Illumination Entertainment, Universal Pictures,
Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Betty White, Ed Helms, Danny DeVito, Rob Riggle
Ted (Zac Efron) sees the girl of his dreams, red haired Audrey (Taylor Swift) who is a fan of trees. But in the town of ThneedVille, there are no plants, no flowers, no vegetables, and none of the beautiful Truffula Trees. So Audrey has painted some one her house. Infatuated with Audrey, Ted sets out to find a tree for her. He is told to visit the once-ler who lives in a tower outside town. The Once-ler tells his story about how all the trees were lost and a magical creature called The Lorax who speaks for the trees.
This digitally animated film is based on The Lorax, a book by Dr. Seuss. Naturally a lot of filler material had to be added to a small children’s book, to make it a full length film. There are 4 musical numbers which help to fill it in, and an added back story about a greedy little guy, Mr. O’Hare who took advantage of the Once-ler’s mistake to build the artificial city so that he could sell fresh air. But mostly the movie is very faithful to the book.
The Lorax is a somewhat darker story than most Dr. Seuss stories. But it’s a good thoughtful tale of waste and greed and conservation. I often wondered how far to the left the dear Doctor was, but I think he wasn’t a radical tree hugger. I think he was a reasonable thoughtful man who truly wanted to tell good stories with good values. And certainly they are entertaining. So I don’t think this is a “think green” piece. I think kids will love this story for the colors and the characters. The music is pretty good. For the older folks, the character of Grammy Norma (Betty White) is really funny. She has some of the best lines in the film. The world of Dr. Seuss is brought to the screen in beautiful 3-D.
I really enjoyed this film. It’s fun, and interesting. It’s clever and smart. It’s good for the whole family. There are a lot of critics of this film, mostly by those who haven’t seen it yet. Like many things, people jump on the bandwagon to hate it before they see it. But after seeing it (I went in thinking it was going to be a disaster) I found myself won over. It was a whole lot better than I expected, and I hope people will give it a chance.
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