Film Review: "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax": Fuzzy and fun
Published: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 4:44pm
Released: 2 March 2012
Directed by: Chris Renaud, Kyle Balda
Run Time: 86 min
The Lorax is a movie that will either make you smile or cringe. It is full of adorable teddy bears, bright colors, and musical numbers. This movie will please those who want to see a laid back, cheerful movie. If you are looking for adventure and suspense, look elsewhere.
In Thneedville ignorance is bliss. The citizens of the city know nothing about nature or the impact that their actions have on their environment. The entire town consists of man-made materials like plastics and metals. There is not a patch of real grass anywhere in the city and there are no real trees. Thneedville residents buy special O'Hare Air, clean air for their homes, so that they can survive the horribly polluted air outside of Thneedville.
Ted is a young boy in Thneedville who is hopelessly in love with a girl named Audrey. He will do anything to win her love... even if this means finding a real tree. To accomplish this seemingly impossible task, Ted goes to see the Once-ler, an old man who knows why all of the trees disappeared. The Once-ler promises to tell Ted the mystery if Ted promises to return.
Soon Ted is dodging O'Hare Air agents after they find out that he wants to bring a tree into the city. Mr. O'Hare is only concerned with keeping his monopoly on clean air, and bringing in trees is only a threat to this power. The Lorax follows Ted as he attempts to find a real tree and also tells the story of the Once-ler and the transformation of a beautiful forest into a polluted Thneedville.
The style of animation emphasized the adorable look of the characters and also helped give the movie a "Dr. Seuss" feel. The trees, the animals, and the Lorax looked similar to the way they are drawn in the Dr. Seuss books. One memorable thing about the animation was the film's use of color. There were many bright colors, most of them pinks, oranges and greens. These bright colors helped emphasize the difference between a beautifully clean forest and a polluted city.
The message of this movie was very clear -- be aware of the environment and take care of it, otherwise soon it could be gone. Even though this moral drove the plot of the story, it wasn't pounded into the audience's heads and shoved right in their faces. Instead, by using determined but relatable characters combined with an interesting story line, the movie inspired viewers to make a difference.
The dialog of this movie was funny at times, and the narration was done in rhyme like the Dr. Seuss books. Some lines were even exact quotes from the books. I also thought that the way the movie began was interesting. At the beginning of the movie the Lorax steps up and announces to the audience (in rhyme of course) that he speaks for the trees and gives the premise of the movie. I haven't seen this approach at a beginning in recent movies and I was pleasantly surprised by its use.
I enjoyed this movie, but it is not one of those movies that I would want to revisit. There is little action in this movie and there aren't any surprise endings or twists that would make it stand out from any other children's movie. The story line was more or less predictable from the very beginning and I think that this made the movie less memorable than it could have been.
One thing I did not like about this movie was the fact that I felt as if the flow of the movie was continually interrupted by completely random, slightly confusing scenes. There are about three or four musical numbers in the movie, complete with dancing that happen in the weirdest places. Another slightly confusing instance was when the Lorax suddenly, out of nowhere, lifts up his tail and dramatically floats into heaven leaving a trail of gold sparkles. Marshmallow showers and disco trees complete the picture. Maybe the directors were trying to incorporate some Dr. Suess weirdness but I think that some scenes were just unnecessary to the story.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It has something to please everyone -- unless you are a Grinch, then this movie will be a complete bore -- and I would recommend going to see it. I would highly encourage any Dr. Seuss fan to go, even though The Lorax may only be loosely based on the book I think it is the best Dr. Seuss film yet. It even beats "Horton Hears a Who." The Lorax has cute teddy bears, cheery musical numbers, a good plot, and wonderful animation, what more could you ask for from a children's movie?