Sugar and Spice and Not Much Else Nice: ‘Lorax’ Kids’ Meals at IHOP

What do sugary breakfasts have to do with this environmentally friendly film? Nothing.
The Lorax might speak for the trees, but maybe he should be saying something about these kids' meals instead. (Photo: Courtesy of
Feb 29, 2012· 0 MIN READ
Nichol Nelson hails from Minnesota, but has worked in food journalism in New York and Los Angeles for more than a decade. She served as an editor with Gourmet magazine for six years, and has contributed to several other digital and print food publications.

In another head-scratching marketing move, execs behind the environmentally conscious children’s film The Lorax, have linked the movie to a slew of sugary, processed kids’ meals at IHOP.

Next to the slogan “Planting trees can make you hungry!” the grinning orange ambassador for green living invites children to partake in pancakes “filled with sprinkles, topped with more sprinkles, and a creamy strawberry yogurt sauce.” Not appealing? What about a “Rooty Tooty Bar-Ba-Looty Blueberry Cone Cake,” a pancake stuffed inside a waffle cone topped with sugary blueberry compote and powdered sugar?

Execs at Universal Studios have already taken heat for using the classic 1971 Dr. Suess book to promote Mazda SUVs to kids, and this seems to be another example of Hollywood’s tone deafness when it comes to the message of the film.

In order to create a plausible connection between green living and sugar-filled sprinkle pancakes, IHOP is giving kids a Lorax bookmark made of seed paper. The paper contains a mix of Blue Spruce and Canadian White Pine seeds, which IHOP proudly says can grow 20-40 feet wide.

It’s all a bit of a stretch. In reality, the only thing a Rooty Tooty Bar-Ba-Looty Blueberrry Cone Cake and Blue Spruce have in common is the word “blue.”

The IHOP site reprints a bit of classic prose from the book: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Parents trying to get their kids to make good food choices might want to take the message to heart.