I absolutely adored Dr. Seuss when I was a kid, so much so that I had assigned myself the nickname of “Sam I Am” when I was thirteen years old and even incorporated it into my first ever AOL e-mail address. So when I received an invitation to view an advance screening of Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax,” I was ecstatic. Being a kid-friendly movie and event, I was encouraged to bring along my favorite youngster, 8-year old Madelyn. I couldn’t wait to tell Maddy about this event as “The Lorax” was created by the same people responsible for “Despicable Me,” a movie I have come to hear a ton about around our home.
Maddy, her dad Steve, and myself all caught the screening with other moms, dads, and children of New York City at the TriBeCa Film Center. It was so fantastic to not only view the film a month before it were to hit theatres, but also see it in 3-D (something I’ve only experienced once before). Although I’ve never been one to prefer animated movies, I was genuinely entertained by the creative illustrations and humor in “The Lorax,” as well the important message it gave our children that afternoon. The character voices were also dazzling, with a star-studded cast consisting of Zac Efron, Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Taylor Swift, and Betty White. Without giving away too much, “The Lorax” is about a forest creature who shares the enduring power of hope, and a 12-year old boy that searches for the one thing that will help him win the girl of his dreams, and leads him on the journey of a lifetime. I was thoroughly enamored throughout the movie, but found my attention alternating between the film and Maddy. I watched as she sat at the edge of her seat, filled with excitement, and laughing along the way. It was then that I developed a new appreciation for animated children’s movies, and “The Lorax” in particular. This was an activity we could enjoy together, that also kept her laughing while absorbing the lesson that we all have the power to change the world, no matter how small our efforts may seem.
After the movie screening, Maddy found a friend from school whose mom happens to write for Mommy Poppins, and we all mosied on over to Moomah, a local café designed with children in mind, set with crafts activities and ridiculously good finger foods. It was borderline shameful how many grilled cheese sandwiches we gobbled down. Once Maddy had gotten her food fix, she indulged in the reception activities which included crafts and taking photos with the Lorax himself. At the end, Maddy got to leave with her very own Lorax-themed gift bag (her dad and I were a little jealous), and in subsequent days, she tickled me with her new fuzzy Lorax tree pencils.
Maddy had such a great time at the event, and spoke so highly of it for the days following, that it seemed appropriate to interview her on her experience. Here are her thoughts:
LATB: How did you like “The Lorax”?
Maddy: I loved it! I can’t wait ‘til it comes out in the theatres.
LATB: Will you want to go see it again?
Maddy: I want to!
LATB: Who was your favorite character in the movie?
Maddy: The grandma (played by Betty White) and Audrey (Taylor Swift).
LATB: What was your favorite part about going to see the movie?
Maddy: I liked seeing it in 3D, it looked really cool. My favorite part was at the end.
LATB: What was your favorite part about the party we went to after we watched the movie?
Maddy: The food was really good and I liked the art project we did there. [My friends] Anna and Jack also liked the tee shirts I got [in the gift bag].
Since the event, Maddy has printed photos of us from the reception and has used her crafts to make a scrapbook of this very special day. “The Lorax” wasn’t just any other movie my family went to go see one weekend– it was an experience that brought us closer together, and introduced the old school lessons of Dr. Seuss in a sharp, new animated experience.
Written By Samantha Ewers