Film Review: The Lorax

An animated adaptation of the Dr Seuss story, The Lorax is entertaining family fare with a good message.

Ted, a young boy living in Thneed-Ville, is in love with his neighbour Audrey. When she mentions that she would like a real tree, Ted sets off on a mission to find one in world filled with artificial trees. To find a tree, Ted visits the Once-ler, who lives outside of town. The Once-ler tells Ted what happened to all the trees…

The Lorax does not quite capture the same style and tone as the Dr Seuss book it is based on. Nonetheless, this can be said of the other film adaptations of his work, which have not quite captured the imagination present in these books. Although the film retains the same characters and themes, the narrative is padded out to fit the requirements of a feature-length production.

The humour in The Lorax works fine, although more comedy would have been welcome. The environmental theme is most unambiguous. There is a stark contrast between nature-supporting characters and big-business mentality. Given the audience the film is aimed at, the distinct depictions are not surprising. Some may argue that a big film company such as Universal are in a precarious position with this commentary on the greed of corporations. However, any company that could make a similar impact are likely to be as involved in business as this company.

There are a few songs in The Lorax, none of which are particularly catchy or memorable. The opening sequence is however an effective introduction to the town which the film is set in. The final sequence feels a bit prolonged; making it more succinct would not have distorted the message.

The Lorax offers a visually sumptuous depiction of the forest. The animation is great in these sequences; there seems to be real texture to the trees. Danny DeVito is well cast as the voice of the title character. Ed Helms is entertaining as The Once-ler, while Zac Efron can get away with voicing young Ted.

The Lorax is likely to appeal to young children. Parents will find the values it extols difficult to argue with.