“Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax”
This film is a disappointment on many
levels. They begin with overdubbed poetry, as Dr. Seuss would
have done, but quickly abandon it, as if even that brief homage is too
difficult. But they could have worked a little harder on that.
The main character is supposed to be a
12-year-old boy, Ted, but is instead the voice of a 24-year-old man (Zac Efron).
The girl of a similar age, Audrey, is 22 (Taylor Swift). Surely
they could have worked harder at finding real kids’ voices?
The plot, which comes from the book by
Dr. Seuss, isn’t bad, but the moviemakers beat the same drum the entire
time, which becomes more annoying than amusing. A whole community
lives in an artificial world of plastic grass and trees because they have
destroyed the natural environment. This somehow plays into the
hands of the developers, who now get to sell water and air to consumers.
But Ted, daring to venture “outside the walls,” finds himself
talking to an old man, the Once-ler (the voice of Ed Helms) who assures him it
wasn’t always this way, tells him how the sad situation evolved, and gives
him the last remaining seedling as proof.
trying to impress his prepubescent heartthrob Audrey (who’d told him she
would love to see a real tree), tries to plant the seedling in their town, but
is continually thwarted by the evil developer. But he’s aided
in his politically-correct quest by a feisty grandmother, and the spirit of
The Lorax, who ascends and descends on a shaft of light because he….grabs
his own behind?
Sigh. Not only is there not
enough funny material for the adults, the kids will probably be bored, as
well. The animation is terrific, but somehow they forgot to make
it very charming or humorous or winsome. Just because you’re a
cartoon character doesn’t mean you’re cute. And just because
you’re preaching for a good cause doesn’t mean we want to listen to your
whole harangue. Let’s see, a twenty-minute sermon might be just
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Interim Pastor,
St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Irving , Texas