The Lorax (2012)

Don’t mess with the little orange people mob.

The story around the journey of a boy (Zac Effron) as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams (Taylor Swift). In order to find it, he must discover the environmental tale of the Lorax (Danny DeVito), the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world against the unscrupulous Once-ler (Ed Helms).

There’s been so much controversy surrounding this flick already about how it’s too political and is basically getting kids too involved with politics and right-wing messages. Haven’t these people ever watched the old Hanna-Barbera cartoons!?!

What works for this flick is that it is definitely one of the better-looking animation flicks I have seen in 3-D in a long time. Being that this is a Dr. Seuss adaptation, it’s pretty cool to see all of the characters and locations look like they just came from his own hand and given an extra-dimension. The 3-D also works because it is used in a way that is meant to thrill you but then again isn’t that what 3-D is meant for? You see almost every little piece of hair in The Lorax’s mustache, the drool coming from the bears’ mouths feel as if they’re coming right towards you, and when a tree grows, it almost seems like it’s growing right in the movie theater. This is 3-D that is meant to feel like it’s actually there and even though so many other countless animated flicks do the same thing, they don’t do it quite as well as this flick. Basically, this is a very good-looking film that should be seen in 3-D, but if you can’t see it with the funny glasses then don’t feel bad because you’re not missing a whole lot.

Another part of this film that works is that it is a kids flick that has a good spirit with it the whole way through. Throughout the film, we get nice bits of comedy that will not only appeal to the parents but also provides some slap-stick for the kids that will always seem to get them laughing no matter what. The songs are also very good and original and I like the way that they didn’t try to take any old songs and rehash them into the plot to make them seem relatable to the plot, instead they just made their own original tracks and they work. “Let it Grow” and “How Bad Can I Be?” were definitely two songs that I couldn’t stop humming on the way home even though I had some Bob Marley cranked up real high.

Where I think this film hits its problem is its whole political message that may seem like the wrong taste for a flick like this that’s centered towards kids and most adults bringing their kids to see it. I’m not against a film having their own agenda and trying to reach out to kids and making a point but in a film about a little orange tree hugger named The Lorax? Really? It also didn’t help that within the first 5 minutes the film was already showing these people of Thneedville as totally oblivious/and or ignorant townspeople that just brought everything because it was plastic and it was hip. Much like ‘Despicable Me’, too much of it seemed a little too mean to be taken seriously and a subject to ever be taken lightly.

Don’t get me wrong here though folks, I did like the message that this film brought up to kids and I hope it definitely gets them out there trying to preserve the land we live on and making sure that people are taking care of our beautiful planet, but then when they throw in the really crappy villain named Mr. O’Hare, who owns an air company, it seemed to get really really lame. The whole villain plot of this film seemed like the last thing we would see in anything from Dr. Seuss and I almost wish that they went for a villain that was a little more wild, crazy, or just overall outlandish. Rob Riggle does a pretty good job with O’Hare’s voice but they then ruin it by using the most unoriginal use of a villain by showing how small he is. I’ve seen the same damn thing in ‘Shrek’ and so many other animated flicks that have a villain, so show me something different for once people!

As for the rest of the voice cast, they all do pretty fine jobs. Ed Helms is pretty good at handling this film all by himself as The Once-ler, and does a great job especially when it comes to the music where he gets to show off some guitar-o skills; Zac Efron does an alright job as Ted, our main protagonist, but it seems like he’s a little too old for these sorts of voice roles and I think he may have to start to move onto his bigger roles he has lined up; and Taylor Swift may seem like another piece of stunt casting to get teenage girls seeing the flick and buying the soundtrack but she’s fine as well. The best out of this whole voice cast is probably Danny DeVito as The Lorax who is a perfect fit because he’s funny, charming, a bit of an ass, and they are both the same size. I don’t mean any disrespect when I say that though Danny, I really don’t.

Consensus: The Lorax may run into problems about getting a little too political with its message, but the talented cast and beautiful visuals keep this film going even when the story seems to slow down.



  1. It’s good to know they didn’t completely butcher the good Doctor’s work with this one, but I still feel he’s best enjoyed in book form. I’m sure Green Eggs and Ham is unfortunately on the horizon.

  2. Hi Dan, liked your review. Still compared to a previous year’s worth of IMHO absolutely awful children’s animated films, I thought this was the best film of its type to come up since Up and Despicable Me.

  3. Great review! I wasn’t sure of this film from looking at the trailers (I thought it seemed rather cheesy) but I’m definitely going to give it a chance 🙂 DeVito is so underrated as a voice actor!

  4. I found it really funny that the songs relied heavily on electronically altered vocals in a flick about being natural. The irony! Given the reviews, I’m a bit surprised to see you gave this a 7 which a pretty solid rating. I was disappointed, but glad you enjoyed the film. Nice review!

  5. This movie seems like it is a lot better than I think it is going to be, I was expecting it to be real awful. I might check this out some time. Nice Review.

  6. Nice review, Dan. I have to say I agree with you on a lot of the points you make (and made similar ones in my own review). On weighing the movie down with the message though, well, it’s The Lorax; it was always one of Dr. Seuss’s most political books, and the entire story of the Lorax and the Once-ler in the movie is essentially verbatim from the story. So while it’s all pretty heady for little children, it couldn’t be any other way and still be true to the book.

  7. Just came back from seeing Lorax, took my 7 year old grandson and a 70 year old friend . I can’t tell you which one enjoyed it the most. We saw it at an IMAX theater , and it was amazing. I’ve seen the Disney 3D some years ago , but this is much better, well worth the price of admission and more.

  8. We will agree with you on the animation part. The characters were beautifully drawn to look exactly like Seuss’ original characters. The only thing we would say about the political outlook would be that the original story was very politically inclined as well. We weren’t as impressed as you with this movie as a whole but we agree that it was a good movie to take the kids to. Good review! And thanks for checking ours out!

  9. Solid work, Dan. I think this one was a bit heavyhanded at times, but it didn’t make it unenjoyable. I appreciated how there were voice parts that didn’t go to uber-famous people (just to put names on the poster) and that the songs were more about quality than quantity.

    My son is two and a half and this is the first movie we didn’t leave early! Success!

  10. I really liked this one, it was a kids movie with a brain. If the film is political, I think its because its a product of the world we are living in. But I like the fact that it doesnt treat kids like idiots, its actually sending out a relevant message. I’ll be reviewing this one soon as well, since I like it when I see a childrens movie that isnt overtly dumb.

  11. Nice review. Although I think the film has a left wing message, not a right one. Conservatives attacked The Lorax for being too political. So they hate it. And the liberals hated the shitty way the film incorporated the pro-environmental message into the film. So…both sides hated this crappy movie.

    I actually felt the voice acting by Helms was pretty shoddy. He ALWAYS plays the same character…same goes for animation. Zac Efron and Taylor Swift (who’s not an actress)? Psh. If they’re not signs the producers only wanted to make a quick buck off a Dr. Seuss tale, I don’t know what is. The only actor I found charming was DeVito, who is always great.

    Can’t vouch for the 3D, I saw it in the second dimension. I honestly have never witnessed a 3D animated film I enjoyed, so I can’t say The fucking Lorax excites me.

    But again, nice review. I don’t mind that the film had a political agenda…I mean, how pissed can we get that a film preaches environmentally friendly ideals? Especially when shows like Arthur and Sesame Street do it all the time? It was the execution that bothered me.

  12. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. While I think its so important that everyone shares an opinion I seem to not look past what I feel it really was and that was an adventurous quest for a boy in love. Saving the tree’s because they provided oxygen seemed to be the huge message although I suppose your take on it is something some might see. Fun loving Dr. Seuss and the Lorax was enjoyed by our whole family. thanks for sharing your view

  13. Great review and an especially great analysis of the 3D/visuals. They really did an awesome job, and I thought it was much better than Horton Hears A Who’s animation.

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