Film Review – The Lorax

The main problem with this film I found, was that I kept asking what exactly IS a Lorax???

I’m going to get the book as this film lacked big explanations. It was a nice adventure but it did lack something extra. It’s basically about the environment. Thneedville has no real trees. They’re all plastic plug in with light bulbs.

Cue a great scene though from the mom, one tree changes lights for the seasons, green for summer and spring, white for winter, orange for autumn and DISCO! That was cool.

The trees outside have all been chopped down to make stuff with. Bottled air is what keeps the town’s air going. (Let’s hope they recycle those bottles!)

The use of flashbacks were the main reason this film was long. For young kids, two hours is quite a length. What could’ve been done in one scene was stretched out over three. Three LONG scenes. Yes, our hero has to go back to listen to the tale of how the trees were lost – THREE LONG times.

Another problem was the songs were forgettable. I don’t remember a single one, unlike Shrek and Toy Story. (Now you should all remember at least one song from these movies – if not more!) The characters were simplistic and could’ve come from any other movie.

What did they want the kids to do? To learn from this? Ask their parents for a tree??? This is going to be a problem. “Can we plant a tree mommy? Can we? Please? Just one, I‘ll be good!”. Or if there’s an apple tree that needs to come down, there’ll be “No, you’ll summon the Lorax Daddy. You can’t chop it down! MOMMY he‘s chopping down the tree!”
I don’t think most parents will be amused!

Now some plot holes I noticed. What air are they breathing if there’s no trees? The air provided is in bottles (like mineral water), but then they would be gulping every second – it wasn’t explained how the people were breathing in between ‘bottle breaks’. And if they didn’t actually need the bottled air, why was no one noticing they lived when they weren’t ‘drinking’?

I didn’t like the villain. He was made too silly to be a real threat. You can’t be scary AND silly. You can be funny and scary but never silly. Who would like a Lex Luthor as a clumsy clot? Or Darth Vader being Mr. Bean?

Now to The Lorax himself. What creature is he? Where does he come from? The sky??? His importance is also sketchy. Why do the other animals listen to him? How did they recognise him if he’s never appeared before? And why are all the animals young? If the Lorax came before how do any of them recognise him? Did a tree get chopped down before?!

The character voiced by Danny DeVito lacked authority and any real powers. If he didn’t do something, he just said, ‘That’s not the way it works’. To me that’s a cop out.

If he was on performance related pay as a forest guardian – he would be sacked. The entire grove got flattened! I was expecting Princess Fiona from Shrek to pop up and say, “You didn’t save the forest?!” “It was on my to do list!”

It was like Superman without any powers. Albus Dumbledore without any magic. How can he protect/speak for the trees then? Also he didn’t encourage replanting or teach the people how to manage the trees. They simply couldn’t chop ANY trees down, which is just not viable.
Buzz Lightyear has retractable wings, a laser and a cool helmet. The Lorax is just… orange. If I were a kid I know which toy I’d get.

Another point is that the studio must have used massive amounts of paper and electricity to make the cartoon, so to preach about waste was rather hypocritical.

The character ‘The Onester’ was another problem. I didn’t like him. He was stupid. Where did all his money go? Why did he shut himself away in a shack? Surely being so rich he should have had a mansion? I got the self imposed solitary confinement but not the total missing wealth. Also he waited until the very last moment to realise he was in trouble. Also rather than try to correct something he did wrong – he did… nothing!

Also in one scene he uses an axe to break his window, then uses he the door to get out. What was that about???

The animals were fantastic and they should have been used a lot more. They’re funny and had real personality. I loved the singing goldfish and the bears.

Zac Efron voiced our hero, Ted. He was listed third in the credits which I didn‘t like. Who was the man who was second???

Taylor Swift was the heroine. Her digital character actually resembled her. Was that intentional?

They were both okay but again, the parts lacked any real pizzazz. ‘Textbook landing’ as they say in the airport control tower – but it’s not wowza!

Betty White (Golden Girls) was the real surprise as grandma. She was very funny. She doesn’t get much screen time till the end. I would have preferred her in it more, she had some golden moments and she sounded like she was having fun.

I can only give this movie 4/10. Giving eco messages is always risky, especially in a kids movie.

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About Erzi Paris

Erzi Paris lives in London and loves writing, going to the theatre and watching films. Always abreast of celebrity news, his biggest hope is to be a reporter. He likes keep-fit too. His favourite authors are Michael Crichton, JK Rowling, Suzanne Collins and Rosalind Miles.
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One Response to Film Review – The Lorax

  1. Carter says:

    I watched this movie with my kids last weekend, and while they enjoyed it I agree with many of the shortcomings that you pointed out. A co-worker at Dish recommended it to me, and so I rented it off of Blockbuster @ Home. While the kids were entertained I don’t think it was an instant favorite, and really I am glad that I rented it instead of buying the DVD. I may exchange it for The Hunger Games today. Hopefully we all can enjoy that