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Movie Review: "The Lorax"

"The Lorax" (Universal Pictures)

"The Lorax", or ìDr. Seussí The Loraxî as it is sometimes called, is an animated film based on one of the most beloved Dr. Seuss books. The movie adaptation is filled with colorful characters and lively animation. It also has some striking voices provided by Betty White and Danny DeVito. But while whatís good about it is good, the overall preachy message of saving the trees from ruthless big business gets a little tiring.

The story starts with a young teenager named Ted (voiced by Zac Efron) wanting to impress the girl of his dreams, a beauty named Audrey (Taylor Swift). Audrey has a thing for real trees but they no longer exist in the town of Thneedville. Only plastic trees are there.

Ted learns from his Grammy Norma (Betty White) that there is a man who lives outside the city walls named Once-ler. This man, she says, knows all about real trees. Ted gets on his motorcycle and goes in search of this man.

When Ted finds the Once-ler (Ed Helms) he learns all about how trees were once abundant in the land and what happened to them. This tale involves the Lorax (Danny DeVito), a creature who is the self-proclaimed protector of the trees.

The message of the movie is that big business greed will lead to the destruction of trees and the vanishing of wild life. All business is bad and all who fight to save all the trees are good. There is a valid message in this but the all encompassing attitude dilutes it.

While White and DeVito are the ìstarsî of the voice providers, the creation of the characters is a little one note. Ted and the young Once-ler look similar, and the Once-lerís mother bears a striking similarity to Carol Burnettís Eunice on ìMamaís Family.î

The movie has three or four songs which are immediately forgettable, and the humor in the movie is negligible. It seems the makers of the movie used Dr. Seussí book as a starting point and then dumped out all that was clever and fun.

The movie is rated PG for rude humor.

As lacking as I found this movie to be, the kids around me were having a great time. They laughed at every corny joke and aahed over all the wonder of the Lorax. This stretched upward my opinion of the movie. Maybe they were able to see something in the movie I could not see.

I scored "The Lorax" a Seussed 6 out of 10.

Photo Courtesy of Universal Pictures

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