When I was little, I really liked the hand-drawn cartoon version of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax and I think that made me hesitant to give this newer version a chance. Plus, I felt inundated by an advertising campaign that, quite frankly, made this movie look childish and stupid.
Although I can’t completely say The Lorax isn’t a bit childish (some of the musical numbers-especially the opening and closing ones-are pretty cloying and most of the forest animal pratfalls are directly aimed at younger viewers), it definitely isn’t stupid. There were several scenes that genuinely touched my heart in a similar way to the original story.
The movie begins in idyllic Thneedville, where everything is seemingly perfect, but the residents have to buy fresh air from nasty Mayor O’Hare and all the of plant-life is artificial. Young Ted Wiggins (Zac Efron) has a crush on his neighbor Audrey (Taylor Swift) and sets out to find a tree for her. His Grandma (Betty White) sends him to see the Once-ler (Ed Helms), a mysterious individual who lives far outside of the city. Ted is astonished by the desolation and pollution beyond the city walls and the Once-ler is reluctant to explain what happened. Eventually Ted learns the truth about the fate of the Truffula trees and how the magical protector of the forest, The Lorax (Danny DeVito) tried to save them.
The voice cast is quite good, especially Ed Helms who has the best musical numbers and really gives the Once-ler a soul. I find it really odd that they cast Zac Efron and Taylor Swift in a cartoon musical and then didn’t give them any songs to sing. Maybe their songs were cut? Anyway, I wish there was a little more of the source material here, but that’s nitpicking.
My polish for this movie is China Glaze’s Tree Hugger from their Spring 2008 Ecollection. This is a shimmery, almost lime green that is quite striking on the nails. The formula was a little thin, and required 3 coats for full coverage. ~K