Directed by: Chris Renaud
Produced by: Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy
Starring: Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift
Production companies: Illumination Entertainment
Distributed: Universal Pictures
Release date: 2nd March, 2012
Reviewed by Nuratiqah binti Hj Mohamad Deris, UiTM student, Rembau, Negeri Sembilan.
Parents should be aware that this animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss' classic story, The Lorax, is suitable for younger children; there is little scary material, and the pro-environmental message is positive.
You don't have to be under the age of 12 to appreciate all of the craziness in Thneedville. You don't have to be over the age of 12 to understand the message that the film brings out: plant trees to rescue the Earth. Theodor Seuss Geisel, an American writer and cartoonist, deserves praise (better known as Dr Seuss).
Ted adores Audrey, who, for the first time in her life, want to see a living, breathing tree. In a world where air is sold in bottles, this is somewhat tough. When our tweeny hero finally catches up with Once-ler, he is not only given the last Trufulla tree seed, but he (and we) are also made aware of what can happen to Nature without trees. All of this and more are included in the script, which is based on Dr. Seuss' 61-page illustrated children's book of the same name.
Watching the last tree being felled and the magnificent creatures migrating to a country where trees are not felled are both heartbreaking moments in the film. We do, however, wish there were more. It also contains some amusing moments, such as the marshmallow rain and the Once-ler dream scenario. Also, I wish there was more of this. The voice over comes next. Ted, played by Zac Efron, comes across as a happy-go-lucky adolescent, closely followed by Audrey, the girl next door (Taylor Swift). Once-ler, directed by Ed Helms, is a good combination of good-guy-turned-bad-guy-turned-good. The Lorax, played by Danny DeVito, comes across as authoritative enough to be the forest's guardian.
Finally, the 'then' and 'today' setting is what really catches you off guard (since the original was written in 1971). Thneedville was full of Brown Bar-ba-loots playing in the shade and Singing Fish humming all over before the trees were cut down. Thneedville is all about retail malls, parking spaces, and high-tech roadways now that the trees are vanished. With the exception of The Lorax himself, no one appears to emerge from the pages in the animation.