(March 9, 2008)
Latching onto the newest Seuss film’s slogan, pro-life demonstrators attempted to utilize children’s entertainment for their message about children... period.
“After all, a person is a person, no matter how small.” – Horton, in Horton Hears A Who!
It seems that no police action was taken, but some people in attendance were annoyed enough that a children’s movie was being politicized that they responded with retorts such as, “How dare you?” and “This is a kid’s premiere.”
The use of themes from Dr. Seuss’ work to support the cause of particular interest groups is not new, as Seuss biographer, Philip Nel, notes in a 2004 interview with BookTalk on ABC Radio National in
However, it was not Seuss’ intent for the meaning of his stories to be associated with these causes. In the case of Horton and the anti-abortion lobby, the conflict began when Dr. Seuss (aka Mr. Theodore Geisel) threatened to sue a pro-life group unless they took the slogan off their stationery (they did, but the line is still used today by groups in both the
The 1954 story is one of many Seuss stories to be made into TV cartoons, live-action movies, and even Broadway plays. Before writing his stories, Mr. Geisel worked in advertising and as a political cartoonist.
The film, animated by Blue Sky Studio, the production arm of 20th Century Fox, is co-executive produced by Theodore Geisel’s widow, Audrey Geisel, and features the voices of Jim Carrey, Steven Carell and Mary Tyler Moore, and is set to be released this coming Friday.