Friday, March 02, 2012

An Un-Birthday Present For Dr Seuss

I find it highly ironic that the new travesty of a movie based on Dr Seuss's  "The Lorax" has named the boy who hears the Once-ler's story "Ted" and added a girl named "Audrey".

"Ted" of course, is a nod towards Seuss himself, Theodore Seuss Geisel. And Audrey is for Audrey Geisel, his second wife, heiress to the Seuss estate. But she should be cast as the villain, not the heroine of any tale involving Seuss.

I will skip over the fact that she had an affair with Seuss that was probably one of the reasons his first wife committed suicide--and they were married months later. Not my place to click my tongue over either of them. But it should be noted that Helen Palmer Geisel was one of the founders of Dr Seuss's Beginning Readers line and an author of some of the early Beginning Reader books. She did good things for generations to come.

Audrey Geisel, on the other hand, has milked the Seuss estate for everything it is worth and then some and allowed it to be turned into sheer shit.

During his lifetime Seuss kept creative control over productions of his work in other forms. The cartoons first broadcast on CBS on Friday nights in the 60s and 70s were done by Chuck Jones, of Bugs Bunny fame. Jones and Seuss worked together during WWII on the famous "Private Snafu" cartoons, and Jones' productions were completely faithful to the Seuss books, bringing them alive on the screen.

Audrey Geisel sold creative control to the studios and let them do what they want with her husband's books. The result has been crappy live action movies starring Jim Carey and second rate animatronic style hunks of junk.

These second rate (and that is being kind) films have come accompanied by endless merchandising of the materials, including "official movie books" that will take the place of the real, quality stuff on many a shelf. Crap that I am sad to say I am sure some of the same sort of librarians who fill their shelves with "Disney Princess" crap are snapping up for their libraries.

My girls and I have a sworn pact that we will not watch any of this faux-Seuss. And before you take your child to see the latest travesty, suggest you read the review of it in the New York Times:

Its relationship to Dr. Seuss’s book is precisely that of the synthetic trees that line the streets of Thneedville to the organic Truffulas they have displaced. The movie is a noisy, useless piece of junk, reverse-engineered into something resembling popular art in accordance with the reigning imperatives of marketing and brand extension. 

Here's Part 1 of the REAL Lorax film
Happy Birthday, Dr Seuss.
So sorry, they've done you wrong........

1 comment:

Marge Loch-Wouters said...

Sing it, sistah. Great rant.