Customer Reviews: Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
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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 full of colorful trees which no longer exist. She longs to see a real tree and Ted becomes determined to find one for her. During dinner one night, Ted's Grammy Norma (Betty White) tells Ted that in order to find out what happened to the trees and if there's another one to be found, he needs to speak with the Once-ler (Ed Helms) who lives outside the city walls. Ted has never been outside the city, but sets out on a mission to meet the Once-ler and find a tree. He succeeds in finding the creature on the edge of town and the Once-ler tells Ted his story of how he started life off as an industrious, young man with a heart who just wanted to be a success, how he found a valley of paradise, and how he met The Lorax (Danny Devito). Before the story is through, the Once-ler's tale will merge with Ted's and perhaps revive the valley again.

Visually, THE LORAX is stunning. Both the natural beauty of the paradise valley and the plastic artificiality of Thneedville are full of bright and beautiful colors. These are contrasted by the present day greys of the world outside of Thneedville, the world that the Once-ler created.

The story stays fairly close to Dr. Seuss' original tale. However, there are a few differences. The Once-ler isn't a creature that's only seen by his hands, but instead has been transformed into a thin and tall man. When we first see the young Once-ler, there are distinct feelings of sympathy for him and empathy with his plight. It's hard to believe this industrious man will be responsible for cutting down all the Truffula Trees, but the temptations of family and fortune are strong. There are a couple of scenes in the forest that are added to pad the story. Also, instead of leaving at different times, the animals of the forest leave together in a mass exodus. Personally, I thought this element weakened the story.

Like the book, there is a strong conservationist message to THE LORAX, but I didn't see any anti-capitalistic undertones. The Once-ler is "punished" not because he was industrious and wanted to earn a living, but because he gave in to greed and destroyed the very thing that was allowing him to earn a living. Mr. O'Hare, the Mayor of Thneedville isn't a villain because he's a businessman, but because he's manufactured his fortune based upon a lie and even when confronted with the truth, he refuses to concede.

There's a lot of music in THE LORAX that comes in a variety of styles, folk, rock-a-billy, and some Broadway-type showtunes. Personally, I liked the smaller numbers which are mostly sung by the Once-ler (Ed Helms).

THE LORAX has broad appeal. It's a film that kids will enjoy for the characters and bright scenery, while many adults will enjoy for some of the subtle bits of humor. The mass consumerism message isn't as blatant as in WALL-E, but it's still there. Overall, it's a movie that The Lorax himself would probably enjoy watching.
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on April 9, 2012
In the age of Hollywood's seeming endless films aimed against greed, consumerism, and environmental destruction, "The Lorax" is not to be outdone. Unlike the other films with hidden messages, this one is very direct. The voice of Danny Devito and Betty White made the film very special as you can see them in those roles. The film incorporates some of the original Dr. Seuss poetry to convey the message, but doesn't bog down the film with it as to lose the target audience who may not enjoy it as much as we did when we read the original first edition hard covers in the third grade.

The story is about the Once-ler (what's in a name? Ed Helms) who cuts down all the trees and at times looking like Elton John playing the Pinball Wizard. He did this to make the Thneed (a versatile Huggie) that no one wanted until a pretty girl wore one. Ted Wiggins (Zac Efron) wants to obtain a tree because the pretty redhead Audry (Taylor Swift) wants one. Sort of like Brad Pitt suddenly caring about hungry third world kids. There are musical numbers and numerous messages about consumer marketing, greed, bottled water, and the environment. SNL's Nasim Pedrad did the voice of the Once-ler's mom, reminding me of the grandmother in the old Carol Burnett series.

Perhaps the best message of the film is that individuals can make a difference. As an adult I enjoyed the film.
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on March 17, 2016
Having watched some of this movie on TV, I was never fond of the animation or the story - but having completed my Disney 3D collection, I knew it was time to branch out. The stylistic nature of this film really shines in 3D, and the animation doesn't look low-budget like it sometimes does in the 2D version. The 3D effect is used in gimmicky situations more than other more 'sophisticated' titles, but in a world created by Dr. Suess, it makes so much sense and adds even more fun and whimsy to the film. My grumpy thirty-something year old boyfriend hated the songs, but there are only four (3 1/2, really) compared to Frozen's tedious nine, and even though I was skeptical at the beginning of each number, by the end I was humming along and curious if I could find them on digital music retailer sites (I could!). This film turned out to be a hidden gem for me and while I will probably never willingly watch it in 2D, I can't WAIT to watch it in 3D again - it was truly engineered for the format and was done so with a lot of love and care to the source material. It's not going to be your favorite animated 3D film, but you'll be happy you picked it up.
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on September 10, 2012
This was 45 minutes of story and concept at most. The rest of the movie was filled with cute little things you've come to expect in animated movies. The problem was, they felt forced. I liked the movie, and I liked the voice acting. The way the movie filled out just didn't work for me. The musical numbers seemed like they happened because it was "time for a song" and there needs to be a soundtrack to sell. Two examples that I think worked came to mind when this movie was over: 1) Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs probably had less of a story to work with, but the movie was filled out in a more coherent way. 2) The Little Mermaid had musical numbers that brought you into the story and advanced it. The songs didn't pop out like unrelated music videos in the middle of the movie. Those comparisons may mean nothing to you - and probably even LESS to your children! - but I make them to explain my 3-star rating. "It's OK"
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on January 25, 2014
Parents need to know that this animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss' beloved tale of THE LORAX is age-appropriate for younger kids; there's little scary stuff, and the pro-environmental message is a positive one. The main issue here is really the movie's huge number of consumerist tie-ins -- at least 70 different marketing promotions. For an anti-materialism story to advertise so many products to kids and their parents sends a particularly confusing message. Still, the movie itself -- like the original story -- promotes conservation and protecting the environment. Kids will leave the film wanting to do more to help the natural world ... too bad that take-away will be diluted by the onslaught of available merchandise with the Lorax's bright-orange image on it.
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on August 8, 2015
I'm a grown up (kind of) and I don't know how I didn't ever see this but my 21 year old daughter insisted I see it with her. What a great message and the characters were great. It's a must see for anyone no matter what age you are.
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on September 21, 2012
The movie was not very good. For an animated feature, there are usually a few laughs for the adults and a more for the kids, but I'm not sure this had too many all the way around. Fairly boring. I'd say pass on this one.

The picture quality was very good.
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on January 9, 2015
Great movie. Not a great fan of these type of movies like "Cat in the Hat" and I didn't even want to watch it but I did and it is one of my favorite movies. It was so well made your interest is kept throughout the entire movie AND it is a movie with really good LESSON for everyone to walk away with.
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on December 17, 2015
They did a decent job with this movie. If you are looking for it to stick with the original story of Dr. Suess, this is not for you. There's quite a bit added from the original. However, I feel the message basically stayed the same. For me personally, it was a little too "cheesy," but that could have been what they were going for. My kids really enjoyed it though & would watch it again. Other adults who were in the room enjoyed it as well, but no one called it an "amazing" movie, that's why I decided to rate it 4 stars. I think it's worth watching, but it's not one I would want playing over & over in my house. ;)
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on January 7, 2015
I thought I would greatly dislike this as the man who voices the Lorax usually plays obnoxious characters & often screen adaptations of dr seuse can go either way... But all in all I said 5 stars because my kids love it and its very tolerable. There are some things like the bad song where the one character sings about how he can't be all that bad and its actually a bit frightening for very little kids and I'm not a huge fan of it but it is better actually that a lot of other kids movies so I actually bought a copy which I honestly wouldn't have done unless the kids really liked it. Its a repeat visitor to family movie night and we like the message and the boy and his family and the girl are very charming. The Lorax is actually not a huge part of the movie and I actually do like him and think he was cast properly. The animation is good as well and there is a clear bad guy and the message is clear which uncomplicates it for the kids. The environmental message is something our family can really get on board with. All in all good purchase, though if the kids didn't like it I would just have watched it once and moved on.
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