer sought permission to fell them to build residential property, Seuss released a project in opposition.

"In his common Seussian fashion, he began to develop this whole an excellent scenario around saving the trees," states Mr Brezzo.

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The exact same cannot be said for the Lorax, who failed to get rid of corporate greed. "Business is business! and also business have to grow, nevertheless of crummies in tummies, friend know."

Pro-business groups, consisting of loggers, attacked it as eco-friendly propaganda and also the book was even banned in part schools and libraries.

Recently, Fox service host Lou Dobbs warned the the movie adaptation of The Lorax to be indoctrinating kids against big industry.