Sunday, May 6, 2012

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax - Movie Review

Starring the voices of Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Betty White, Rob Riggle, Jenny Slate and Nasim Pedrad.  Directed by Chris Renaud.


Saw it at the $2 theater.

For those who haven't read the book, what's wrong with you? For those who have, the 1972 animated short is more faithful to the spirit of the book than this 2012 update. But it has its own pleasures.

Since the movie's 80 minutes instead of 25, we get a lot more fleshing out of the characters. We get a whole family for the boy who goes to ask the Onceler. We get to see the Onceler and his transformation from bright-eyed entrepreneur to the sinister unseen being telling the tale from his boarded-up house. Not much fleshing out for The Lorax, which I appreciated.

Chris Renaud got his big break with directing Despicable Me, and it shows. The bears and fish (?) of the forest serve the same function as the minions from Despicable Me, chattering and muttering and going physical gags on the sides of the screen.

The pro-environmental anti-corporate message is delivered with the velvet subtlety of a jackhammer, and most of the songs are more annoying than catchy. It made me smile a few times, and I like this trend of animating Seuss's stories, even if this one isn't as good as Horton Hears A Who. At least this wasn't a live-action treatment starring Mike Myers, amIright?

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