Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax Review
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The works of Dr. Seuss have been delighting kids of all ages for generations. Through the years, the kooky characters and memorable rhymes from his wildly imaginative books have also shown up on everything from T-shirts to TV specials. They’ve been adapted into a number of feature-length films, too—some charming, some just plain embarrassing. Fortunately, though, thanks to the imagination and innovation of the team behind 2010’s Despicable Me, the latest cinematic Seuss adaptation, The Lorax, does its late creator proud.

Twelve-year-old Ted (voiced by Zac Efron) will do anything to win the affections of his pretty neighbor, Audrey (Taylor Swift). So when he learns that her greatest wish is to see a real, live tree, he sets out on a mission to find one for her.

  
 
You see, in the manufactured town of Thneedville, everything is perfectly plastic—and fresh air is supplied by billionaire Mr. O’Hare (Rob Riggle). No one’s seen a real tree in years. So, determined to find a tree for Audrey, Ted sneaks out of town—with a little bit of help from his clever old Grammy (Betty White). There, in a rundown shack, he encounters The Once-Ler (Ed Helms), a bitter hermit who tells the sad story of his own involvement in the death of the trees—and the magical Lorax (Danny DeVito), the guardian of the forest.

From the opening song of The Lorax, the message is clear: green is good. But while many movies tend to take their environmental message and repeatedly smack audiences upside the head with it, The Lorax keeps things light and entertaining—in signature Seuss style. It’s creatively and vibrantly animated, with plenty of silly songs and clever rhymes to keep both kids and parents on their toes.

The characters, meanwhile, are just as quirky as their surroundings—from creepy little Mr. O’Hare and crazy, adventurous Grammy to the dancing, singing woodland creatures. And audiences will adore Ted, the awkward but well-meaning boy who goes on a mission for love and ends up inspired by the Once-Ler’s tale.

The storytelling, however, may sometimes be a bit confusing for younger viewers. After all, it often skips back and forth from the Once-Ler’s tale of past regrets to Ted’s own adventures as he continues to sneak out of Thneedville, in spite of greedy Mr. O’Hare’s threats. And those time-shifts may be somewhat tough to follow.

Still, The Lorax is a magical, whimsical Dr. Seuss adventure, perfectly blending its important message with its wacky, Seuss-y sense of humor. It’s funny, it’s lovable, and it’s action-packed, environmentally-friendly fun for the whole family.

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