Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dr. Seuss’ ‘Horton’ LA Premiere Crashed By Abortion Protestors

By Heather Chin (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!

At the Los Angeles premiere of Dr. Seuss’ “Horton Hears A Who!” on Saturday, pro-life demonstrators arrived at the Mann Village Theater after the film screening and chanted anti-abortion slogans, which included Horton’s oft-repeated mantra in the movie. reports that after they stopped chanting, members of the group plastered red tape that read “LIFE” over their mouths and marched around the event area.

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 Australia. For example, both the theme of and main character in “The Lorax” have very obvious associations with protecting the environment and conservation (and have been targeted by logging groups and community libraries).

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 U.S. and abroad).

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.

Sources: (led to from a line in here:!#_note-0

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