As Dave Roberts pointed out when the trailer was released, the upcoming Lorax movie is an insult to all that’s good and holy. The original Seuss tale is bleak, sure, but bleak with a purpose: it’s a parable about greed, exploitation, and the consequences of environmental rapaciousness. It does not feature the Polyphonic Spree.

Well, turns out it’s not just thirtysomething curmudgeons like Dave and me who find the Lorax movie plans pukey. A group of fourth graders from Brookline, Mass. has drafted a petition asking Hollywood to reinstate the original book’s environmental themes.

Over at, they’re requesting that the company at least add more educational materials to the film’s website and promotional materials. Wells notes that his students thought the trailer made the movie look “more like an adventure and romance, like it had totally lost its message about helping the planet.”

“Currently, the movie website, trailer, and story summary have no mention of helping our planet!” says the students’ petition. “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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You can sign the petition here. This is very unlikely to make a difference, because by god, kids, Hollywood tells you what to like, not the other way around! But it’s way adorable, and a nice reminder that kids are much sharper readers, and much fiercer activists, than they often get credit for.

Update: Hey, the kids won! At least a conditional victory: It’s not clear what it means for the movie content, but Universal Pictures added a prominent link to a page about protecting forests (warning: autoplays annoying noises) on the movie site. And the petition got over 50,000 signatures, which would have been quite an accomplishment even if they hadn’t gotten a response from Universal.

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