Haydn Radford -A freelance writer born in Adelaide, who loves living here. I write about movies, theatre, entertainment, literary and art events. I am happy to promote & review your events. www.weekendnotes.com/profile/121822
Published April 10th 2012
Before I begin I have a confession to make: I have never read a Dr Seuss book. I saw the trailer to this film several times and it captured my attention. I have made no attempt to even look at the book before seeing this animated 3D film. I just wanted to see the film Dr Seuss' The Lorax the latest film by co-directors, Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda - who were two key players behind Despicable Me and judge it on its own merits, whatever they might be. This is from someone who grew up on Famous Five, Secret Seven & Biggles and has always been a strong believer in films being faithful interpretations of the book they are based upon.
I enjoyed this humorous and colourful 3D animation movie that is based on Dr Seuss' grim tale of a treeless city and the environmental destruction of the trees caused through industrial greed due to the manufacturing of a cleansing product and clothing apparel. The hero is Ted, a young lad who desires the beautiful and environmentally concerned Audrey and sees an opportunity where he can win her hand by him finding the last tree seed and begin re-populating the trees. Ted encounters various characters on his adventure into the treeless wilderness and their humourous antics are very entertaining in this energetic and lively 3D animated movie.
The Lorax and the first tree is cut down
While I felt entertained by this very amusing movie, I couldn't help but be reminded of what happened in Tasmania with Gunns and their collusion with the state government and the possible devastation of the lush forests to create a pulp mill industry. Ironically, this incident is very similiar to Dr Seuss' story and not only provides entertainment but also provides children of all ages an opportunity to better appreciate and understand the importance of protecting the environment. I have since read reviews stating that Dr Seuss over played the being green card, but I don't agree with them.
Taylor Swift doing the voice of Audrey
Danny DeVito as the voice of The Lorax
Dr Seuss's The Lorax, is undoubtably a bright and entertaining animated film with a host of stars doing the voice-overs of some memorable and engaging characters; to mention a few, Danny DeVito as The Lorax, Zac Efron as Ted, a young lad on a mission to attract the object of his desire, Audrey (voice by Taylor Swift), Rob Riggle as the menacing villain, Mr O'Hare and his bottled air monopoly, and Betty White who does the voice of Grammy Norma, the Grandma we would all love to have.
Grandmother Grammy Norma
As I left the cinema I had a conversation with a young theatre usher who told me how he grew up on Dr Seuss and was a great fan of his books. The film he also enjoyed and objected to the various film reviews being highly critical of the film claiming it spoiled the spirit of the book, the added pop culture references and "being too heavy-handed with the pro-green message." He approved of the environmental messages and thought the film was not only entertaining but gave opportunities to open up meaningful conversation with children about protecting the environment. I couldn't agree more.
What I also took delight in was the additional, sometimes subtle pieces of humour from the supporting characters, such as the fish playing the card game Fish, naturally, the cheerful creatures like the Bar-ba-loots and Humming-fish and the mixed bag of musical tributes to the films Mission: Impossible, and Lion King finale with the aptly named song Let It Grow. I am told, these are additional characters to the original story, but even if they are, I feel they certainly provided more laughs and enjoyment. This film is entertaining for adults too, and if you do decide to see it, make sure to look out for the sense of fun these supporting characters bring to this delightful film. Some adults will certainly get a kick out of being re-acquainted with their childhood.