Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
Release Date: March 02, 2012
Audience: All ages
Runtime: 94 minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures/Comcast
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Stephen Burke, CEO, NBC Universal (A subsidiary of Comcast)
Ron Meyer, President/COO, Universal Studios
Adam Fogelson, Chairman, Universal Pictures
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That said, like the book, THE LORAX is highly environmentalist to the point of suggesting that individual capitalism and free enterprise is bad, and that any quest to make money and be an entrepreneur will inevitably result in the planet’s destruction. In THE LORAX, all businessmen are inherently evil and control society (in this case, Thneedville) both financially and politically, in a policed, fascist-like state.
The story focuses on the quest of a high school student, Ted (Zac Efron), to earn the love of the beautiful Audrey (Taylor Swift). To do this, he decides to grant Audrey’s deepest desire: to see a real tree. In the industrialized mecca of Thneedville, the trees disappeared many years ago, and no one remembers why. Guided by his hipster grandmother (Betty White), Ted escapes Thneedville. He seeks out the Once-ler (ED HELMS), who tells him about the Lorax (Danny Devito), the guardian creature of the forest.
THE LORAX is a fun-filled ride that reminds us that the whole of creation is beautiful and should not be taken for granted. However, the story gets fragmented and becomes a little frenetic and boring. Fortunately, the final act is exciting, and the movie ends on a high note.
However, families don’t fare well in this family-oriented tale. Ted’s mother is, well, a little crazy. Viewers never find out what happened to his conspicuously absent father. Also, his grandmother must resort to trickery and deception in order free Ted from Sunday family time so that he can go about his quest. In the parallel storyline, even the Once-ler’s family is dysfunctional and his parents don’t know how to love him. His mother even claims she always knew he would be a disappointment.
THE LORAX does end, however, on a positive affirmation of friendship and reconciliation between the fuzzy, orange spirit of the forest and the Once-ler, as well as the clear message that if people take good care of the world, it’s never too late for a fresh start.
THE LORAX is colorful, creative, and filled with fun music. In fact, the cute new little teddy bear friends the Once-ler makes on his quest are sure to delight the little ones. That said, like the book by Dr. Seuss, THE LORAX is highly environmentalist. It is so political that it suggests all capitalism and all business is bad. Thus, any quest to make money and be an entrepreneur will inevitably result in the planet’s destruction. Despite a fragmented, boring middle, THE LORAX ends on a high note, with a positive affirmation of friendship. THE LORAX warrants strong caution and much parental guidance.