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Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax


There is a delicate balance between making a children’s film appealing to adults and kids alike and making a children’s film too appealing for adults and confusing kids into disinterest. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax toys with this balance ranging from extremely childish charades to adult themes in a colorful, wild tale about environmental preservation.

Grade:

In Thneedville, society has become so consumer driven that anything and everything is commercialized and sold to the public, including trees and air. Precocious Ted (Zac Efron) learns that the love (crush) of his young life, Audrey (Taylor Swift), wants nothing more than a living, breathing tree. So he sets out to find the Once-ler (Ed Helms) to learn how to find a tree, only to discover why the trees met their untimely demise against the demands of the mystical Lorax (Danny DeVito).

Visually, Lorax is stunning with vibrant colors, intricate details and typical Seuss styles of architecture and characters. At times, most especially the dance/song numbers, you forget you are viewing an animated film due to the amazing production of the dancers and realistic choreography and movements of the characters. That being said, these songs are the moments where kids will most likely be lost and simply watch the splendor. The lyrics of each song serve as not-so-subliminal political messages for the adults to understand and chuckle at. Fortunately the songs are few and far between allowing children to understand the story better through Ted’s comments and the Once-ler’s story.

The Lorax has a much smaller part in the story than I had expected and takes a backseat to the Once-ler (note: Helms does a great job bringing his joyous personality to the screen) and Ted, or even Mr. O’Hare (Rob Riggle), the air tycoon trying to keep his fresh air monopoly in place of free tree oxygen. The forest creatures give the comic relief for the kids to enjoy while the environmental destruction is happening in the background.

Apart from the awesome visuals and important themes, there is nothing particularly spectacular about Lorax. It succeeds in keeping you entertained and helping you get lost in another Seuss world, but the story keeps bringing you back to the dim and cynical reality that is our rapidly dying environment. A great message, no doubt, but trying to teach Lorax’s target audience about such a complex issue is a fairly optimistic task. Lorax is by no means disappointing, but it is not exceptionally impressive either.

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    • sheila
    • April 24th, 2012

    As much as I love Zac Efron, I am not a fan of this movie. The lyrics had me cringing and they relied too much on that chubby bear for the “aw cute” factor

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