Animated movies make a bundle on commercial tie-ins, but “The Lorax” presented something of a challenge for Universal. After all, you can’t have plastic replicas of Dr. Seuss’ champion of the environment piling up in a landfill somewhere. The studio found a way to cash in by greenwashing its licensing with help from the EPA and Whole Foods.

By forming partnerships with brands and causes identified as pro-environment, Universal acknowledges that “The Lorax” isn’t just any cartoon. It’s a parable about the industrialization and destruction of the natural world and people are going to be sensitive about the way its characters are co-opted to sell pancakes. (IHOP will be serving green eggs and ham, perhaps taking things a bit too literally.) — PZS

AP via Google:

The studio’s nearly 70 launch partners — including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Whole Foods Market — are seeking to latch onto the Lorax’s nature-friendly message.

Movie tie-ins once meant that kids got plastic toys thrown into their fast food meal containers. But Universal is taking a new approach. The studio, owned by Comcast Corp., is being selective about its partnerships, with a focus on planet-saving activities like planting trees and conserving energy — things that aren’t usually the focus of children’s movie campaigns.

The EPA, for instance, is using the Lorax character to help promote low-power appliances that carry the Energy Star label. Hilton’s DoubleTree hotel chain is sponsoring a trip for four to eco-tourism mecca Costa Rica. The Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam is creating a Lorax-inspired route through its garden, which is home to a number of endangered trees.

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