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Chris Keenan
Chris Keenan

Kid-Friendly Green Films

In the past, films like “WALL-E†and “Avatar†have been released with a strong environmental message throughout the movies. These films are great because a large part of their target audience are kids, and these kids will be the ones passing legislation and making changes several decades from now.

A recently released environmental film, perhaps, is “The Lorax.†Originally by Dr. Seuss, The Lorax was first released as a book in 1971. Interestingly, the book met some controversy in 1988. A town heavily dependent on logging lashed out against the book when the book was put on the second-graders reading list.

Terri Birkett consequently published The Truax with the help and support of NOFMA (National Wood Flooring Manufacturers Association). The Truax tells the story of the Guardbark, who eventually understands the loggers' stance and sides with them.

The revamped Lorax story has been adapted into an animated film, and stars several teen icons. The main character, Ted, is voiced by Zac Efron, who has a crush on Taylor Swift's character, Ashley. Other actors involved with the movie include Betty White, Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, and Rob Riggle. Search for the film on YouTube and you'll find over 100,000 views of the trailer even though it has only been on the website for two days. A barrage of comments on the website supports the stars.

The plot follows 12-year-old Ted, who sets out to find a tree amidst his futuristic high-tech world in order to win the affections of his crush. To do this, Ted will need the help of the Lorax, whose curmudgeonly personality can be attributed to having to fight so hard to save the world. Crazy but true, and as serious as a garage door bent on closing.

“The Lorax†will be released in March 2012 and will be available in 3D. The film also incorporates state-of-the-art CGI animation, so it's sure to entertain a young crowd, who will hopefully be motivated to take positive actions toward an environmentally-friendly future.

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