FILM: Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (*1/2) — Review

Posted: March 13, 2012 in Film, Reviews
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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Full disclosure: I’ve never read Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. I understand if that precludes any readers from respecting my review. But untainted by the overindulgent fantastical memories of my childhood, I watched Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax with an objective eye. Looking back on it now, I wish I hadn’t. If only I had walked in reciting Seuss rhymes, I may have walked out with a shinier review. Unfortunatel, none of the witty lines or adorably drawn characters were able to push it past anything more than a cutesy, fluff piece for the environment.

The Lorax tells the story of an idealistic boy named Ted who discovers the history “Thneed-Ville”, now a closed-off city with artificial trees and vegetation. Jumping between two time lines, the film traces the dangers that corporate greed has on nature. If I didn’t know any better, Michael Moore wrote and direct the film. I have nothing wrong with a film promoting a social agenda. Many films do. But when a social agenda is at the forefront and the actual heart of the story is pushed to the wayside, all of it gets a little too stale for a children’s movie.

What’s missing most of all from The Lorax is cleverness — a quality that was probably the most vibrant and consistent through all of Dr. Seuss’ books. It lacks the cleverness to touch controversial subjects with a innocent graze. It lacks the cleverness to create sympathy for characters across the moral spectrum. And it lacks the cleverness to realize audiences desire more than a noisy, clunky, ADHD-induced animated film neither for child or adult. All we get are lazy stereotypes of Dr. Seuss’ mind. And for that, it should honestly change its name to just The Lorax. Because there is nothing quite Dr. Seuss about it.

Except the rhymes. Those were cool.

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