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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Dr Seuss' The Lorax (2012)

Forget the rhetoric and what some would imagine as subliminal, political posturing and just see the film for what it is. Too many people have lambasted this cinematic version of the Dr Seuss work 'The Lorax' because of some determined and misguided views about the content. This is no more complicated than any other kids film, so don't be convinced otherwise. Yes, there are elements of capitalism displayed and environmental issues are at the forefront given the nature of The Lorax himself, but these are no more inciteful or dangerous comments than suggesting the baddie in any movie is dangerous and if you should encounter someone similar in real life, then you should probably avoid him.

Great things can be achieved in the name of love. Ted is besotted with neighbour Audrey who dreams of having a real tree in her back garden. There are no real trees anymore, thanks to big business and demands for big profits, so Ted has to find a way of getting hold of a real tree to make Audrey fall in love with him. So begins the story of what happened to all of the trees and his search to find The Lorax, the voice of the trees.

Above all else, this is a children's film with elements that adults will appreciate for a number of reasons. Firstly, because they can be entertained while their charges are and secondly, that the film informs, mostly through comedy, of issues that young children may be coming to for the first time, like the ones mentioned above. Additionally, it has been stated by some that this is a musical. This is not the case. This is a movie with the occasional musical number, which incidentally, are mostly foot-tappingly good.

From the same people that brought you 'Despicable Me', expectations for The Lorax were high, particularly with mind to the script and finer nuances in animation. The influence of the writers here is obvious from the very beginning, with a superlative script that caters well to both adults and children alike. The kids may miss some of the finer moments, both in what is said and how it looks, but The Lorax is more than capable of being in your face and slapstick for those that need it.

It is often gut-wrenchingly cute with whimsical woodland creatures that seem both highly moral and stupidly clumsy all at once, making them both reliable and funny. The animation, as mentioned, is right up there with Despicable Me and echoes the feel of Dr Seuss' world admirably. The most impressive part of the film is the script and its delivery, however. The film boasts some very impressive voice talents, most notably in the form of Danny Devito (The Lorax) and Ed Helms (The Once-ler). Even Zac Efron and Taylor Swift put in good vocal performances which I was personally both surprised and delighted by.

In short, yes, The Lorax has a message to convey, but it does it in such a way as to remain entertaining while being pertinent. It may lay it on a bit thick, certainly by the finale, but is really no less for the fact. It was very enjoyable and I can recommend it for everyone who is short of something to entertain the kids with for ninety minutes


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