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“Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” – Review (POSITIVE)

March 16, 2012

Dr. Seuss adaptations seem to only be somewhat good when they’re animated (“Horton Hears A Who”); “The Cat in the Hat” is the most hated film amongst millions, and “The Grinch” is a split. With the fourth Seuss adaptation, second animated, “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” has all the qualities of a great-animated feature: a heartfelt theme, an A-list cast, and 3D to back it up. And in some ways the movie does succeed in certain areas, but the main issue is its story/theme.

Dr. Seuss’ classic tale focuses on a forest creature who shares the enduring power of hope about saving mother natures greatest gift, trees. The film is loopy adventure following the journey of a 12-year-old boy named, Ted (Zac Efron), as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams, Audrey (Taylor Swift), a tree. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax (Danny DeVito), the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world, after his run-in with the Once-ler (Ed Helms), who arrived to the happy tree filled valley to cut down trees to make a profit with his ‘Thneed’.

If you’re one of those heavy duty Christians who doesn’t believe in global warming, and everything that follows it, then you’ll find yourself walking out of this picture twenty minutes into the film; the theme of save the trees & our environment is THAT blunt about it. And the one thing I couldn’t stress enough is for this movie to be a little subtler. I’ve never read “The Lorax”, and I come from a childhood where Dr. Seuss was the children’s author to read. I had almost everything he ever wrote, expect for some strange reason “The Lorax” was skipped. So, there weren’t many high expectations for me, like I had with “Grinch”, “Cat”, or “Horton”. The film is under the control of Universal Studios, who is probably the most green-efficient entertainment company on the planet! So, it doesn’t surprise me one bit that they snatched the rights to this project.

With my issue about the theme being addressed let me say this, I loved the casting for this movie, every single voice worked for me, especially Danny DeVito as the title character and Rob Riggle as the evil O’Hare, who profits air for his own personal gain, again EXTREMELY BLUNT. These voices were so fitting, and felt so right that it took away that thought that usually rambles in my head, ‘Oh these are just actors phoning it in to do an animated movie’, no it really works. I’m not the biggest Zac Efron fan, but he makes a great voice actor as a young, love-stuck kid, and Taylor Swift as his love, Audrey works too. One of my favorite side characters is Ted’s family, grandma voiced by the hilarious Beatty White, and the wildly clever improvstress, Miss. Jenny Slate.

I enjoyed the movie; I had fun with it, for what it was it’s a wildly fun family comedy. I especially liked the nod to Dr. Seuss as the names of the protagonists are Ted & Audrey. Theodore being Seuss’ real name, and Audrey being his second wife. May I also add that I think the songs in this movie were enjoyable, especially having Ed Helms utilize his talented pipes for most of them?

MOVIE GRADE: B

3D GRADE: B+

OVERALL GRADE: B

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