Movie Review: Dr. Seuss' The Lorax (***)

Movie Review: Dr. Seuss' The Lorax (***)


Genre: Animated Family Comedy

Premise: In an effort to win over the girl over his dreams, a boy (Zac Efron) seeks out a mysterious guy named The Once-Ler (Ed Helms), who tells him a story about tree conservation and a grumpy creature called The Lorax (Danny DeVito).

Behind-the-Scenes: This is the fourth feature adaptation of a Dr. Seuss book, after How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Cat in the Hat, and Horton Hears a Who.  From Illumination Entertainment, the same company behind Despicable Me.

The Good: The animation is bright and colorful.  The tone is light and cheerful.  To its credit, the movie clearly aims to please everyone, and for the most part does.  I may not recall the book as well as others, but the story here seems less padded with unnecessary filler than other Dr. Seuss adaptations.  Or at least it incorporates additional material more organically in an effort to fill out a feature-length run time. The voice work by Helms and DeVito is spot-on.   The environmental message is a good one for kids to hear.  The 3D is surprisingly good.  The marshmallow-loving bears are super cute.

The Bad:  The music (there are a couple songs) is forgettable, and inconsistently used.  Is this a musical or not?  The movie can't seem to make up its mind.  As noble as that environmental message may be, it's delivered in a ham-fisted, obvious manner.  The comic relief in the form of a wacky granny (voiced by - who else? - Betty White) is a tired gimmick.  Plagued by nagging thoughts that maybe this should have just stayed a book.

Should You See It?:  If you're going with kids, sure.  It's a lightweight, pleasant enough diversion.

Rating: *** out of 5 stars.


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  • My boy and I loved it! The message sparked an important conversation about the environment and fresh air with my son.

  • I found the twin characters of Chet/Brett to be pretty offensive. Maniacal dingbats. In 2012, hasn't Hollywood moved past Tweedledee and Tweedledum? Why are twins always freaks in movies that dress the same and finish each other's sentences? I think it's about time that twins get hyper-sensitive like all the other interest groups, and start pressuring Hollywood to stop the unfavorable characterizations. Even the mentally challenged (p/k/a retards) stuck up for themselves. Why not twins?

  • In reply to jeffcle:

    I smell a future blog post in this. The unfair portrayal of twins in the media.

    To be fair to the media, however, most of the twins I know are pretty much Tweedles Dee and Dum. Or serial killers.

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