In Thneedville it’s a brand new daw~n
Yeah, uhm, just wanted to point out this line in the opening song -
“In Thneedville, we don’t want to kno~w / where the smog and trash and chemicals go~o”
Because I think it’s funny that Illumination would call the Once-ler their “every man” when I really consider the town to take up that role.
Here’s this big, what I like to call, neutral force going about their lives as if everything’s perfect. Other than their lack of self-awareness, there’s nothing definitively wrong with what they’re doing - it’s been this way for as long as they can remember (at least since O’Hare took over).
You saw how Ted’s mom treated him when he said he wanted a tree. She thought he was crazy. They all did.
It’s weird for Ted to question their way of living; to care about where the smog, trash, and chemicals go.
So while the town didn’t actively go out and destroy nature, they did live passively while excessively consuming the resources around them. That’s just as bad as the Once-ler, in my opinion, and much more dangerous because their actions are not only widely enforced by group thinking, but barely even registered. They could possibly destroy ten-fold what the Once-ler accomplished, all while thinking there was absolutely nothing wrong.
And you could argue that O’hare was brainwashing them. But you also have to consider that O’Hare didn’t start trying to obscure the facts about trees until after Ted went looking for one. So I can only assume no one bothered to even ask before that. And any one of them could have gone outside at any point; the door wasn’t locked until AFTER Ted went out the first time.
O’Hare didn’t bother locking it. That’s how little people cared. He wasn’t keeping them inside - they were.
This is where I actually prefer what Illumination created over the original 72 version. Because we see what Ted is up against, we see how easy it would have been for him to just keep living the way he was. But he chose to care.
Because, quite literally, if he hadn’t cared a whole awful lot, nothing would of gotten better.
So I love how Illumination created this parallelism in our own lives - this frightening question - what if we live in Thneedvilles of our own, and just haven’t quesitoned it? Just like Ted before he went looking for a seed.
Which I really think is the whole purpose of the story - to question and act and care about the world around us.
Mmkay I’m done. This ended up longer than I intended it to….
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