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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
Directed by Chris Renaud
Universal Studios Home Entertainment 03/12 DVD/VHS Animated Film
PG- mild brief language

We are tree people in love with the oldest living beings on earth; these precious friends give us oxygen, protect the soil from erosion, serve as a habitat for wildlife, and stir us as great works of art. Jean Shinoda Bolen has written:

"To a tree person, cutting them down for lumber would be like pulverizing Michelangelo's statues of David or the Pieta to make marble tiles, or bulldozing the acropolis of Athens as site for a hotel."

Yet all around the world trees are being cut down by logging companies; rain forests are being cleared to make room for housing developments and animal grazing. Thankfully, there are tree activists everywhere trying to put an end to this madness.

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax is an uplifting celebration of trees and their beauty. This delightful animated feature is based on his 1971 children's classic. It has been adapted for the screen by Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul. Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel had 40 of his books published and considered this one to be his favorite.

Welcome to the phony world of Thneedville where artificial trees are the norm. Flip a switch and they change colors for the seasons, and they even come in a disco version. The man-in-charge of this community is O'Hare (voiced by Rob Riggle), a short wheeler-dealer with a big ego who has made a fortune selling bottled water and air.

Ted (Zac Efron) is a smart 12 year old who has fallen in love with Audrey (Taylor Swift). When he learns that what she wants more than anything else on earth is a real tree, he decides to go on a quest to find one for her.

Ted gets a little help from his grandmother (Betty White) who gives him directions to Once-ler (Ed Helms), an exiled entrepreneur who tells the boy the sad story of his role in cutting down all the trees in a long-ago paradise called Truffula Valley outside Thneedville where the Lorax (Danny Devito) was the guardian of the trees. Now a recluse, Once-ler sees that Ted might just be the one to bring trees back to the city and to the wilderness.

Chris Renaud (Despicable Me) directs this questing drama with its colorful characters and bouncy and buoyant songs by the goldfish, swans, bears, and other happy creatures in Truffula Valley. Watching this animated film at home, parents and children can join in singing with the cast in the ecological ballad "Let It Grow."


Special features on the Blu-Ray/DVD combo include All-New Mini-Movies; The Making of the Mini-Movies; Deleted Scenes; Seuss to Screen; Once-ler's Wagon; Games; Sing-Along

 

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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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Zac Efron as Ted Rob Riggle as O'Hare Betty White as Grandma Norma, Jenny Slate as Ted's mom and Zac Efron as Ted Zac Efron as Ted and Taylor Swift as Audrey Ed Helms as Once-ler Danny Devito as the Lorax Danny Devito as the Lorax and Ed Helms as Once-ler

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