Movie Reviews

The Lorax: It's hard tryin' to be green

By Wang DexianMovies - 07 March 2012 10:43 AM | Updated 15 March 2012

The Lorax: It's hard tryin' to be green

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

The Stars: Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Betty White, Rob Riggle

The Buzz:The Lorax” is the first film based on a Dr. Seuss book to be released in 3D. It was released in the US on the 2nd of March, which would have been Dr. Seuss' 108th birthday.

The Story: In “Thneed-Ville”, a completely artificial and enclosed city devoid of trees is a 12- year old boy named Ted. The girl of his dreams, Audrey, has only one wish: To see a real tree. Through his grandmother, Ted heads off on a journey that will lead him to discover how the Truffula trees and forest were lost through the man responsible for the extinction of the trees, the Once-ler. thinks:The Lorax” is a very entertaining film for both adults and children alike, with its bright eye popping visuals, and cute song and dance routines. The 3D in particular, is quite the highlight. When combined with the film's colourful visual palette, the lush animation just pops out, making for a very satisfying experience.

The film's characters are very likable, with the voice actors all playing their parts quite well, with Betty White's gung-ho grandma a particular stand out. Ed Helm's portrayal of the Once-ler is full of conflict, one of a man torn between his ambition and his promise to “The Lorax”, guardian of the trees; while Rob Riggle's vocal performance as O' Hare, a proprietor of bottled air who would do anything not to see the return of the trees and their free supply of fresh air, is full of pomp and hilarious swagger.

The film is fun and quite funny for the most part, but one cannot help but feel the film has been diluted into such juvenile joy at times, with the many nuances of Dr. Seuss' writing lost in this translation to screen. The whimsical and almost melodious text often employed by Seuss is almost totally removed and replaced by kid-friendly speak full of pop culture references, one reminiscent of Dreamworks Animation's early style.

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We're not kidding, even the “Mission: Impossible” theme song makes an appearance in “The Lorax”. The message of the film, while well-intended and also containing quite a few touching moments, is very bluntly delivered and most audience members will be able to see it coming from a mile away. It's not to say it's a huge detraction from the enjoyment of the film, after all, it IS a kid's movie. But the movie did have us wishing that the messages of saving the environment and anti-corporatism were delivered in a much subtler and fulfilling way like Pixar's “WALL-E”.

All in all, “The Lorax” is a fun and easily digestible movie for all sorts of movie goers. The likable voice actors certainly help in the enjoyment of it, as does the cuteness of the Lorax character itself. The vibrant animation with its spectrum of candy coated colours and feel good message is all fine and dandy, but one would wonder if the picture could have been tighter as a whole, as the narrative really lags in the middle. Catch it if you're in the mood for a visual explosion and if you don't mind a fluffy story.