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Dr. Seuss' The Lorax - Review

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

DR Seuss has been pretty poorly served by cinema adaptations thus far with Horton Hears A Who! being the one notable exception.

The same team have now turned their attentions to The Lorax but with sadly disappointing results.

When it originally appeared in print in 1972, the book was a short, sharp eco parable that sought to warn against the dangers of corporate greed while also entertaining as only Dr Seuss knew how.

The book told the story of a boy named Ted, a resident of a wholly manufactured town, who comes to learn of the story of the Lorax and his role in being the guardian of the trees following an encounter with The Once-ler, the person responsible for chopping them all down.

In fleshed out film form, the boy (voiced by Zac Efron) is now on a quest to impress the girl of his dreams (Taylor Swift) and has a hip, snow-boarding capable granny (Betty Smith) to assist him and a big business nemesis (who even sells air) to deter him.

There are songs, too, most of which are forgettable, as well as annoying pop culture references and, worse, the odd bit of product placement. The Lorax (Danny DeVito) is also very much a guest star in his own film!

All of this flies in the face of Seuss’s original message and robs the film of any real charm. And what is retained of the environmental message is so heavy-handed, audiences may feel their being hit over the head with it.

The Lorax may well entertain the youngest viewers by virtue of its vibrant animation and colourful supporting characters. But for everyone else, and Seuss fans especially, it’s a bit of a drag – and one that shamefully falls foul of its own message.

Certificate: U
Running time: 84mins
UK Release Date: July 27, 2012