So yesterday, my kiddos and I went to see The Lorax. I have to admit, I was hesitant about seeing it. I am very protective of my Dr. Seuss. The newest adaptations of his classic stories have been hit-and-miss. The Cat in the Hat with Mike Myers was atrocious. The Grinch with Jim Carey was slightly better, but still not great. Once they switched back to cartoons, with Horton Hears a Who, things improved drastically.
These stories are hard to turn into full-length feature films. They have to add a lot of filler, and that’s usually where they go wrong. The Lorax does the same thing, of course, but I thought they actually did a pretty decent job with it. The story focuses more on Ted, the boy who goes to seek out the Onceler in the book. He lives in Theedville, a utopia where everything is artificial, plastic or concrete, and even the fresh air needs to be purchased. Ted has a crush on Audrey, who has a fascination with real trees, which neither of the kids have ever seen.
This leads Ted to go seek out the Onceler, who knows the truth about where all the trees have gone. We travel back in time to where the valley was filled with Trufula trees, brown Barbaloots, Humming Fish and Swoumee Swans. The visuals are beautiful and it’s easy to see why the Onceler is so taken by the place. Also, the Barbaloots are ADORABLE!!! I want one!!!
Here’s a thing that was weird for me – we get to see the Onceler’s face. In the book, he was always so mysterious, living up in his tower, his face always hidden behind the window shutters. In this movie, you see him all over the place. The show gets points, though, for casting Danny DeVito as the Lorax and Betty White as Ted’s grandmother. They are both hillarious.
The environmental message is a bit heavy-handed, but it wasn’t particularly subtle in the book either. Still, I thought it was fairly well done. The kids loved it and it was enjoyable for adults to. What more can you ask from a cartoon?
But Hollywood, I’m only going to say this once – you’d better leave the Sneeches alone.