The Lorax: A Review

The Lorax is a 3D animated feature released by Universal Pictures based on Dr. Seuss’s book of the same name. I didn’t catch it in theaters during its regular run but hopefully, this review would still benefit moviegoers in the UK, as it only opened in cinemas there late last week.

The story revolves around the town of Thneedville, where everything is manufactured and sold, even fresh air. The townspeople, not knowing anything else, seem happy enough with their set up — plastic houses and plastic trees, which only make the town’s most powerful businessman O’hare all the more rich.

Among the town’s residents is 11-year-old Ted Wiggins (Zac Effron) who, in the hopes of impressing his crush Audrey (Taylor Swift), seeks out the Once-ler (Ed Helms), a recluse who lives outside of town and is allegedly the last person who has seen an actual tree. Ted wants to give Audrey a tree, which will make her dream come true and make her like him. But while Ted learns about what happened to the trees, the lost animals and the mythical creature called The Lorax (Danny Devito), the guardian of the forest, his mission becomes more personal as he begins to understand what he must do to open the minds of the townspeople about how greed has corrupted their town to get them to help him bring things back to the way it was.

The Lorax is a fairly simple story that has a very important moral lesson — conserving Mother Nature. And what makes this story truly amazing is that it is based on a book written decades ago, way before the advent of climate change, environmental degradation and the like. The film has a vision that is delivered in very simple terms that even little children can understand — and the very fact that what happened in the movie may well happen to us in real life is a scary thought indeed.

BFFs. The Once-ler and The Lorax during their happier days.

Trees and animals are given personalities and made intergral parts of the story in this animated feature. So much so that when one tree falls, it is mourned by all, even the audience. I believe it is a good thing to inculcate this value — loving nature — to kids who are the primary audience of this movie, and it even serves as an eye opener for adults who see the film with their children. I may not be a big fan of the songs used for this feature, but I should say the messages couldn’t get any better.

In terms of characters, I feel like there is an endearing quality about the characters that reaches out to screen and pulls at the heartstrings so this is something that separates the film from other animated movies. Like Jim Carrey and Steve Carrel in Horton Hears a Who (another Dr. Seuss book), the actors cast for the movie manage to use their voices to bring life to their roles despite their animated persona. Plus, the colors are so bright and vibrant that the sense of wonder is kept alive althrougout the film, well, for the most part anyway before the eventual ruination of the forest, which is super dark in contrast.

This film is evidence that sometimes, messages need not be phrased in highfaluting words to make an impact. It can be equally profound so long as it is understood by all. Like the film’s main quote: Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lotnothing is going to get better.It’s not. It applies to everyone and everyone can relate this quote to the simplest decisions. I mean, how could one put it any plainer?

All in all, The Lorax is not the best animated movie out there in terms of technique (Pixar is still way ahead in this department), but in terms of impact, it packs quite a wallop. In terms of essence, I doubt that you could find one that is more worthy, espcially during this day and age. I would highly recommend this film to everybody. Seriously, watch it. Go. Now.

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