March 9, 2012 by Vinnie Leduc
If you thought Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who! was eye candy as I did, wait until you see the little mustached orange guy. Its beautiful animation, colorful vibrancy, and awesome 3D make The Lorax an early candidate for both Best Animated Movie and Best 3D Movie. From the makers of Despicable Me, including Academy Award-nominated co-director Chris Renaud, Illumination Entertainment’s adaptation of one of beloved author/illustrator Dr. Seuss’ children’s books matches, and maybe surpasses, Pixar’s and DreamWorks’ work in the visual department, but the simplistic storytelling, its biggest weakness, doesn’t.
The Lorax loudly and proudly trumpets its anti-artificial morals and eco-friendly themes in your face over and over again in case you haven’t developed abstract thinking yet, which is more than likely the case if you’re watching this computer-animated children’s tale. One of the ways The Lorax tries to pound environmentalism into its viewers’ skulls is by going full-on Disney with musical numbers, but the songs aren’t catchy or memorable, so don’t worry about getting “Let It Grow” or “I Love Nature” stuck in your head. No, I didn’t make those titles up; they are actual songs from the movie.
I’m glad The Lorax doesn’t have many, if any, cheap obligatory pop culture references (which did appear in Horton), but it is a little too reliant on slapstick humor, another indication that the primary target audience is clearly little kids with fresh, moldable brains. They’ll absolutely love this movie, and adults can certainly tolerate it. Although there aren’t many wildly hilarious moments, The Lorax still offers plenty of chuckles for adults.
Ed Helms and Danny DeVito provide wonderful voice acting, and there’s nothing wrong with the rest of the cast, which includes Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Betty White, and Rob Riggle. You probably won’t notice anyway because the main attraction here is what your eyes will see: a cute creature-filled fantasy land you could’ve only imagined in your dreams or drug-induced hallucinations. Speaking of which, The Lorax made me wish I had been high on something during the visual spectacle. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax gets 3.5 out of 5 stars or B or Good.