If I could describe The Lorax in one word, and one word only, it would be colorful. Boy was this movie colorful. But it’s not just that. It’s also lively, energetic, at some points generic, but all around fun.
The Lorax is based of off the beloved children’s book by a little known author named Dr. Seuss (maybe you’ve heard of him). The film tells the story through the eyes of a young kid named Ted (voiced by Zac Efron), a resident of Thneedville where all the trees are made of plastic and people actually have to pay for their air from the money loving business tycoon, Mr. O’Hare (voiced by Rob Riggle). In order to impress the girl of his dreams, Audrey (Taylor Swift), Ted must venture off to track down the mysterious Once-ler (Ed Helms), so that he may acquire a real live tree that have been forgotten for many years.
Silly premise right? Of course it is, it’s a Dr. Seuss story. But since when is silly always a bad thing? Sure, it’s not up to the level of Pixar with their equal hand in heartfelt story telling and hilarious moments, but Illumination Entertainment is starting to create a great little niche for them themselves after the mega hit blockbuster, Despicable Me, put them on the radar. This is a movie for kids and the real kid at heart kind of people. People who can sit back and enjoy the bouncy rhythm of this computer generated world and laugh along with the silly characters as they find themselves in silly situations.
The story isn’t what you would think it would be from the looks of the trailer. It focuses more so on the Once-ler’s story of how he messed up in his younger years by being the cause of the extinction of the tress. He tells of his encounters with the magical Lorax (Danny DeVito), and how much he had grown to enjoy being among the Forrest and all it’s friendly inhabitants. Oh, and in case you don’t know what a Lorax is, he’s a mystical creature who acts as guardian of the Forrest and protector of the trees. It’s his job to keep the Once-ler from chopping them down and for the most part he does his job well. But once the story of greed and power kicks in, it goes from fun and happy to dark and upsetting. However, there is a good message to be learned even from the change in tone.
It’s very easy for me to predict what type of people will enjoy this movie. As I said before, you have to really enjoy kids movies and find enjoyment out of the most illogical things. But the other type will be those who loved the humor in Despicable Me. This movie is a lot like Despicable Me and a lot of ways, so much so, that the forest animals felt very similar to the little yellow minions we’ve all come to know and love. The movie has a message deeper than just environmental ones, but a lot of being true to yourself, not letting power get the best of you and being there for friends, family and what you love most. I loved all these messages, but they seemed a little to “spelled out” at the end. It’s like “hey everybody, lets end this movie with a giant musical number re-capping what we’ve learned today!” (Which they actually do). Pixar movies have the ability to tell a fantastic story that people of all ages will enjoy, but doesn’t need to spoon feed it’s messages to viewers.
The Lorax is an overall fun movie. It’s not a masterpiece in animation, but it doesn’t need to be to have people enjoy it. Honestly, it’s nice when movies like this comes out, so that they can give us a break from the generic adult comedies that come out every year by the hundreds and give us something to laugh with that younger viewers (and kids at heart) can be sucked into.
*Early Prediction*- I would love to see the song “How Bad Can I Be?” nominated at next years Oscar ceremony. Kids movies have been the go to place for award winning songs lately, and I think this one has a shot.