Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
The Lorax Review
There are two things guaranteed to lure me into seeing a movie; the first is humor, preferably of the snarky and sarcastic variety---and secondly, animation. I feel quite certain that movies like “Despicable Me” and “Megamind” were, in fact, written more for people like myself than any child that might see them. So I was completely in my element this weekend when I checked out a showing of “The Lorax”---which is coincidentally directed by the same clever people who came up with “Despicable Me”, one of my all time favorites.
THE GOOD: I know this will probably take a lot of you by surprise, especially since I am the mother of three and am practically as old as Dr. Suess himself---but I have never read the story of the Lorax before. I had no idea the man was such an environmentalist----I just knew he had quite a penchant for creating funny looking creatures with weird names, and could rhyme like nobody’s business. It turns out he was also a little concerned about what would happen to civilization without trees---and this is pretty much the entire plotline of the movie, but with enough humor and fun characters to keep it from being preachy. Ted (voiced by Zac Efron), is a 12 year old boy living in a post-tree world and has a larger than life crush on Audrey (Taylor Swift). It’s this puppy love that inspires him to go in search of the Once-ler (Ed Helms) who can tell him the story of how the world became treeless and, hopefully, help him get his hands on a real tree as a gift for Audrey. With the help of Ted’s grandmother Norma (the loveable Betty White), he looks for a way to make the world right again, even as people try to convince him that there’s nothing wrong with how it is.
THE BAD: Because the environmental message isn’t portrayed in an overly dramatic and frightening way (Can you say “Happy Feet”?), I didn’t find myself feeling beat over the head by an agenda, but be aware that there clearly is a message in this movie. If you don’t like your animated films to have any sort of moral whatsoever, this one might get under your skin. The only real downside I could find in all of it was the fact that the Lorax himself didn’t have as much screentime as I had hoped or expected, and that seems a shame, since his biting sarcasm and slight antisocial demeanor were delightful.
THE UGLY: As proficient as I am at pointing out things in movies that are offensive, pointless, or otherwise unacceptable, I would be hard pressed to come up with much of anything in this film that made me cringe. A lot of the humor IS geared towards adults, but not in the classic “innuendo” sense that we frequently see in today’s animation features—it’s just written with a more mature audience in mind, without alienating smaller maturity levels. If I HAD to point to anything that came close to striking an ugly note, it would have to be the haircut of the Mayor of Thneedsville, Mr. O’Hare (voiced by Rob Riggle). No man, not even an animated one, should ever, ever sport a pageboy haircut. Ever.
As a side note, I am generally not a fan of paying the extra money for 3D movies, and of course “The Lorax” is playing in 3D and non 3D versions as well. Usually I find that the 3D version is rarely worth the extra expense because the technology is utilized so sparsely throughout the film. However, I can report that this is one move I WOULD recommend seeing in all its 3D glory. From the previews before it even starts, to the very closing scene, those horrible glasses are worth every cent.
The Trophy Wife gives this movie 4 trophies.
The Lorax has a running time of 1 hour and 34 minutes and is rated PG for brief mild language.