I like Dr. Seuss as much as the next guy. What kid didn’t grow up reading “Green Eggs and Ham” or “The Cat in the Hat?” The guy wrote some of the most brilliant children’s stories of all time because he made them fun for kids, but they all had a simple, yet important message to convey. Though his stories could make for a good kid’s movie, more often than not, they end up being terrible, and I place that blame squarely on the film maker. The source material is usually perfect. Directors and writers tend to screw things up by trying to get some length out of Dr. Seuss classics by adding annoying songs, or useless characters. Though, sadly, “The Lorax” falls victim to modern Seuss adaptations, it doesn’t come off nearly as bad as some of its predecessors.
One of the main reasons that Dr. Seuss film adaptations never seem to work in my opinion is because they’re too long. His stories are short, sweet, and they get their point across in a few pages. The message of “The Lorax” comes across clearly enough, but there is an enormous amount of filler to make this a feature length movie. One way this is achieved is by adding story elements about an evil corporation that sells air and a boy searching for a tree to impress a girl who he ultimately hopes to bang. More time is wasted with the addition of useless characters like the hip grandmother voiced by Betty White. Her addition to the story reeked of some suit thinking that because Betty White is cool right now, she needs to be in the movie. And even more time is wasted with songs that were not very catchy, and downright annoying at times. All of these things made “The Lorax” a long 86 minute movie.
However, “The Lorax” is not all bad, and I have to give credit where credit is due. Even though I didn’t like many of the characters in the movie, the main ones come off as funny and charming. Danny DeVito voices the title character and he interacts mostly with The Once-ler voiced by Ed Helms. Both actors seemed to have a genuine sense of chemistry together and they were the high point of the movie for me. Zac Efron voices Ted, a young boy trying to find out what happened to the trees, with a sense of curiosity and wonder, but he is hardly relevant to the plot until the end.
Kids should enjoy “The Lorax” because of its cutesy characters, and colorful settings. Dr. Seuss’ message about protecting the environment still manages to ring through in a slightly fun way. Even though there are elements of this movie that I found annoying or did not like, it’s important for kids to learn a little about the environment. “The Lorax” is not a great movie, but it is probably one of the better adaptations of Dr. Seuss’ works. If you have kids, they’ll enjoy it at least.
for how I am Rich and I speak for the geeks.
tl;dr – This movie would serve better as an animated short than a feature length film, but as far as Dr. Seuss movies go, you can do much worse.