On the 108th birthday of Theodore Seuss Geisel an animated feature based on one of his famous children’s books premiered in theaters. This book was The Lorax and the movie was Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. The movie is shown the way that Dr. Seuss obviously always intended it to be: 3D. I watched this movie in the 3D version in a theater packed with children and if I had to judge the movie’s effectiveness based on the amount of cherubic laughter and, yes, my own giggling, I would say that this movie is definitely a terrifically enjoyable one. The movie has many positives like its humor, good voice acting, and some really beautiful animation.
Dreamworks really knows how to make a beautiful animated movie with their own distinct style. What I really liked about the movie is that even though Dreamworks has that really distinctive art style, it didn’t overpower the (possibly more) distinct and (definitely more) classic art style of Dr. Seuss. I was very pleased with the way the two styles blended together because when dealing with Dr. Seuss, the artwork is a major concern.
I was completely surprised with the fact that this movie is a musical as well. I know, I know, believe me, I know. Needless to say, I was not optimistic about this at first (Dreamworks and musicals don’t exactly seem to go hand in hand). The music, though, isn’t bad; most of it seems to be an attempt at making it into a rock musical. Since most of the main voice actors have definite music chops (Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, and even Ed Helms), and the songs are pretty well written, (primarily because I’m pretty sure all the songs are shameless rip-offs, in the good way) the music is pretty enjoyable.
DeVito, strangely, has the voice of angels. FALLEN angels!! Burn.
I would also like to take a moment and mention that the message of this movie is very relevant and is one that I believe is very important. The movie makes a comment on corporate greed and the importance of environmentalism by giving us a look at a possible future where we become a society who don’t care about the fact that we can’t breathe because we destroy every single piece of vegetation and name our towns after snuggies. I know it might seem too topical and maybe slightly overdone but I don’t think I’ve ever seen an animated family movie that makes the point so beautifully. Okay, now on to more drinking.
There are no glaring issues with this movie, which is great, and is the reason why kids will definitely respond to this film because they are surprising perceptive of crap. The few issues I had, though, were that some of the parts of the movie were added in to knock up the action and entertainment value and as a result felt forced. This actually includes some of the musical numbers, which I realize I just got finished endorsing, but even though the music was good and the scene was entertaining, it’s placement in the movie felt clunky.
You know, like Taylor Swift in an acting role.
There is a big chase scene at the end of the movie that was really good and fit perfectly with the movie, but other than that there weren’t a whole lot of places where the action made sense.
This beer I drank for a similar reason to the last one but it deserves its own paragraph, so here I will spell out my gripe about the Seussian dialogue in the movie. There were quite a few parts in the movie that were taken directly from the book and a lot of them also just seemed tossed in there for no real reason. In the book, in order for the Once-ler to tell the kid about the Lorax, he has to bring him “fifteen cents, and a nail, and the shell of a great-great-great-grandfather snail.” In the movie, they give a decent amount of attention to this fact and then when he brings the price to the Once-ler, he tries to give it to him and then it’s immediately ignored and never brought up again.
Maybe it’s just me but with a long form medium like film, they may have been able to do something with that which could have been nice. Another annoying example is when one of the characters says a line directly from the book: “the touch of their tufts was much softer than silk. And they had the sweet smell that was sweeter than silk.” And then immediately followed it up with: “Whatever that means.” Which makes me feel like it was thrown in as an afterthought and completely cheapened the line.
All in all, this was a very enjoyable movie. If you are a child or have the sense of humor of a child like I do, then you will definitely like this movie. My major drawbacks honestly seem like minor annoyances and this was very close to a two beer movie. The voice acting was really good and I think that was mainly because Taylor Swift really has very little dialogue compared to the rest of the cast. Dreamworks is getting very good at adorable, scene-stealing background characters and this movie is no exception. The animals are comparable to the minions in Despicable Me with their adorable antics and mischievous behavior and later in the movie where they shun the Once-ler and sadly leave, you feel genuinely unhappy about it.
Adorable bastards. WHY AREN’T YOU IN EVERYTHING!!??
The 3D is pretty good too while being unobnoxious. It is one of those instances where it feels like it actually enhances the animation instead of dampening the colors and feeling gimmicky. So, besides a few bad eggs, this movie can make a decent omelet. Bad metaphors aside, go see this movie, with or without kids.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: because you’re watching a kid’s movie.
Take a Drink: every time something rhymes.
Drink a Shot: whenever you wonder how the town in this movie hasn’t turned into an Orwellian nightmare.