Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Lorax

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Lorax - 3 out of 5
Who doesn't love Dr. Seuss?  People who hate fun and being happy do!

He's been standing like that, waiting for E.T., for
decades.
When I was young, my older sister showed me the televised animated special of the Dr. Seuss book The Lorax and I immediately loved it.  Sure, I didn't understand the environmental message and the anti-industrialization undertones it was giving off but it had bright colors and as a stupid kid, that's all that mattered.  As a stupid adult, I learned of the controversy the book caused and how angry the logging industry became with Seuss and I began to appreciate the film's message more.  That's right, I'm one of those people who actually wants to protect the planet.

Voted Greatest Mustache in all of Dr. Seuss' literature.


Subtle, Illumination Entertainment...subtle.
Produced by Illumination Entertainment (creators of Despicable Me) The Lorax is meant to expand on the story of Ted, the young boy who visited the Once-ler to learn of the fate of the truffula trees--in the televised adaptation and in the book, this character went unnamed.  The story goes that Ted (Zac Efron) is in love with Audrey (Taylor Swift) who, in turn, is in love with the concept of trees--something no longer in existence in the artificial world of Thneedville.  Desperate for the love of this young woman, Ted is hell bent on finding a tree--how easy it would be to win the heart of a woman with just a tree. In this society, you need a big bank account, six pack abs and a nine inch--MOVING ON!!!

I don't know if she's that tree worthy...
 

Ted is told of the Once-ler (Ed Helms) by his Grammy Norma (Betty White), the man who knows the story of the trees.  He travels out of the city and meets the Once-ler who tells of the travesty and the greed that destroyed the truffulas and the little creature who warned him about his actions; The Lorax (Danny DeVito).  Ted's actions is seen as an open act of rebellion against the faux-world of Thneedville and the evil entrepreneur Mr. O'Hare (Rob Riggle) and he's out to stop Ted from bringing trees back to the world.

Nice to see Ms. Swan getting some work.


Hmmm, reminds me of a neighbor I once had.
Overall, The Lorax is a decent movie with great animation and humor but the book's moral is lost within this adaptation.  Greed took away the truffula trees like in the book but equally selfish reasons are the motive to bring them back.  Ted, although coming to kinda appreciate nature in the end, is only interested in getting a tree so he so he can plant that seed in Audrey's flowerpot.  The love of nature and the heartache over its destruction is replaced with the desire to get laid.  Sure that's a major motivating factor for all men--hell, the idea that there is a chance a woman will want to get naked with me (even though the odds are astronomical) is the only thing that gets me up in the morning but for this to be the sole motivation within a Dr. Seuss adaptation not only destroys the man's legacy with this story but is just downright insulting.

It's raining marshmallows, halleluiah!
Also, it's cleaner than that horrific mess after it rained men.


Sure the voice acting was great from DeVito, White, Helms and Riggle (Efron and Swift is passable and, in reality, could have been done by just about anyone--and probably cheaper too) but with the spirit of the book being compromised, it's hard to enjoy this movie as anything other than an animated kid's film that adults can sit in with without feeling the need to yell at the TV...like I do when I watch Dora the Explorer.  The bridge is right over there!  Why can't you see it?!?

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