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Was the 'Lorax' Message Co-opted?


I've not seen The Lorax yet, but am intending to take my grandson. I do have a couple of questions in mind, though. First, I was wondering about why a movie based on a Dr. Seuss book would garner a rating PG. I'm sure I read the book to my own children, but for the life of me, I've forgotten the story. Second, some people are upset with the producers, claiming that the movie didn't fulfill a "green" agenda, but pushed materialism with ads for IHOP, etc.

Yesterday, I was reading a bit about advertising and movies, and it seems as though the two have always been entwined. I'd like to read a bit more about the relationship before expanding my comments.

However, would anyone care to comment about the movie and also about advertising and movies?

Trivia Questions:
1. What was the first movie that partnered with a name brand? 
2. In the 1980s, what manufacturer turned down a chance to sell their product in a blockbuster movie?


Comments:

from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_placement

"In the first decade or so of film history (1895–1907) audiences did not go to see films as narrative art forms but as fairground attractions interesting for the amazing visual effects they appeared to be. This format was much better suited to product placement than the narrative form of cinema that came later when film making became a more organised industry. Taking this as a starting point, Leon Gurevitch has argued that early cinematic attractions share more in common with the adverts that emerged from the television industry in the 1950s than they do with traditional films.[11] Gurevitch suggests that as a result, the relationship between cinema and advertising is more intertwined than previous historians have credited, suggesting that the birth of cinema was in part the result of advertising and the economic kickstart that it provided early film makers."
I don't know the first movie that partnered with a name brand, but my first guess is that the name brand was Coca Cola. They've always been pros at advertising.

The movie "Sun Valley Serenade" comes to mind. The movie was made to market the new Sun Valley Ski Resort. I first saw it in Sun Valley at the Opera House (SV's movie theater). It made me want to go to Sun Valley, and I was already there!
The worst of the advertising tied to the Lorax is definitely the Mazda CX-5 SUV stuff. The Lorax is a pro-environment book, and SUVs are so, so not environment-friendly. The worst of the worst was when they let Mazda advertise their product to school kids (see http://tinyurl.com/loraxsuv).