Hollywood has spit on the grave of Dr. Seuss once again. This time not with obnoxious humor and actors in weird fur suits and poorly done makeup, but by making a mockery of the message in Seuss’ book “The Lorax.” I’m not sure which is worse.
The film follows a teen named Ted (Zac Efron), as he tries to win the heart of Audrey (Taylor Swift). Hollywood took the liberty of adding the romance, because what’s a kid’s movie without a love interest? Ted and Audrey live in Thneedville, a plastic-covered town ruled by corporate giant, Mr. O’Hare. Ted is advised by his eccentric granny (Betty White) to visit the Once-ler if he wants to know what happened to the trees. Which he does—not because he cares about trees himself, but because he’s hoping to win Audrey’s heart by giving her a potted tree; it’s unclear how Audrey knows about trees as she hasn’t visited the Once-ler herself. Ted travels to the Once-ler’s lair and learns what caused the trees to disappear and their guardian with them.
From his first appearance, it’s clear the Lorax (Danny DeVito), guardian of the trees, isn’t to be taken seriously. He’s portrayed as clumsy and moronic. If this furry bean is the voice of the trees, you’d think they would have thrown in the towel a long time ago.
The film makers had no intention of bringing Seuss’ environmental message to life. If that wasn’t obvious by the movie itself, the many product endorsements will drive that point home. From pancake houses to furniture stores, the guardian of the trees has transformed into the poster child for consumerism. Seuss’ Lorax would want to claw his own eyes out.
Even if you’re not bothered by Hollywood beating Seuss’ message into an unrecognizable pulp, the movie is just bad. You’ll be waiting for the story to really get started up until the credits start rolling.
“The Lorax” represents everything that is wrong with animated films—from the poorly done musical numbers to half-hearted plot lines. There was the occasional rhyme, but because it wasn’t consistent, the dialogue just seemed sloppy.
This film may have fulfilled its purpose of raking in cash, but a year from now, no one will remember it, which is probably for the better.