Raven McCoy here...
It seems like there really couldn't be a better time than now to release a movie about economic responsibility and corporate greed. Everyone is preaching about being greener while also trying to make as much money as possible. It's only fitting that a big screen version of Dr. Seuss's ecological tale THE LORAX be released and a wonderful adaptation it is!
From the same people that brought us the delightful DESPICABLE ME and the non-sensical HOP, Illumination Entertainment has stepped up their game in every way with THE LORAX. While the bulk of Seuss' original story remains, they've also found a way to update it and give it even greater meaning. Still telling the tale of a young boy who visits the reclusive Once-ler on the outskirts of town and learns about his history with the guardian of the trees, the Lorax, in hopes of getting the last tree seed, this new adaptation gives the film more dimension by adding a new villain and giving the boy motivation for seeking out the Once-ler.
Instead of existing just within the Once-ler's flashbacks, THE LORAX allows you to see the result of the Once-ler's work with the thneed and see the world that the thneed has created. Because of the Once-ler's greed and the destruction of the forest, we see that the town of Thneed-ville is an entirely manufactured society. Everything from the trees to the flowers to the water are electronic or polluted and they even have to purchase clean air, all of which is happily provided by the town's wealthy mayor and the story's new representation of corporate greed, O'Hare.
The film still teaches the lesson of caring for the environment but also that the efforts of one person can make a big difference. The young boy who seeks out the Once-ler, Ted, wants a tree to impress the girl of dreams Aubrey, but in the process finds a greater purpose and helps the rest of town think beyond their hermetically sealed, plastic life and see the need for all things in nature.
In addition to the rich lessons taught by THE LORAX, the film has a great voice cast made up of Danny Devito, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Ed Helms, Betty White and Rob Riggle who all perform with such emotion and enthusiasm. Devito’s voice is perfect for the gruff but concerned Lorax and Efron’s boyish charm shines through in Ted, giving him pluck and likeability.
But the true star is the beautiful animation done by Illumination Entertainment. Every detail in THE LORAX has so much depth, color and movement. From the individual hairs that can be seen in the Lorax's mustache to the wispy tufts of the Truffula trees, everything is so much more defined and gives the world of Dr. Seuss a magical appearance. There are even some surprisingly fun music numbers that bring the town and the forest to life while also moving the story along quickly rather than slowing it down. With such beautiful animation the 3D really becomes a bit of a throw away but is a nice addition no less.
THE LORAX is a well-rounded, beautifully animated and engaging film. The story's lessons continue to ring true in today's world and is a fun companion to Dr. Seuss' book that will delight kids and parents alike and promote environmental discussions at home.