The Lorax Lacked Luster


I just want to start off and say that the message in this film is just as powerful as in Dr Seuss’ book The Lorax. As a film however, I did not think that it was that good, nor did I appreciate what it did to the original book. If you had no idea what the book was, I have no idea how this movie would be viewed, but from a lover of The Lorax, I think that this movie lacked luster.

The movie starts off with a song depicting the wonderfulness that is “Thneedville,” a place where there are no living trees of any kind, and a place where they all pay for fresh air in the households. Like many stories these days, the story was essentially a love story. Our main Character, Ted (Zac Efron), has a crush on a girl down the street, Audrey (Taylor Swift) from him. When she expresses interest in real, live trees, he makes it his goal to go find her one. This is where I had my first irk with the story. I think that there could have been a much better message to why he finally had an interest in the trees. Making it because of a girl effectively disregards the fact of the environment which has always been the main point of The Lorax. I cannot say exactly how they could have done it, but the love story really put me off.

From here, our character sets out to find “The Once-ler” (Ed Helms) who knows about the time of the trees. The Once-ler does tell him the story of the trees and how they disappeared over many days. Each time he tries to get out, it gets harder and harder due to Mr. O’hare, the CEO and founder of the fresh air that they all pay for. He does not want Ted to find the trees because he does not want the trees to deliver fresh, free air. He clearly exemplifies corporate greed, which was one thing I did like. The film addressed this issue that the book did not. Whenever Ted visits The Once-ler, we get to see scense from the book, which are all very good. The Lorax (Danny DeVito) was his cranky old self, and all the animals were wonderful. However, these scenes were interspersed with musical numbers that I felt, once again, took away from the meaning of the story. It is a kids movie, so it has to be funny, but I also felt like there were many jokes for the sake of making jokes. Some fit well, but I felt as though there were some that were unnecessary and took away from the overall meaning of the movie. I may keep repeating that, but the meaning behind The Lorax is extraordinarily powerful, and I feel that it was down played in the film.

The end was one thing that I liked a lot more than the end of the book. I will not come out and say it explicitly for those of you who want to watch it, but I think that the end brought the idea home more than the book did, and showed that change was possible. Overall, however, I was not impressed with the movie. Filled with random jokes, songs, and a story that I felt didn’t really address the issue as well as it could have, I do not think that I would recommend it. I recommend it to people for the environmental issues that this movie addresses, but I say go pick up the book.

By Toby Gray

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