Should we criticize the makers of this film for being heavy-handed with their environmental conservation message? I for one don’t think so. Kids should learn at a young age how destructive globalization has been to the planet we live on. Being environmentally conscious should be second nature to the young generation. It’s a must or else the place we live on won’t be livable much longer. Seems to make sense to me and not be something to criticize. Who better to teach kids about the environment and the negative impact we humans have on it than a doctor? Especially the beloved for generations Dr. Seuss.
Though the story is not exactly as Dr. Seuss wrote it – there are a couple of new characters added and a dance scene – it still retains its original message. In Thneedville the inhabitants live in blissful ignorance thinking that their lives are perfect. Life isn’t perfect in this town and how could it be as they have no trees. The lack of trees has rendered the air quality very poor, thank you very much. A local man Mr. O’Hare (Rob Riggle – Step Brothers, The Other Guys) has come up with a way to sell clean air and has made quite a bit of money doing it.
Another resident of Thneedville is 12-year-old Ted (Zac Efron – 17 Again, New Year’s Eve), who is a young man on a mission. He has fallen for an older woman. Audrey (Taylor Swift – Valentine’s Day) is in high school, but Ted is goo goo for her. One day she shows Ted a mural she’s painted that contains the extinct Truffula tree. She let it slip that if any man was able to find the actual tree for her she would marry him on the spot. Well, that’s all that prepubescent Ted had to hear as he becomes a man with a mission.
Ted first turns to his mother (Jenny Slate – This Means War, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked) and Grammy Norma (Betty White – from television’s Hot in Cleveland) for help. His mother comes up with nothing, but Grammy Norma tells Ted that he will have to find the believed to possibly be mythical creature, Once-ler (Ed Helms – The Hangover, Cedar Rapids), who lives outside the walls of Thneedville.
Once Ted finds the Once-ler over the course of several visits listens to his story about the trees and their disappearance. This attracts the attention of Mr. O’Hare and he feels he is going to have to eliminate this 12-year-old threat to his business.
As an adult watching The Lorax I began to wonder how we have become so disconnected from the planet we live on. We see the negative effect we are having and don’t seem to give much of a damn. Made me think! Agreed that some of the messages about greed will go over the little ones’ heads, but they still will enjoy the big dance/production number that introduces it. Meaning that this is a film that can be enjoyed on several levels.
All the environmental messages are delivered in the crazy and colourful way only Dr. Seuss can. The songs are fun, every character is brightly coloured and funny. The 3D is marvelous and adds plenty to the film, but it doesn’t suffer any in 2D.
Some Dr. Seuss fanatics might have a problem with the insertion of a new character (O’Hare) and a love story (Ted and Audrey), but the two new things do get the story moving along. Directors Chris Renaud (Despicable Me) and Kyle Balda (first film) don’t take away (like we have with the Earth’s natural resources) they add to make the story work.
-Mini-Movies: Wagon Ho!, Forces of Nature, Serenade
-Making of Mini Movies
-Expedition of Truffala Valley
-Seuss to Screen
-Three Kids’ Games: Once-ler’s Wagon, Get Out of Town, Truffula Run
-Let it Grow Sing-Along