>> Dr. Seuss' The Lorax (2012)

Title: Dr. Seuss' The Lorax

Genre: Animation, Family

Starring: Rob Riggle, Ed Helms, Taylor Swift, Zac Efron, Danny DeVito, Betty White

Director: Chris Renaud

Studio: Universal Pictures

Runtime: 86 minutes

In Theatres: March 2, 2012

MPAA Rating: PG

Rating: 3.00 (out of 4.00)

Grade: B

Official Site

Dr. Seuss is the imagination mastermind behind numerous magical characters such as the Cat in the Hat, the Grinch, and Horton, all of which have been love of children for decades. When it comes to the environment, though, none of his characters speaker louder than the mighty Lorax, after all, he speaks for the trees themselves. Following in the same footsteps as Horton Hears a Who!, colorful world of The Lorax is brought to life by the same animators behind Despicable Me.

Surrounded by walls, the city of Thneedville  thrives on its artificial environment. The trees are all made of glass and plastic and even the grass itself is fake. At the center of the city is Mayor O’Hare (Rob Riggle), a suave business mogul who has made a fortune selling air to citizens. With no trees around to freely produce fresh air, it’s a very lucrative business. Local resident Ted (Zac Efron) isn’t too concerned about all these politics, etc. What he cares about more is winning the affection of his lovely neighbor Audrey (Taylor Swift). When he finds out that should would like nothing more in the world than to see a real life tree, Ted sets out on an adventure to find one, which sets in motion a dramatic change for Thneedville.

The Lorax is broken up between two stories. For those familiar with the book, there’s the original story of how the Once-ler (Ed Helms) started his Thneed business and destroyed all the trees, essentially creating the deserted wilderness surrounding Thneedville. This is the story that involves the Lorax (Danny DeVito) and what many of the trailers showcase. The Once-ler is telling his story to Ted, who believes that that Once-ler can help him find a tree so that he can impress Audrey. That’s the second and more original story that deviates from the book. The film goes back and forth between the two, although the one featuring the Lorax is more enjoyable.

Just like in his children’s books, The Lorax features many cute and cuddly creatures that audiences can’t help but love. The Lorax himself is fun but it’s the bears that make the biggest impression. Illumination Entertainment brings the same charm that the minions from Despicable Me had to the forest creatures. Even though they don’t speak, their mannerisms and adorable faces will leave a lasting impression.

Visually, the film looks fantastic. The bright colors, the wispy strands of the Truffula trees, and even the singing fish all look like they were taken directly from the book. No doubt this is the film Dr. Seuss himself would have liked to see. That being said, it can be a bit preachy.

The story lends itself well to the fact about globalization and how industrialization is destroying the world. It’s pretty much a given.  At times, it feels like this ideology is being forced fed to audiences. It’s not the worst thing ever, but coming from a children’s film, it’s a bit distracting. That being said, The Lorax is still quite enjoyable.

Dr. Seuss had this magical way of telling a story and The Lorax brings that story to life. The CGI is wonderful and the classic characters are memorable. If you’re looking for an afternoon out with the kids, you can’t go wrong with this animation.

Follow me on Twitter @Majiesto


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