The Lorax REVIEW

The Lorax

Where's Swampy when you need him?

Release Date: 27 July 2012
U | 94 minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Directors: Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda
Cast: Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift

Dr Theodor Seuss Geisel’s 1971 book, The Lorax, influenced a generation of children, teaching them in Dr Seuss’s inimitable, surreal way that it’s wrong to cut down trees (even if said trees look like tufts of candyfloss). This modern-day version of his tale, brought to life by Illumination Studios – the team behind Despicable Me – has to build on the slight story, but does justice to its message. If your heart isn’t moved by the sight of a Truffula Tree being chopped in two, you’re dead inside.

A kid named Ted (Zac Efron) wants to give the woman of his dreams her very own tree, but as he lives in a town which is 100% artificial – right down to the inflatable bushes in his front garden – that’s quite a feat. So he goes in search of the mysterious Once-ler (Ed Helms), who tells him the story of how all the trees were destroyed in his youth. Cue a long flashback in which Danny DeVito has a lot of fun voicing the Lorax, the spirit called into existence when the foolish Once-ler starts hacking away at his home. At first they hate each other, but an uneasy friendship is formed until greed rears its ugly head and things turn very, very dark…

Musical numbers, gorgeous design and a brilliant motorbike chase through the deliciously surreal Thneedville lift this from being a preachy, eco-friendly plod to a witty and comical adventure. You may want to hug a tree after viewing.

Jayne Nelson

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