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Movie review: The Lorax

Updated on July 25, 2012

Despite the fact that popular author Dr. Seuss wrote 46 children's books in his lifetime, Hollywood has, somewhat curiously, only made four titles into films, of which The Lorax is the latest.

But if this film is anything to go by, it may already be one film too many.

Welcome to Thneedville: a city completely devoid of anything natural, as everything is made of plastic or some other synthetic material. Not that anyone who lives there minds, as it's the only thing they know.

Ted (Zac Efron) is a young man with the hots for Audrey (Taylor Swift); he would do absolutely anything to impress her, so when she announces she would marry the man who brought her a tree, it gets Ted thinking. But with trees literally thin on the ground in Thneedville, Ted asks his grandmother (Betty White) for advice. She tells him of a man known as Once-ler (Ed Helms) whom he should visit. Problem is, Once-ler lives out of town, and leaving town isn't that easy.

Ted finds a way of leaving Thneedville though, and tracks Once-ler down. Unfortunately for Ted, Once-ler is in no hurry to tell him where to find a tree, and settles down instead to tell his story.

It's the tale of a young man with an ambitious heart, who heads off into the countryside with the dream of making a fortune from all the trees there. He is given a stark warning however from the Lorax (Danny DeVito), the guardian of the trees. But Once-ler takes no notice of him, and continues with his plans regardless. It's not until much later though, that he realises the harsh consequences of his thoughtless actions.

For a number of years now, animated films have been produced with an adult audience in mind. After all, it makes sense when you consider that youngsters are usually accompanied by a parent or two. The Lorax is unusual in that it feels as if it were made for a young audience alone. The colours are brighter than brighter, with a number of cuddly characters who burst into the occasional child-friendly ditty.

For adults however, it's all a bit of a disappointment. The characters are completely devoid of any personality, the songs are irritating and instantly forgettable and the story itself is far too preachy.

It's commendable, to a certain extent, that a film should have a positive message to deliver to youngsters; trees are pretty important after all. But when it's the one and only thing the film has to say, it does feel like an extended party political message on behalf of the Green party. It's also funny how the films credits fail to mention the huge power consumption of all the super-computers necessary to produce this film; if they were that environmentally concerned, shouldn't they have just made the film the old fashioned way and drawn it?

It's clear that The Lorax means well, but so do Jehovah Witnesses, but it doesn't mean you want to spend an hour and a half in their company.

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    • Robwrite profile image

      Rob 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      Well, I liked this film more than you did (See my own review) and I think the message is important enough to be overdone. As an adult, I thought it had enough clever puns to keep the older crowd entertained.

      It had some faults, true, but overall, I enjoyed it.

      Nice review, though.