The students of Ted Wells's fourth grade class love the classic Dr. Suess story, "The Lorax." When they saw the movie promotion from Universal Studios lacked enough of a environmental message, they launched the "Lorax Petition Project," a petition on Change.org that gained more than 50,000 signatures. Here is an update from Ted Wells on the campaign:
Universal Studios changed 'The Lorax' webpage almost exactly as my class requested! They even used the Truffala tree image for a button and linked the Green Tips Random House page, just like my students suggested in this petition.
An executive at Universal Studios told me this development was already in the works, and that we accelerated their plans. Not only that, they have some environmental partnerships coming out soon with Scholastic lessons, an AdCouncil USDA Forest Service "get outside" public service announcement, and two other projects with Whole Foods and Seventh Generation. With five weeks until the movie hits theaters, these programs should help millions green up their communities and live like the Lorax.
I couldn't be more proud of my 4th graders! They rallied 57,000 of you (including celebrities like Ed Norton and musicians like 30 Seconds to Mars and Solving for X!) who know the meaning of "Unless." The kids made posters, wrote a script in they style of Seuss, then shot a video! They've also been reaching out to everyone they know, lighting a fire under this cause, then graphing your signature count to track the progress of their project.
They learned many lessons along the way, most importantly, that they can make a difference.
This reminds me of the Margaret Mead quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
Or, a quote from Dr. Suess, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not."
Adding environmental education to The Lorax movie website is important because this is the message of the book and it should be honored. Dr. Seuss wanted people to be inspired by The Lorax to help the environment. Currently, the movie website, trailer, and story summary have no mention of helping our planet! This is a missed opportunity. There are big problems in our natural world and we need more and more people helping out.
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Our 4th grade class read Dr. Seuss’s, The Lorax, and liked that the Lorax character “spoke for the trees.” We do this at our school by running a recycling program and by canceling unwanted catalogs - www.CatalogCancelingChallenge.com! The book encourages people to help the planet. We enjoyed that in the end the Once-ler realized that life is not just about making money, it’s about what’s best for others and the environment.
We were excited for The Lorax movie to come out in March, but when we went to the movie website, there was absolutely nothing about saving the Earth which is what Dr. Seuss wanted us to learn. The site is more about selling tickets. The trailer did not include much about the environment, either! We think Universal Pictures needs to “green up" this website.
Our world, like the Lorax’s, is facing major environmental problems like pollution, global warming, oil spills, littering, a Great Pacific Garbage Patch, deforestation, and loss of animal habitat. These problems will affect our future.
The Lorax movie, with its millions of dollars in advertising and massive audience has the potential to help heal the Earth. This movie can show the world we should not take our sky, water, trees, and animals for granted. It could inspire more and more people to treat Earth with the same respect you would give a child.
We’d like to see the movie live up to the potential of the book. We’re encouraging Universal to make an improved Lorax movie website that Dr. Seuss would be proud of. We recommend a “Lorax Tips” button shaped like a Truffula seed sharing ways people can help the planet. Maybe a Truffula Tree overflowing with tips and links pops up when you click on the seed! We can help you make this list, too!
What if Universal gave out tree seeds after the movie to children helping plant thousands of trees? This poetic gift fits perfectly with the hopeful end to the story. Also, could you put green tips into your television and print ads for the movie, or even into the movie's credits?
Please know The Lorax has power and that this movie could start a movement of kids helping the planet. The movie website and promotions should do what the book does and help the planet. This is possible with a few simple changes such as adding a “Lorax Tips” button.
Universal, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing’s going to get better, it’s not.” Please consider this line from the book; it is also true for the world.
Mr. Wells’ Fourth Grade Class
http://youtu.be/io_JAgY6NWE - class music video with "Solving for X"
http://youtu.be/y-6uImGea8E - class re-write of our Lorax story
http://vimeo.com/34979978 - class re-write (short version, no introduction)