Sometimes you connect with an imaginary character so strongly, his life so closely parallels your own that you sincerely worry about how he will be perceived in the general public. If they hate him, do they hate you?
Well in the case of The Lorax, I am “Fat Bear” as I have aptly named him. The portly Barbaloot Bear waddled throughout The Lorax. He garnered the most laughs in my theater besides for the audience participation when the Lorax said, “I am the Lorax and I speech for the trees”, to which a viewer responded, “NO YOU DON’T!” (I was in Berkeley). However, the laughs were not with “Fat Bear” they were at him because he was indeed a Fat Bear.
He was featured exclusively in about 5 fat jokes:
1. Could not keep up when the animals were running to save the Onceler in the River (this was used more than once)
2. Used as a weight to lower the tree in order to save the Onceler
3. While other bears are munching on a few Marshmallows at a time, Fat Bear has managed to collected a mouthful
4. Found in the Onceler’s fridge devouring a stick of butter at a time
5. Poor “Fat Bear” was so fat that even after the Truffula Forest had been destroyed and the food sources were eliminated, Fat Bear was still the same size and weight.
See fat people, are funny, but these jokes are usually considered mean and distasteful when used against humans. So where do our fat jokes land? On poor defenseless computer generated overweight animals.
Debbie Christel of The Daily Barometer accused the Lorax of Size-ism: “What assumption do you make about the bear with his mouth full? Maybe he overeats? Is he lazy and stupid in comparison to the other bears? I don't know about you, but I know plenty of small bears (metaphorically speaking, of course) that eat a ton of marshmallows (again, metaphorically) and they are lazy and stupid, but no one would ever assume such things about them because they are of a smaller stature.”Link
We all have our metaphorical bears, whether in life or metaphor land (metaphorically speaking of course). The point is fat metaphorical computer generated Bears in Dr. Seuss movies get a bad rap. Or could Fat Bear simply be fooling us all and is the smartest Bear in the room?
I mean if he’s so fat, how did he maneuver his body into position to catch all those marshmallows in his mouth? Why was he still overweight despite the complete decimation of his food supply? How was he able to consume sticks of butter without dying?
Fat Bear in my opinion is the ultimate achievement in evolution. He displays advanced motor skills, advanced mouth to eye coordination, and a metabolism that obeys his will. All these are in addition to a superior intellect that disguises his true nature under layers of blubber.
Now that I think about it I’m not all that much like Fat Bear, I’m just fat.