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No fast food toys for DOCTOR SEUSS' THE LORAX

A big-budget kid film almost always means a partnership with a fast food giant, and plastic toys stuffed in kids’ meals, right? Not in the case of the upcoming DOCTOR SEUSS’ THE LORAX. Given the source work’s environmentalist theme, Universal Pictures decided that such promotional practices might come off as kind of crass.

That doesn’t mean that the production company isn’t out trying to nail down promotional partnerships, though; it just means that when they do, Universal makes sure there’s a “green” angle to the promotion. So, for instance, the US Environmental Protection Agency has jumped on board, and will use the Lorax to promote the sale of ENERGY STAR rated appliances. Amsterdam’s Hortus Botanicus botanical gardens will establish “a Lorax-inspired route through its garden, which is home to a number of endangered trees.” And Seventh Generation will put “Lorax Approved” labels on items, including its new “liquid detergent bottle made with recycled paper.”

Yes, we could quibble about the eco-friendliness of some of those partnerships, but, overall, they strike me as having merit. However, DoubleTree’s “trip for four to eco-tourism mecca Costa Rica,” or IHOP’s repeat of its green eggs and ham breakfast special seem decidedly less so: no doubt the winners of the trip will fly to the “eco-tourism mecca,” and if IHOP doesn’t spend some time educating visitors on the sources of the food it serves, it’s not doing much with its promotion. No, there are no plastic toys, but I’m not sure that they do a lot to show people the environmental impact of our consumption choices – and that seems like the real “green” opportunity with such partnerships.

I’ve got no problem with a film making money, and understand that promotional partnerships do help the bottom line, but if Universal really wanted to use such arrangements as a means of highlighting the environmental message underlying THE LORAX, how about just avoiding them this time, and letting the public know “Hey, all of that crap normally used to promote Hollywood films also contributes to the loss of ‘Truffala trees?” That would be newsworthy.

Whaddaya think? Share your thoughts below.

via AP and The Daily Activist

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Image credit: Screen grab from film trailer above