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The Lorax movie stays true to Dr. Seuss book

Paul Peterson

March 2 was Dr. Seuss’ birthday. He would have been 108 if he hadn’t assumed room temperature in 1991. For those who don’t know, Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodore Grissel, was rejected by an army of publishers who told him he had no talent, no one wanted to read what he wrote and that his writing career would never amount to anything. Ya, they know stuff.
Seuss’ spirit certainly lives on under the watchful eye of his widow Audrey, who is listed in The Lorax as executive producer. She’s very vigilant about his image and the film’s staying true to the spirit of the original stories.
Apparently, she was very upset with Michael Myers’ Cat in the Hat although it still has one of the funniest scenes I’ve ever laughed at in my lifetime.
The Lorax is a visual and thematic treat.
I always ask people on the way out if they enjoyed it and people were enthusiastically appreciative.
I understand why.
Considering the age of the story, (which has been expanded and fleshed out to make a very short book into a 90 minute film) it’s a pretty timely cautionary tale of excess and neglect.
I was amused to read about all the controversy surrounding this story and it’s anti-business, pro-environment message and how there was resistance to publishing this. Too funny. It’s just so common now and totally vanilla in terms of inspiring any kind of controversy but they were different times.
I really liked the directors not going after easily recognized voices, even though they did go for famous people, their voices blend in and were in many ways a perfect fit.
Our story so far.
Ted (Zac Ephron) likes Audrey (Taylor Swift) to the point that he buys a remote-controlled plane so he can land it in her back yard and then go retrieve it. Ah, young love.
He is beyond smitten and finds out that the only thing she wants is a real live tree. All the ones in Thneedville are plastic, and the air is sold bottled for your breathing enjoyment.
Grass, flowers, everything are manufactured for your viewing enjoyment.
It’s an entrepreneur’s dream but there aren’t any trees for sale so Ted ventures out beyond the tidiness of the city to a grim, polluted reality where there was once a forest.
All Ted wants is a Truffalo tree but he gets so much more than he bargains for. He meets the Once-ler (Ed Helms) who is responsible for a lot of the desolation and The Lorax, (Danny DeVito) who channels the Tazmanian Devil if he swallowed Yosemite Sam whole.
It’s great fun and along the way there’s so much to see it bears a second watch. There are Humming-fish and Barbaloots and everything else wild and wonderful that we come to expect from Dr. Seuss.
To the credit of the writers and animators, they take the original and stay true to it, making it bigger and longer, with more color and some great music, but it never strays from the simplest message.
In the words of the Dr.:
Unless you care a whole awful lot
Nothing’s going to get better
It’s not.
I really enjoyed The Lorax but I’m simple.
The kids really enjoyed the Lorax and it was fun to watch. If you need more than that from a Dr. Seuss book turned into a movie then you need a check up from the neck up.
Go re-read The Bell Jar and congratulate yourself on how serious you are. I’m gonna go see if I can hear a who.
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul.

Filed Under: Paul Peterson

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