Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Lorax

Year: 2012
Directors: Chris Renaud & Kyle Balda
Voice cast: Danny Devito, Zac Efron, Ed Helms, Taylor Swift, Betty White, Rob Riggle

Plot: In the town of Thneedville, everything is made of plastic, metal or a synthetic substance, without a tree or plant in sight. A boy named Ted Wiggins is in love with a girl named Audrey, who wishes to see a real tree. So in order to impress her, he goes in search of a real tree and meets the Once-ler, who tells him the story of The Lorax, the guardian of nature and how Thneedville was born.

Review: I am totally unfamiliar with Dr Seuss' tale which promotes saving the environment, but thankfully The Lorax is a lot of fun to sit through. The makers did a great job with the colors in every scene. Thneedville looks like a modern city, always bright and sunny. The forest is full of trees where the tops look like cotton candy of various colors, while the barren land after it has been cleared of all plant life is dark and ominous. As far as pleasing the eye goes, The Lorax scores high points.

The Lorax character himself is an interesting one. Despite him being a guardian from the heavens, judging by how he arrives on the scene, he isn't an omnipotent entity, but more like a little dwarf that bugs you in a humorous way, and at the same time is respected by the forest animals. I believe this makes him very easy for the audience and the fans of the book to accept, as he turns out to be very likable. Kudos to Dr Seuss for that, and also to Danny Devito for voicing him well. Betty White deserves some credit too as Ted's charismatic grandma.

One of my gripes though, is having one song and dance number too many. I think they had at least four in the film, some were cute and fun to listen to, but when the Once-ler starts singing about how bad he can possibly be, it was a bit too much for me. But directors Chris Renaud & Kyle Balda make up for it by making the film funny and the characters fun. Even the forest animals who don't talk make for some very good comedy.

In the end, The Lorax manages to entertain without beating the pro-environmental message on the audience too much. You might want to help save a tree or two after seeing this. (3.5/5)

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