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As The Lorax debuts on the screen, there’s a Twitter account that’s being quite mean.
The computer animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss‘s 1971 picture book is set for a major opening weekend, but it may feel like it’s been around forever. That’s because Illumination Entertainment has struck more than 70 different product integration deals — including attaching its tiny, Danny Devito-voiced orange Lorax to products that don’t quite fit the book and film’s environmentalist message. Those include deals to promote the gasoline-powered 2013 Mazda CX-5 crossover SUV and a line of disposable diapers, drawing criticism from those both protective of mother nature and Seuss’s legacy.
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Now, a new Twitter handle, @FakeLorax, is using Seussian rhymes to mock what it considers an exploitation of the property. Launched late Thursday, it has slowly ammassed followers with its parodying prose.
“I am Fake Lorax. I speak for companies…for companies have no tongues. And I’m asking you, sir, at the top of my lungs — to buy a Mazda,” the account wrote in its first tweet, before later adding, “Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss – Now that you’ve passed, I’ll make some cash. Pretend to like books, hijack your fame, and sell SUVs in your name.”
The dig comes from the film’s partnership Mazda and the National Education Association to promote children’s reading. Illumination has also made deals for commercials and promotions that sell Lorax-themed IHOP meals, DoubleTree hotel sweepstakes and HP printers.
Directed by Chris Renaud and The Lorax, the film also features voice acting from Ed Helms, Zac Efron and Taylor Swift.
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