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Title: The Lorax
Screenwriter: Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio
Director: Chris Renaud
Release Date: March 2, 2012
Running Time: 86 minutes
Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Ted lives in a place virtually devoid of nature; no flowers or trees grow in the town of Thneedville. Ted would very much like to win the heart of Audrey, the girl of his dreams, but to do this, he must find that which she most desires: a Truffula tree. To get it, Ted delves into the story of the Lorax, once the gruff guardian of the forest, and the Once-ler, who let greed overtake his respect for nature.
I will admit that I saw The Lorax the first time around when it was out in theaters, and I really liked it. If you’ve read my review of the book, then you know that I haven’t read the book since I was a kid, so I was far enough removed from the source material that it didn’t affect my enjoyment. Now that the book is fresh in my memory banks, I have done a totally 180 on this theatrical attempt.
Ten minutes hadn’t passed before I was already annoyed. O’Hare as an additional villain is totally unnecessary because we all know that the Once-ler is villain enough. When it comes to this story, more is too much. Two businessmen who could not care less about their destruction of the environment is total overkill. Also why did we need Audrey to encourage Ted to visit the Once-ler? Couldn’t he just as well been a boy who got curious from Grammy’s stories of what life in her younger days? How did Audrey even know about the trees… because I didn’t see her hanging out with Grammy or any other old person who could tell her how life used to be when there were Truffula Trees. And the Once-ler…who was that guy?! So…the Once-ler is a country bumpkin who travels with marshmallows and an electric guitar? It looks more like he should be traveling to New York or Los Angeles to get a record deal because every 15 minutes he’s breaking out into his own music video. And did you notice how little the Lorax was actually in the film? I guess that’s how you must feel if you go to see a movie called Godzilla, and Godzilla doesn’t show up until the last 10 minutes of the movie.
Not Seuss Approved
It seems like the only homage to the greatness of Dr. Seuss was the title and when the end credits change from the movie CGI to the original illustrations. Where is the simple whimsy of days yore from one of the quintessential writers of children’s books? So…you didn’t want to sneak any of those rhyming lines into the script? I want my animated entertainment to warm my Grinch-like heart and delight the child within that I thought was possibly dead and gone. I prefer the Lorax that drops bars as opposed to throwing ‘bows. I DID NOT enjoy seeing the Lorax as a snarky old orange ball of fur. I am snarky enough for the both of us. I mean…snarky Lorax made me laugh because I’m me, but he didn’t uphold the soul of the Lorax created by the one and only Dr. Seuss. The only saving grace was the mourning of the first Truffula Tree cut down by the Once-ler. I think the room got a little dusty when I was watching that scene.
The movie was a visual beauty, but that is to be expected in 2016. However, the storyline was a hot jumbled mess. Telling the story of the aftermath of the Once-ler’s actions was a good start, but inserting O’Hare as another villain was definitely unnecessary.
The Final Grade
Burnt Popcorn: This movie is not for those who love or even like the story of The Lorax. Do yourself a favor and watch the TV movie. You get the story as it should be in half the time. Sounds like a win-win to me!
So…have you seen the tv movie version of The Lorax? How much money would you spend on a Thneed? Do you like marshmallows? Did you enjoy this adaptation of The Lorax? Do you think Dr. Seuss would like the movie? Let us know in the comments! |RL