Inside the globe of Thneedville, everything is artificial and even the air itself is a selling product. Young idealist Ted Wiggins chases after finding a tree to win his dream girl Audrey. His adventures leads him to the abandoned outskirts of the city inhabited by the Once-ler, a ruined old businessman. Upon hearing the tale of how the Once-ler fell into greed for sheer wealth, devastated the once Truffula-filled land, and above all, betrayed the friendship of the Lorax. Inspired to undo the wrong, Ted is gifted with a Truffula Seed, the last spark of hope the city has of integrating trees back into society. However, the money-hungry major Aloysius O’Hare is determined to retaliate against all of Ted’s efforts.
With the 108th birthday of the highly renowned and esteemed Dr. Seuss on March 2, 2012, came the 3D animated film from the book The Lorax interpreted and produced by Illumination Entertainment. I must say that I was overwhelmed by excitement if this was anything like the film adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who. His works of eloquent rhymes can always put a glisten across my face and just brightens up the atmosphere. Thus, from my previous encounters with his books, I expected nothing, but excellence from this movie.
Immediately from the start, the film bombards the audience with an introductory upbeat musical performed by the carefree people of Thneeville. The film does not fail to get straight to the point. From reviews that I have read about this, most critics simply gave it a below average rating of 50% primarily because of several factors.
First, it does not directly quote every single dialogue from the book and that supposedly takes it away from being an authentic Dr. Seuss classic. However, let’s be real here. The book can be read in 10 minutes tops compared to an adaptation that must run 1.5 hours. The producers have to make it realistic to a point by including dialogue fillers which I found was very enticing and comedic.
Second, the main character Once-ler never showed his full appearance within the book in comparison to the film that completely revealed his visage. Some found this to be the bottom line of the film because it takes away the mystery of his identity within the original storyline. I, on the other hand, thought it was a good addition. Remember, this film was aimed at a young audience, and how dissatisfied would they be if there was no conclusive on the depiction of the Once-ler. Consider how many films you have seen where a movie adaptation completely followed every, single scene within the book.
Now with that out of the way, let’s move onwards to the storyline. I found the tale of The Lorax to be quite adorable and lovable in all aspects. For a Guardian of the Forest, the Lorax is just a down to earth short stacked critter who encompasses the ideals of an environmentalist. It is also notable that the author and producers did not grant him any godly powers. This is a vital characteristic because it advocates the notion of nonviolence. Although mankind takes and never seems to give back, Dr. Seuss and Illumination Entertainment excellently portray that the pain of greed is fully realized when there is nothing left to take, and in retrospect, man’s small actions alone become his greatest enemy.
The inhabitants of the forest constantly bring enlightenment to the film with their charismatic and upbeat nature. Silent in commentary, the critters exert the theme that happiness centers on the comfort of companions and family. It demonstrates that the greed for materialistic comforts such as the Once-ler in his youth seeking cash from his invention should not be pursued. Though the scenes weren’t exactly action-packed, it was good enough for the film to maintain the upbeat and jolly flow that the Dr. Seuss books encompass. This was also demonstrated through the animation with the cartoony feel.
Overall, The Lorax was truly a jubilant animated film that can capture the youthful hearts of the older generations as well as continuing to entice wonder in younger folks. I would 120% recommend this film to any Dr. Seuss lover and for those not familiar with his work, it will definitely hook you.
Produced by: Illumination Entertainment
Director: Chris Renaud