A 12-year-old boy searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.
- Ted Wiggins (voice): Zac Efron
- The Lorax (voice): Danny DeVito
- Audrey (voice): Taylor Swift
- Once-ler (voice): Ed Helms
- Mr. Aloysius O’Hare (voice): Rob Riggle
- Mrs. Wiggins (voice): Jenny Slate
- Grammy Norma (voice): Betty White
- Marta (voice): Willow Smith
- Once-ler’s Mom (voice): Nasim Pedrad
- 1st Marketing Guy (voice): Joel Swetow
- 2nd Marketing Guy (voice): Michael Beattie
- 1st Commercial Guy (voice): Dave B. Mitchell
- 2nd Commercial Guy (voice): Dempsey Pappion
- Aunt Grizelda (voice): Elmarie Wendel
- Brett / Chet (voice): Danny Cooksey
- Uncle Ubb (voice): Stephen Tobolowsky
- Forest Animals (voice): Chris Renaud
- Additional Voices (voice): Sherry Lynn
- Additional Voices (voice): Mickie McGowan
- Additional Voices (voice): Jack Angel
- Additional Voices (voice): Bob Bergen
- Additional Voices (voice): Debi Derryberry
- Additional Voices (voice): Danny Mann
- Producer: Christopher Meledandri
- Character Designer: Carter Goodrich
- Director: Kyle Balda
- Editor: Ken Schretzmann
- Original Music Composer: John Powell
- Writer: Ken Daurio
- Writer: Cinco Paul
- Production Design: Yarrow Cheney
- Story: Dr. Seuss
- Animation: Fabrice Joubert
- Director: Chris Renaud
- Producer: Janet Healey
- Executive Producer: Audrey Geisel
- Character Designer: Eric Guillon
- Animation: Mitja Rabar
- Lighting Artist: Catherine Catie Lee
- Editor: Claire Dodgson
- Editor: Steven Liu
- Music Supervisor: Massimo Ruberto
- Gimly: Just not for me. This _Lorax _is almost all filler. The message is still there, but it’s lost under a tidal wave of meh.
_Final rating:★★ – Definitely not for me, but I sort of get the appeal._
- The Movie Diorama: The Lorax thneedn’t have shoved its colourful environmentalist message so brutally. Well, the live-action ‘Cat in the Hat’ adaptation was a *cough* massive success *cough* so it was only a matter of years before another Dr Seuss family-friendly book would have its zany vivid world transferred onto the medium of film. Then comes the introductory title screen. A despicable minion pops up next to the bold cancerous studio name “Illumination”, and instantly all hope was diminished.
Aside from their initial franchise, they seem to be unable to create animated flicks without treating the audience like simplistic Neanderthals, and The Lorax takes the biscuit. Patience was running thin just from the introductory musical number alone. A young boy journeys outside the walled plastic city of Thneedville to find a living tree so that he can impress a girl, but soon relives a tale that would change his way of life.
This is a mess. Perhaps unadaptable due to Seuss’ imaginative wordplay that inspiringly illustrates a creative warning against corporate greed and destructive deforestation. Illumination on the other hand, whilst consistently producing colourful and vibrant animations, shoved the morality down the throats of its audience. Within two minutes, the civilians are singing about their perfect plastic bubble and capitalistic functionality. The main character, not the titular creature, has yet to be seen. A Kim Jong-Un lookalike imprisoning his people in a miniature North Korean world fuelled by propaganda. Taylor Swift refusing to sing any of the forgettable songs. And an underdeveloped insight into consumerism by showing one advertisement for canned air.
Then the narrative shifts to flashback mode when “The Once-ler” retells his past mistakes. That being the termination of candy floss trees to manufacture his new invention. High-pitched carps, who clearly watched ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’, irritate with forced pop culture humour. Cuddly cubs scratching their hairy walnuts on display and devouring slabs of butter. Finally, the spirit of the trees gracefully descends from the clouds by awkwardly hoisting his orange derrière in your face. The Lorax.
Danny “Rule Number 95 Kid, Concentrate!” DeVito. A legend if I’m being honest, but terribly mismatched with the moustached beast. In fact, all of the voice acting was generic and forgettable, never truly matching the wide mouths of its unmemorable characters. The, what is essentially two narrative strands, inadvertently produced an underdeveloped arc that had sole intentions on pushing its well-intentioned morals instead of genuine character development and emotionality.
Illumination aren’t known for their subtle storytelling, and it’s evident in this adaptation. Aside from ‘Hop’ (which we shan’t talk about ever again…), this is by far their weakest mess. Understandably I’m not the target demographic, but children will only be hypnotised by the entrancing colours. I guarantee they shan’t remember it after a few days. What a thneed-fest!
- Kamurai: Good watch, will probably watch again, and can recommend.
Despite the “Despicable Me” / “Minions” franchise, Illumination seems to do good work, and they really brought the zaney world of Dr. Seuss to life here, regardless of how much sense it may or may not make at the time.
It’s been a while since I read “The Lorax”, but I’m pretty sure the motivation to plant a tree wasn’t to get a girl. For all I remember the Onceler’s story was the original storybook with a couple of catchy musical numbers thrown in.
That aside, there is a lot of fun in this movie with a (ultimately) positive message about environmental conservation, thought it’s not as strong as it would like to be, but as palatable as necessary. While I won’t bored you with the details necessary to convey my view on environmental education, there is an odd bit to the “conducting business” scene series where there almost seems to be a subtle message for capitalistic business during the moments we’re being told this is bad, or maybe that was the point: there is a struggle and balance necessary. I just thought it was funny. At least the put message out there for us not to underestimate the elderly.
The world / character creation is very well done, and I’m humming one of the songs as I write this, but there is one problem I have with the writing: that the Onceler breaks the story up across multiple days. Once he has his audience (oh, play with in a play: a Shakespearean device), and the movie has its audience, just tell your story through. I’m not a fan of break up a story into multiple stories if it’s not necessary (if you’ve ever binged a tv show, you know what I’m talking about). At least he didn’t flip it all around and tell it out of order (see “Pulp Fiction”).
While the Lorax itself is an underwhelming, if subtle, character itself, I can imagine most people will enjoy it.
- RustyBoi: Such a crap movie for babies. The Lorax is literal orange crap color. Boring garbage made by money hungry pigs.