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Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
Dr. Seuss' The Lorax (2012)
(37 Ratings)
3 Reviews | 30 Short Comments | 710 Collectors | 137 Times Watched

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Movie Info
Movie Year:
Chris Renaud
Movie Year:
Zac EfronBetty WhiteEd HelmsDanny DeVitoTaylor SwiftSherry LynnRob Riggle
Ken DaurioDr. Seuss
Universal Pictures
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(ex. 2002/10/21)
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Apr 03, 2012
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from recent movies like Cars 2 and this week’s Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, it’s that creating an environmentally friendly  ...
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from recent movies like Cars 2 and this week’s Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, it’s that creating an environmentally friendly message is very hard to do without coming off as preachy. If Cars 2 shoved its message down your throat, The Lorax beats you over the head with it. While there’s certainly something to be said about industrialization and its negative effects on the environment, The Lorax fails to bring it forth with resonance.

The film follows a young kid named Ted (voiced by Zac Efron) who lives in the town of Thneed-Ville. In his town, no living trees exist and to survive, air must be bought from business mogul and mayor, Mr. O’Hare (voiced by Rob Riggle). Ted has a crush on a pretty girl named Audrey (voiced by Taylor Swift) who longs to get away from the artificiality of their town’s blow-up plants and see a real tree. Perhaps naively, Ted figures the only way he’ll get Audrey to reciprocate his feelings is to find one, so he ventures outside of his town, which has been closed off from the rest of the world. Out there, he finds nothing but environmental destruction and eventually runs into a man called the Once-ler (voiced by Ed Helms) who recounts his introduction to the guardian of the land, the Lorax (voiced by Danny DeVito), and how his invention began the destruction of what used to be a lively paradise.

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax has good intentions, as most kids movies do. It tries to entertain the young ones in the audience with songs and colorful visuals while also, in its own goofy way, opening their eyes to the beauty of nature and the dangers of deforestation. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that and while I certainly don’t feel adamant enough about it to tell you not to take your child to see it, The Lorax over-emotionalizes its message to an intense degree. In an early scene, for example, after the Once-ler cuts down his first tree, the animals of the forest place symbolic mourning rocks around the tree and hold hands while slow, somber music begins to bellow from the speakers. Though it still would have been too much later in the film, it would have fit more appropriately after the full destruction of the forest. Its placement at such an early stage and after one tree is cut down is more comical than it is sad.

When not shamefully overstating the loss of a tree or laying on thick the destruction of a whole forest, The Lorax tries to be funny, but most of its humor consists of something or someone running into or hitting something or someone else. If you counted the number of times something like this happened to a character, be they human or animal, it would easily reach double digits by the halfway point, perhaps even sooner (much sooner) than that. Here is a movie that aims to tackle a real world problem, albeit in an emotionally over-the-top way, but then dumbs down everything surrounding the problem, essentially making a mockery of it. In simpler terms, the film’s message is too heavy while its humor is too light and those two extremes simply don’t work well together.

What really hurts the film, more than its stupid humor and overwrought themes, is its surprising lack of imagination, especially considering the name attached to it. For example, in the forest that is eventually destroyed, exactly three species of animals exist: geese, bears and fish. That’s it. All the wonderful creativity from other Dr. Seuss stories is missing here. The movie’s world isn’t vividly realized, the forest’s inhabitants are bland and the story, which consists mainly of flashback and little present day conflict, isn’t good enough to make up for it.

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax isn’t a terrible movie. It’s just an extremely bland one, which is sometimes worse. Some talent went into its making, for sure, but that same talent was put to better use in 2010’s Despicable Me. There’s no reason why that film should be more inventive than this (because, after all, who’s more inventive than Dr. Seuss?), but it lacks in all fields and its message, despite being the entire point of the movie, is misplaced. There’s nothing inappropriate about The Lorax, so if your child wants to see it, there’s no reason not to go. Just be prepared to sit through what it is rather than what it could (and should) be.

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax receives 1.5/5

==Written by Josh Hylton ==

==From: Josh Hylton Movies (
Apr 03, 2012
Ted (Zac Efron) sees the girl of his dreams, red haired Audrey (Taylor Swift) who is a fan of trees. But in the town of ThneedVille, there are no plan ...
Ted (Zac Efron) sees the girl of his dreams, red haired Audrey (Taylor Swift) who is a fan of trees. But in the town of ThneedVille, there are no plants, no flowers, no vegetables, and none of the beautiful Truffula Trees. So Audrey has painted some one her house. Infatuated with Audrey, Ted sets out to find a tree for her. He is told to visit the once-ler who lives in a tower outside town. The Once-ler tells his story about how all the trees were lost and a magical creature called The Lorax who speaks for the trees.

This digitally animated film is based on The Lorax, a book by Dr. Seuss. Naturally a lot of filler material had to be added to a small children’s book, to make it a full length film. There are 4 musical numbers which help to fill it in, and an added back story about a greedy little guy, Mr. O’Hare who took advantage of the Once-ler’s mistake to build the artificial city so that he could sell fresh air. But mostly the movie is very faithful to the book.

The Lorax is a somewhat darker story than most Dr. Seuss stories. But it’s a good thoughtful tale of waste and greed and conservation. I often wondered how far to the left the dear Doctor was, but I think he wasn’t a radical tree hugger. I think he was a reasonable thoughtful man who truly wanted to tell good stories with good values. And certainly they are entertaining. So I don’t think this is a “think green” piece. I think kids will love this story for the colors and the characters. The music is pretty good. For the older folks, the character of Grammy Norma (Betty White) is really funny. She has some of the best lines in the film. The world of Dr. Seuss is brought to the screen in beautiful 3-D.

I really enjoyed this film. It’s fun, and interesting. It’s clever and smart. It’s good for the whole family. There are a lot of critics of this film, mostly by those who haven’t seen it yet. Like many things, people jump on the bandwagon to hate it before they see it. But after seeing it (I went in thinking it was going to be a disaster) I found myself won over. It was a whole lot better than I expected, and I hope people will give it a chance.

==Written by Ed Goettman ==

==From: Ed's Review Dot Com (
An animated rendition of Dr. Seuss's classic book about the threat of industrialization to nature, The Lorax opens in Thneedville--a town never depicted in the original book. Thneedville is an artificial place, made primarily from plastic. It sports inflatable trees, fast cars, and air quality so poor that the residents are forced to purchase bottled fresh air. In another new twist to the story, 12-year-old Ted (Zac Efron) discovers that his crush Audrey (Taylor Swift) wants nothing more than to see a long-extinct Truffula Tree, so he sets out to impress her by finding one. Since there are no real trees in Thneedville, Ted acts on the crazy stories of his grandmother (Betty White), venturing beyond the city's walls into the desolate wasteland to locate a mysterious creature called the Once-ler (Ed Helms). Here the story and animation begin to more closely follow the book. Ted discovers the grumpy recluse, who reluctantly begins to tell him a tale about a once-perfect landscape filled with beautiful Truffula Trees and cute frolicking animals--a landscape now decimated by one greedy young man's insatiable appetite for profit. The beauty and wonder of the Truffula forest and its creatures are right out of Dr. Seuss's illustrations. While the forest creatures may not be directly referred to as Brown Bar-ba-loots, Swomee-Swans, and Humming-Fish, the cute little bears, funny-looking ducks, and especially charming trio of singing fish are instantly recognizable. They serve, as they do in Dr. Seuss's book, to add just the right amount of humor and levity to what would otherwise be a pretty heavy-handed message from the Lorax (Danny DeVito) about environmental preservation. Ted's hormonal instincts to impress Audrey slowly begin to take a back seat to the plight of the lost trees and animals, and the Once-ler's assertion that "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better" rings true by the end of the film. The abundance of original music is a nice and unexpected addition to the story, though why neither Efron nor Swift actually gets to sing is perplexing. (Ages 5 and older) Tami Horiuchi
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