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Dr. Seuss' The Lorax

A CGI animated movie directed by Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda

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  • Jun 15, 2012
So this is going to be a long one, for reasons that I have to be somewhat firm with.  The Lorax is an annoying movie that, for the most part, is bad for the reason every other Dr. Suess adaptation in Hollywood is pretty bad.  Because it IS being adapted from a pretty short children's book there's usually not much that they can do with it.  It's a straightforward story that can't really amount to anything more than a half hour movie.  So one has to really change things around and pad out the length in order to actually get it to a theatrical release.  And that part is actually okay.  The problem, as I'm fond of telling people, is the execution of all this.  The stuff they added for the sake of making it a film is something they either do nothing with... or they handle terribly.  On the other hand... the flaws actually stick out more if you haven't actually read the book because you have the luxury of going into it without thinking about the book and you can more easily focus on it as a film.

But first, a little thing about adapting.  The film medium is not like a book or a video game or a stage play or a graphic novel.  It is a medium that, more than any other, is restricted in ways that most other mediums simply aren't and requires a lot more finesse to do what it does.  Time, for instance, is a major thing.  Movies simply aren't allowed to be that long.  Even if you make a movie that is only two and a half hours long people are going to think you're pushing the boundaries of length.  And within that time you've got to be able to flesh out characters, provide stakes, a story and, if you can swing it, a message or a theme.  Books have a near unrestricted length for that (especially if you're a huge bestselling author like Tom Clancey or Stephen King who, at times, write books a little too long).  Movies do not. 

SHORT stories, on the other hand, don't quite need to go that deep.  Unfortunately when adapting a short story to film you have to add more to actually get it to theatrical length.  And where as short stories don't always have a huge focus on character... most films have to actually do something to make their characters charming, likeable or at least try to give them personality.  When adapting a short story to film you HAVE to expand.  There's no real choice in the matter.  So when people are getting upset about The Lorax not being like the book... I don't really think there's reason to do so because the book doesn't exactly provide enough content for a full length feature film as it is.  The additions are necessary for the film medium itself. 

Because of how the mediums function the changes when adapting a book, graphic novel, etc. are going to be big.  Some additions are going to alter a lot of things.  It is why I always urge people to separate the two in their mind.  And sometimes, even when the adaptation is really different from the book it can still actually be surprisingly good (Kubrick's version of The Shining) and sometimes when an adaptation follows the source material really well the movie is still somewhat underwhelming (Stephen King's tv movie version of The Shining is absolutely awful... and this is strange considering that book is absolutely amazing).  So as a general rule, I'm not one to care much if a movie gets it "right."  That does not say anything about how it fares as a film in and of itself.  Remember, an adaptation is, in the end, someone interpretation of someone else's work..

That being said, this is partially why The Lorax is annoying.  It's understandably different from the book, but mostly because a lot of things are expanded or added to the film.  Which is fine.  But they don't do much with it and other times it's a wonder how it even works for the film in and of itself.  The book was too short for it to be too character heavy or centric.  But the movie can't exactly slide by like that.  And that's the first problem.  The film pretty much lacks all character even though it has a lot of time to try and build its characters or make them likeable.  None of the characters really become much more to the audience than a name, really.  It's the first major strike against the film.  Including the Lorax himself.  And I'm actually not surprised.  The people behind this movie were the same people behind the obnoxious Horton Hears a Who (which was also a really godawful movie).  And like Horton Hears a Who there's a lot of things presented to us here that are too over-the-top and crazy.  So much so that the actual message of whatever the film wants to impart to the audience is completely and totally lost.  Because of how much it has to pad there's a lot of stuff here that isn't really essential to telling the story... or even showing us more of the world it takes place in.  It's mostly just zaniness for the sake of being zany.

Likewise, we can't even root for the characters within the movie because none of them were ever made to be that particularly likeable.  They've got a lot of celebrity voices but I'm not exactly sure hearing Zac Efron or Taylor Swift's voice is really "character," so much as it is these guys phoning it in.  Taylor Swift is a good singer but like Efron, can't exactly get me to care about the characters here.  And this is primarily because there isn't much at stake FOR the characters.  We'll get to that.

The story is pretty simple in and of itself:  Ted, voiced by Efron, has a crush on Audrey, voiced by Taylor Swift.  He discovers that what Audrey really wants is to see a tree.  A real live tree.  And she makes it clear that if someone showed her a tree she'd practically marry them.  But... why?  Just because they're cool.  That's why.  No, that's it.  Because they're cool.  So Ted is told by his grandmother (voiced by Betty White) that the only one who knows about the trees is the Once Ler.

Ted goes to the Once Ler.  Voiced by Ed Helms.  And in flashbacks we hear the story of how the Once Ler set off at the behest of his family to make something of himself.  He finds a bunch of Truffula trees along the way and thinks he could use them to create something great.  He cuts down the first tree and uses the tuffs to make a Thneed.  It can be pretty much anything you want it to be.  A hat, a glove... whatever, The Lorax appears after he cuts down the first tree and tells him this is wrong.  The Once Ler then decides to mutually respect The Lorax and that he won't cut down the trees anymore and that he'll use the tuffs of the Truffula trees without resorting to that.

At first he keeps his promise to The Lorax and doesn't cut down a tree to make it.  This is screwed up when his family finally shows up and because they're lazy decide the best course of action is to cut down the trees and because the Once Ler so badly wants to impress his family, he let's it happen.  But the problem with this is that the Once Ler's change is handled through a song in which he sings that he's not a bad guy.  Instead of having the Once Ler and Lorax exchange ideas this is what the audience gets instead.  I understand why it's done in this manner.  For little kids this sort of thing would be boring, but there had to be a better way to handle the change to the character.  He has time to think about it and realizes the Lorax is right after the last tree comes down.  It's unknown how many years have passed since then, but him telling the story to Ted is what pretty much raises our spirits in him as a sympathetic character.  But he's not much of a compelling character.

Speaking of which, The Lorax isn't all that compelling either.  When he first meets the Once Ler and sees that the man has chopped down a tree his first instinct is to get rid of him by floating his bed down a river.  A decision he only regrets because one of the animals just happens to be on his bed when they place it in the water.  It's not necessarily a bad moment but considering the "wide-eyed youth," approach of The Once Ler sort of makes you think The Lorax is more of a jerk rather than someone who speaks for the trees.

And speaking of all those animals... they're more or less the minions from Despicable Me.  Surprise, right?  Well, not really.  The guys who put this movie together did that movie.  And while the minions are great in Despicable Me, here the idea of the animals is strange.  They exist so that we know there are animals here.  But they don't actually do anything except mimic the minions.  What are we supposed to grasp from the animals?  The only point of their existence is to show there were animals in this forest, but we never see them really "live in their natural habitat."  They just seem to stay infatuated with the Once Ler.  It's not useless by any means, it's just that we don't get the sense that this is a place they call home or that it means a lot to them.  Ever.  The movie has them so hell bent on mimicking the minions that it forgets they're supposed to actual express something to the audience.

But the Once Ler's story is not the worst part about the movie.  By far, it's the best.  The worst part is actually the story outside of the Once Ler's.  The story concerning... everything added to the movie.  First there's Thneedville.  After Once Ler's empire basically collapsed the residents trapped themselves in this dystopian world of Thneedville.  Everything is warm and sunny in this place compared to the much polluted and strangely barren world outside of it.  It's where Ted lives and he only ventures outside to see the Once Ler and hear his story.  The place is run by a guy named Mr. O' Hare.  A man who has made his fortune off of selling air to the residents of Thneedville because the air outside of Thneedville is too polluted.  Mr. O' Hare is the bad guy in this movie, mostly because the movie tells us he's the bad guy.  He watches the town and sees Ted running off every now and then outside of town.  This only raises suspicions to Mr. O' Hare because Ted is interested in trees and Mr. O' Hare wants to know why he's interested in trees. 

Ted goes to see the Once Ler and hears his story in three parts.  Beginning, middle and end.  When the Once Ler is finally done telling his story he bestows the last Trufulla Tree Seed to Ted.  When Mr. O' Hare finds out he decides to give chase.  Again, one of the things that was annoying about Horton Hears a Who is that far too much was made out of something so small.  That's the point of that movie, of course (A person is a person no matter how small), but Horton Hears a Who suffered from the over-the-top nature of its climax.  Specifically why it's important to the villains to boil a speck and make a huge spectacle of it.

The Lorax, again, suffers from a similar problem.  O' Hare wants the seed, but there's nothing that's particularly at stake for the characters or Thneedville should he get it.  And what's going to happen to our main character if Ted doesn't plant that seed in the town square?  Nothing, really.  In the final chase, there just isn't much reason for us in the audience to really root for this guy.  Again, mostly because Ted's only out to do it to impress this chick we know nothing about... who thinks trees are really cool.  She's not in any danger, we couldn't care less if she were along for the ride... and there's no actual danger to Ted, her or any of the other characters if he fails.

There are two problems I have with how all this is presented.  The first is that Ted does NOT care a lick about the environment himself, and the movie never shows us that he somehow has begun to.  He only goes out to find the Once Ler and find a tree because the girl he's got a crush on thinks trees are really cool.  And he only wants to plant it in the town square because he knows it'll impress her.  This is actually not what's so bad about it, really.  What's bad about it is that this particular story arc of boy has a crush on girl never really goes anywhere.  It's a framing device.  It's set up as a means to get him to go see the Once Ler.  At no point does the movie seem to think it's important for these two characters to even have much of a relationship with one another as friends.  It never shows us any chemistry between them or that they actually mean a lot to each other AS friends.  The movie tells us this, but it never actually shows us.  Audrey in particular is the worst of nearly every character in the film.  The ONLY thing we ever learn about her is that she thinks trees are awesome.  They never do anything to make her anymore than that.

The movie plays the, "Yeah, trees are cool!" thing a little too hard.  If you're going to make a kids movie, you shouldn't talk DOWN to them.  You want to simplify it but you don't want to talk down.  But The Lorax also talks down to the adults in the audience.  Most of the denizens of Thneedville are portrayed as unreasonably stupid.  You mean to tell me in their "perfect world of Thneedville" none of them knew what trees were or what they did?  Not a single person?  No one seemed to realize that trees were actually GOOD?  There have to be some denizens that were around BEFORE Thneedville was established (besides Ted's grandma)... because Mr. O' Hare is around before Thneedville is established.  I wish I was making this up, but the last bit of the movie pretty much has Ted and his girl crush preaching to everyone in town about how good and cool trees are... because these people LITERALLY don't know.  And it's actually quite annoying.  Again, I understand it's a kids movie, but when you're talking down to even the adults in the audience with your message... something is wrong.  We all went to elementary school, we all know what trees do and why they're good for us.

This doesn't even compare to the movie's villain though.  Mr. O' Hare (yet another addition that isn't put to any good use) is portrayed as the evil corporate entity who only cares about making money and all that stuff.  Now, I'm not one to speak on behalf of corporations or even defend them... but when your movie is carrying an important message like the one The Lorax tries to carry... you can't go too far overboard with making your villain bad.  Here the perception is that all corporations and the people who work for them and run them are nothing more than jerks out to make a quick buck.  The "Evil Corporation," thing in environmental movies is something that just needs to stop.  Especially in movies like The Lorax.  The idea that corporations are intentionally trying to kill the environment because... that's what they do is just getting old tiresome and even dated.  It undermines what it is we're supposed to take from the movie, it doesn't better illustrate it.

The Lorax goes overboard when Mr. O' Hare sings a song about letting trees die.  And only because it means he can't make a profit off selling air.  But he's here for no real discernible reason.  There's no actual character to him.  He's a one note villain.  They try so hard to make him evil that they completely overshoot the boundaries.  The reason it's hard for The Lorax's message to really get through (aside from the fact that it has to sit there and literally spell it out for you) is because so much of it is handled really poorly.  Of all of the "additions" to the movie that weren't in the book, Mr. O' Hare is by far the worst

And let's be clear, this isn't about the movie being anti-corporate or anything like that.  It's about making sure that the characters--including our villain--are compelling enough and interesting enough.  Most villains aren't heartless just for the sake of being heartless.  Even in kids movies there's usually something that really pushes the villain forward.  Some goal that they themselves wish to obtain.  Villains in most movies often have either motivations, or a duty to perform.  What makes O' Hare so stale as a villain is that he not only seems aware that he is evil, but that the movie also never does anything to show us he's really evil.  If the movie had done any sort of, "What's so bad about what I'm doing," angle or anything like that with Mr. O' Hare that would be one thing... but it doesn't.  And he has nothing he's really chasing for, or any reason for some of the other characters to think he's bad. 

The biggest problem with Mr. O' Hare as an antagonist is that he didn't actually DO anything.  He's not the one who cut down all the trees (and it's strange that he's the only other guy who knows what a real tree is...) and it's not like he could really grow anymore trees even if he wanted to.  The Once Ler was the guy with the last seed and it's not like he even knows who Mr. O' Hare is.  Thus, why is Mr. O' Hare the bad guy at all?  His only crime, really, was just making money and being a jerk.  Granted he's making a profit off selling air but in terms of making him the antagonist he hasn't actually DONE anything to earn that title except being the head of a corporation.  Yes, I get it, he's selling air and that's bad but even THEN it only leads us to wonder where exactly DOES Air (more specifically, oxygen) come from in this world anyway if there are no trees?  And how are any of the characters breathing without purchasing it.  And if air really DOES exist without having to buy it to breathe... why is it a product?  See, the problem with the arc of Mr. O' Hare as the bad guy is that the movie never really sets him up to actually be one in the first place.  He has to actually do something to be perceived as bad.  Actions define a character.  Here the movie just simply tells us he's bad and that we have to accept it, but it doesn't actually show him really do anything... except try to stop a boy and girl from planting a seed.  But why?

Perhaps The Lorax's biggest problem is that we aren't given a reason to care if Ted actually fails in his endeavor.  If Ted and Audrey DON'T plant this seed... what are the negative consequences?  Aside from the fact that there is no tree?  How does it negatively impact anyone in Thneedville?  Or our main characters?  Sure they don't get a tree and they still have to pay for air but, again, we have no clue where the air they're paying for comes from anyway (and it's doubtful one tree would solve this issue) and we never actually see any of the characters really use this resource.  If Ted and Audrey fail they simply continue living the way they currently live.  No harm is done to anyone.  Which is the real reason this is pretty... well, stupid.  If Ted and Audrey fail to plant the seed... what actually happens?  Will something bad happen to Ted?  No.  Is the very fabric of Thneedville at stake?  No.  Will the world suddenly end?  No.  Will they suddenly be unable to breathe and then die?  No.   

Ted is in no real danger.  Audrey is in no real danger.  The town won't cease to exist or anything.  What is being lost or threatened should they fail?  They get no tree but the lack of trees hasn't exactly stopped existence in Thneedville... and despite O' Hare selling air it's not like any of the major characters ever actually use it to survive.  Even when Ted ventures outside of Thneedville to see the Once Ler he doesn't take a bottle of air with him--despite him going to a polluted zone.  If there is any real danger should Ted fail to plant that seed, the movie failed at getting through just what it is.  Not because life in Thneedville is portrayed quite bubbly in the intro, but because we never actually see the dark side of this kind of existence.  Most false perfect worlds show us SOMETHING.  Here it's what's OUTSIDE of Thneedville not what's INSIDE.  Thneedville here doesn't even take the route of, "We can't keep living this way," into account.  And the sad part is that the IDEA of Thneedville is a very good idea.  Scratch that, it's a genius idea.  That's why it's even more a downer that it's not put to good use. 

There's a lot of stuff that The Lorax lacks, but the biggest is that it just doesn't make good use of its ideas.  There's nothing heartfelt about The Lorax. In fact it comes off as more insulting than anything else.  Adding salt to the wounds, the characters aren't charming or likable at all.  Again, Ted is just a boy with a crush on a girl, but Ted has few motivations beyond that.  And the movie simply doesn't do anything with this.

This is normally the part in the review where I stick in how it fares as an adaptation.  As an adaptation I almost can't say.  Not because it's so different, but because the book was pretty short and that anyone going in expecting a "faithful" adaptation probably hasn't been to very many movies to begin with.  Quite a bit is actually kept in tact.  Like I said, it's mostly what they try to add to it that makes it stumble as a film.  What I can impart, however, is why the book actually worked so well and why the movie really stumbles. 

The book was very good about keeping things ambiguous and in focus.  Because it was a short book that only wanted to impart a message.  So it's done in Dr. Seuss's whimsical manner.  With rhymes and whacky characters and artwork.  It is the Once Ler telling the story about how he destroyed the environment that he and this nameless boy are in.  The book talks to its audience... not down to them.  But things are also ambiguous for a reason.  We don't know where they are in the book.  There certainly is no Thneedville.  It's just the Once Ler living in regret (we never see his face in the book... and he isn't out to impress his family either).  For all we know the boy came from a town not too far.  But I liked the ambiguity because it doesn't force the reader to really be looking for something here.  The Once Ler is asking of the reader what he's asking of the boy... just for you to listen to his story.

It's also important to understand that Dr. Seuss himself was not an anti-corporate man.  He himself was pretty much a corporation.  His brand name was pretty big.  It's STILL really big.  But Dr. Seuss also didn't mishandle things.  In the animated film based on the book (which Dr. Seuss wrote) there is even a moment where the Once Ler becomes sympathetic by not only second guessing himself... but even tells The Lorax that if he shuts things down hundreds will lose their job and that it would be bad for the economy.  The Lorax then basically admits that the Once Ler actually has a point... and that he can even SEE where the Once Ler is coming from.  Again, it's a civilized moment.  An argument that isn't so one sided or even jaded.  Because the Once Ler does make a point... he is supplying people with a way of living.  There's actually a two sided argument that the audience has to see.  The Once Ler isn't portrayed as being evil... he's actually really portrayed as someone who doesn't actually think he's doing wrong because at that point in the story the consequences of his actions haven't come to fruition.  When they do he's left with reflecting on his decisions.

The Lorax is also portrayed as someone who is trying to plead with the Once Ler and reason with him as well as provide some sound advice as to where this is all going should he continue.  Advice the Once Ler just doesn't believe because, again, he truly doesn't seem to think he's doing anything wrong.  He's an antagonist but not the kind who knows he is.  Compare this to O' Hare who seems almost hell bent on doing wrong.  The point is the Once Ler doesn't see himself as a villain and O' Hare pretty much KNOWS he's a terrible terrible person.  It gives the Once Ler a strange sense of humanity in the book while making O' Hare come off as well... an empty vessel.  Again, this is what makes the movie's message fall flat.  The book was a cautionary tale.  It ended telling us, Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.  The last seed is really an ambiguous thing that is made to give us hope and tell us that it's not too late.  It's not just a cautionary tale... it's also an optimistic one.  But more important... it's a call to action for the reader that speaks directly to the reader from someone who really messed things up because he was naive in what he was doing.  Not because he was hell bent on actually destroying the world, but rather because he didn't actually think he would!

So as an adaptation, there's not really anything this movie can do to stay true to Dr. Seuss's book.  The book is too short for the movie NOT to add anything to it.  And that's actually okay by me.  What makes the movie so bad isn't that it deviates from the book... it's mainly that it's incredibly heartless and somewhat sloppy in its approach.  Not just having empty characters that they do nothing with, but because everything about it is condensed in such a way that a lot of what happens doesn't really come off as that good.  The core of the book is actually there as best as it can be (the Once Ler's story).  In the end, it just boils down to bad execution of new ideas on the part of the film makers.

It's totally understandable why so much had to be added, however.  Much of it actually is kept in tact, but it's also important to understand that The Lorax was not a happy book.  It was a depressing book.  Despite being cautiously optimistic and hopeful, everything which happens in the book is really depressing.  We're left with a call to action, but even so we're still in a dead and dreary world where the environment has been destroyed.  It's not exactly a sad ending... but it is one that would be far too risky for Hollywood to really try and do with a kid's movie.  And it's not like they didn't have good ideas.  It's that none of them are handled well.  Specifically (and one I simply can't get over) Mr. O' Hare selling air to the residents of Thneedville.

The IDEA of Thneedville is rather nice.  But aside from that everything else has no real purpose.  There's a corporate guy selling air... but we never see any of the major characters use it or depend on it (or even the residents use it or depend on it).  They gave the Once Ler a family that... doesn't really add anything to the story at all.  Mr. O' Hare is a totally new character but he's put to terrible use.  Ted and Audrey are also pretty bad characters as well. 

I understand The Lorax is a kids movie, but with it's whole, "Yeah, trees are cool man," thing it has going for it... it comes off more like those weird "Drugs are bad," assemblies in school where some idiot comes on stage and talks about how NOT being on drugs is cool (usually singing).  What we get instead is mostly something about how... corporations are evil and none of us actually did anything to land us in this mess.  Basically (and this is more a nitpick) The Lorax just doesn't have the balls to look at its audience and say: "We all messed up." 

And then it talks about how we shouldn't have to pay for clean air, but again the message is lost because the movie itself doesn't emphasize enough that they DO have to pay for air!  It TELLS us but rarely decides to show us (there's only one moment... but it's literally a commercial for the product of air... again, no one actually USES it! Despite that we're told it's a valuable resource that NEEDS to be used).  Again small bits could've easily emphasized this.  Just show more characters actually HAVING to use air as a resource to survive.  Show Ted or Audrey needing to use air.  Paint the picture that this is about their very survival and it doesn't have to be.  The movie simply doesn't emphasize this that we in the audience are left thinking... "So what?"  So many of its characters strangely don't utilize air.  If all the trees are gone... what are the characters breathing when they're not opening a bottle of air?  And where is Mr. O' Hare getting the air from?  Instead of working to really emphasize it's themes when it can it simply hopes you won't ask questions about it.

Potential.  That's what The Lorax misses.  Potential.  In the end that's what it all boils down to.  There's a lot of missed potential.

The reason movies like How to Train Your Dragon, Toy Story, or Monster's Inc. are so good at what they do is because they're not movies trying to be cool and they're not movies that come across as talking down to their audience with their messages.  None of these movies take time to preach directly to the audience.  Their messages are there for the characters within it more so than the audience.  And while the characters talk about what is clearly supposed to be the message at least the film has the main character trying to explain it to another character.  In How to Train Your Dragon, for instance, it is Hiccup trying to explain to a group of misinformed vikings that Dragons aren't that bad.  Here it's Taylor Swift's Audrey speaking to a group of people who aren't misinformed... they're actually legitimately stupid.  And the evil corporate jerk who simply sits there and says, "Trees aren't cool, they're bad because they're messy and they should all die!"  The extremes are played so heavily in The Lorax that I simply can't see anyone leaving this movie and taking what it has to say seriously. Kids will like it... until they get older and look back on it the way my generation looks back on the Power Rangers.  It's gonna be a "What the hell was wrong with us?" moment.

Here the framing is done in such a way that the camera even has to show Audrey and Ted talking directly to the audience at some point.  It's almost like the film is beating you over the head with a sledgehammer.  Even though she's actually talking to the entire crowd the movie makes it clear that WE'RE the stupid people and not actually the people in the movie itself.  Again, it's one thing to talk down to the children, but don't talk down to the parents taking their children to see it.

The message is certainly there.  I don't want people to think it's not.  It's mostly that what is supposed to be there to emphasize the message is mostly the "Big Corporations are Evil," thing rather than other bits that they actually could've used.  Such as the selling of air, or the pollution outside of Thneedville.  Those are things that are ripe to emphasize it's message.  And not only that, but they could actually show us something too.  The Lorax doesn't actually use any of that stuff to get its point across.  But most important, the movie never emphasizes what is going to be lost by Ted not planting the last Truffula seed.  And maybe nothing has to be "lost" per se, but maybe even emphasizing why they CAN'T live that way would've been nice.  None of these things ever really happen.  Consequences, good or bad, are never laid out for the audience.

There was an animated short of The Lorax made in 1972.  If you actually want a message and can't be bothered to read the book the short is very good.  Not because it holds the message in tact but because the message itself is actually very compelling.  If you did like this movie, I'd actually recommend you watch the 1972 short even more so because it could actually serve as a nice compliment.  Nothing is padded out in that one and it gets across it's message at a third of the length of this movie... while actually spending time with said message (here it sort of meanders about until the end).  If there is one thing that I do appreciate about the 1972 short it's that the corporation the Once Ler runs isn't portrayed as out and out evil, it's portrayed as being legitimately irresponsible.  And with Mr. O' Hare that's what it really misses.  There is no emphasis or caution about what Mr. O' Hare is doing.  He's just evil to be evil.

But in the end, the 2012 version must stand on its own.  And simply put, it's just a terrible movie because of how it presents itself.  The corporate bad guy is terrible, the characters are really dull and it just never wants to elevate itself to any sort of relevant level.  The Once Ler's story is actually not so bad, but everything outside of it is just absolutely terrible. A movie that had a chance to really express and say something manages to say nothing at all.

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June 16, 2012
Good observations. I agree with some of the things you've presented and I disgree with some. I guess this is because I am not too familiar with the source material. I had fun with this, not a great movie but it was fun entertainment. It took me two sittings to finish your write up. That is one long rant--er--review LOL.
June 18, 2012
LOL yeah.  This was actually probably the hardest review I've ever written since I've been here.  I can see why some might like this movie.  In time my write up might go from being a negative rating. 
June 19, 2012
I actually respect it a little more as an adaptation than as a film, though.  The Once Ler's story is there and actually not done so badly as far as I'm concerned.  It's... Thneedville and Mr. O' Hare that were annoying to me.  I don't know if being too familiar with the source material really adds or detracts, though.  It's not like reading the book is really going to make the negative things... more negative, because the negative things about this movie aren't in the book.  But I will say that it was probably my favorite Dr. Seuss book.  I don't think it's butchered I just... didn't see what the additions added to the overall story in and of itself.
More Dr. Seuss' The Lorax reviews
review by . March 03, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
I may be at a slight disadvantage here since I am not that familiar with Dr. Seuss’ children’s book that had inspired Universal Pictures’ “The Lorax”. Released on March 2, 2012, which would have been Seuss’ 108th birthday if he was still around. The film is the second CGI animation adaptation, and the third one (released by Universal) of his work, 2012 also celebrates Universal’s 100th year anniversary. Directors Chris Reynaud (Despicable Me) and Kyle Balda …
review by . March 02, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
The Lorax Looms
THE LORAX Written by Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul Directed by Chris Renaud Voices by Ed Helms, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift and Danny DeVito   The Lorax: A tree falls the way it leans. Be careful which way you lean.   DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX is perhaps the most blatantly obvious attempt to speak down to people about the perils of industrialization on the environment since AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH. Yes, I understand this is a children’s film, but the original work from 1971 was a …
review by . March 01, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
                                 So once again the movie studios have gone to Dr Suess,   This time it’s the Lorax the movie producers have let loose      The Lorax is done by the same people who made Despicable Me   Sure it’s well done, but impossible not to compare to Wall-E      The latter a much better telling of …
review by . March 07, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Based upon the book by Dr. Seuss (whose name is officially part of the title), THE LORAX has been contemporized a bit making it accessible to not only super-environmental-types, but to those who were raised upon conservation and not environmentalism. In THE LORAX, Ted (Zac Efron) is a twelve-year-old boy who lives in the plasticized, walled city of Thneedville. Ted is in love with a teenage girl named Audrey (Taylor Swift). Audrey doesn't quite fit in Thneedville and paints the back of her house …
review by . March 03, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Thirty years before Al Gore was demonized for telling the truth about global warming, Dr. Seuss was chastised for promoting environmentalism in his book The Lorax. Even before its publication in 1970, global deforestation was a major problem, and it continues to this day, especially in tropical regions. I will not provide the statistics here; there’s more than enough quality information on the net for you to research. I will say that deforestation …
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Sean A. Rhodes ()
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I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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About this movie


Dr. Seuss' The Lorax (also known as The Lorax) is a 2012 American computer-animated 3-D musical comedy film based on Dr. Seuss' children's book of the same name. It was produced by Illumination Entertainment and was released by Universal Pictures on March 2, 2012, what would have been the 108th birthday of Seuss, who died at age 87 in the year 1991.
The film is the fourth feature film based on a book by Dr. Seuss, the second Dr. Seuss adaptation fully computer-animated after Horton Hears a Who!, and the first to be released in 3-D. The Lorax was Illumination Entertainment's first film presented in IMAX 3D (known as "IMAX Tree-D" in publicity for the film).[3] It was also the third Dr. Seuss feature film released by Universal, after How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Cat in the Hat.

The film was directed by Chris Renaud, and co-directed by Kyle Balda. It was written by Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul, the duo who also wrote the script for Blue Sky's Horton Hears a Who!. Audrey Geisel, Seuss's wife, was executive producer, and Chris Meledandri, who managed Horton Hears a Who! at Fox Animation, produced the film.[7]
The film was fully fabricated in the French studio "Illumination Mac Guff", which was the animation department of Mac Guff which has been acquired by Illumination Entertainment in Summer 2011.[8]
The Lorax received a PG rating "for brief mild language."It is the third PG-rated Dr. Seuss film, following How the ...
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MPAA Rating: G
Screen Writer: Dr. Seuss, Ken Daurio

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"The Lorax"
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