Dr. Seuss' The Lorax (2012)

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Released:  Friday, March 2, 2012  
Length:  94 minutes
Studio: Universal Pictures
Genre: Animation/Family
Rating: Dr. Seuss' The Lorax is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of AmericaSome material may not be suitable for children.


From the creators of Despicable Me and the imagination of Dr. Seuss comes the 3D-CG feature Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, an adaptation of the classic tale of a forest creature who shares the enduring power of hope. The animated adventure follows the journey of a 12-year-old as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world. Danny DeVito will lend his vocal talents to the iconic title character of the Lorax, while Ed Helms will voice the enigmatic Once-ler. Also bringing their talents to the film are global superstars Zac Efron as Ted, the idealistic youth who searches for the Lorax, and Taylor Swift as Audrey, the girl of Ted's dreams. Rob Riggle will play financial king O'Hare, and beloved actress Betty White will portray Ted's wise Grammy Norma. Dr. Seuss' The Lorax is the third feature created by Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me, Hop).

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6/2/2013 11:19 PM EDT
Dr. Seuss' The Lorax images are © Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

Home Depot Celebrates The Release of The Lorax with Family Fun  8/8/2012 9:59 AM EDT
This past weekend, FlickDirect got a chance to participate in the Home Depot for the "Lorax" workshop. The workshop was being held as a promotion of the Blu-ray and DVD launch of "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" on August 7. The project we participated in was "Build a Cork Bulletin Board." This was a really great project, one that I knew my granddaughter would have fun doing and fun using. Kids all gathered...  More>>

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax Theatrical Review

The Lorax marks the fourth story of the late great Dr. Seuss to be adapted into a film. Two of those films, The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas were made into live-action films, while the other, Horton Hears a Who was an animated feature. So far all of the adaptations done by Hollywood have failed in comparison to the original stories or short films of the 70's and unfortunately The Lorax is no exception.

Just as the classic half-hour TV specials of "The Cat in the Hat" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" rendered the live-action feature versions of those beloved Seuss properties wholly unnecessary, so the excellent 1972 short version of "The Lorax" feels like a model of elegant writing and wit next to this overlong effort. The story is essentially the same: In a grey, desolate wasteland, a reclusive figure known as the Once-ler (voiced here by Ed Helms) bemoans the fact that years ago, as a young and ambitious entrepreneur, he chopped down all the region's beautiful Truffula Trees, to the chagrin of the portly, moustached nature guardian called the Lorax (Danny DeVito, in fine form).

Determined to find a real, live tree as a present for a girl (Taylor Swift) he likes, plucky young Ted (Zac Efron) sneaks out of town and pays a visit to the Once-ler, now permanently locked away in his ramshackle abode. Though hostile at first, the Once-ler proceeds to tell Ted his story in flashback: how he razed the forest in order to knit thousands of scarf-like products called Thneeds, and how the Lorax, who speaks for the trees, tried in vain to appeal to his reason and conscience.

The film offers a visually rich elaboration of Seuss' hand-drawn world. Before the Once-ler's arrival, the Lorax's domain is an Eden-like paradise, all rolling green hills and crystal-clear lakes, populated by cute critters such as the aptly named Humming-Fish and the bear-like Bar-ba-loots, which perform roughly the same sight-gag functions here that the Minions did in "Despicable Me."

Yet the key to Seuss' tales, as with all good fables, is not only their cleverness but their surpassing elegance and simplicity, qualities that this busy, over-cluttered movie seems entirely uninterested in replicating. On the contrary, nearly every scripting decision seems intended to squeeze "The Lorax" into the uninspired-gabfest of so much studio animation, governed by the sort of second-rate wisecracks and literal-minded story logic that have no place in Seuss' universe.

The book wittily limited the reader's view of the Once-ler to his arms and hands, emphasizing his insatiable greed; the film not only presents him as a tall, strapping young man but gives him a super-annoying dysfunctional family, the better to explain his hang-ups and generate sympathy. Wacky supporting characters abound, from Riggle's loud-mouthed bad guy to a wisecracking granny on skis who's in the movie for no other reason than to give Betty White a typically adorable opportunity.

The 3D element lends a particularly luscious, tactile quality to the Truffula Trees, whose orange, pink and purple blossoms resemble nothing so much as gigantic cotton-candy bursts; otherwise, the finely tuned visuals gain little from the stereoscopic ttreatment. Songs by composer John Powell and co-scribe Paul are genial and loopy enough to give the film something of a Seussical sensibility. In the end though, this film just does not do the Seuss book any kind of justice and is simply another way for Hollywood to stuff their already fat wallets. 


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