Saturday, March 10, 2012

Movie Review: The Lorax

Hey everyone, welcome to another movie review courtesy of Old School Lane. When I did my First Impressions on The Lorax back in January, I knew that from looking at the poster and trailer, I was going to hate it. The movie looked too colorful, too light, and didn’t really focus too much on the environmental issues. I knew that I had to see it eventually, but I was literally dragging myself to approach the theater to watch it. As for Kevin, he simply refuse to watch it, so I will be giving you my opinion on this movie. 
As of now, there has not been any full movie adaptation based on Dr Seuss’ classic books that has been quite mediocre or just plain bad. Will this follow the same path or will this movie take me by surprise?
The story involves with a 12 year old boy named Ted Wiggins who lives in a city named Thneed-Ville, a place in which everything was artificial; the trees, the grass, the flowers, everything. He goes out of his way to impress a girl named Audrey. When she tells Ted that what she always wanted to see a real tree, he makes his way to find out how he can find them. When he talks to the mayor, Mr. O’Hare, who owns a bottled oxygen company, about where the trees are, he’s told to not worry about it and stay in the town. Then Ted hears from his grandmother that a creature known as the Once-ler, who lives outside the city in a polluted and empty wasteland, may know about the trees.
When he leaves Thneed-Ville and confronts the Once-ler, he tells the story about a time in which the wasteland was once filled with Truffula Trees, animals, fish, and the grumpy, yet understanding guardian known as the Lorax lived happily. The Once-ler, in his younger years, sees the Truffula trees and their tufts, called Thneed, and loved it enough to make a business out of it by making them into clothing. When he chops one of the Truffula trees, the Lorax approaches him and warns him to not chop anymore trees and ruining his home.
The Once-ler begins to keep his promise and uses them sparingly, but he makes a lot of money from his products and he hires his family to increase his business. The family tells him that in order to make more money, they need to chop more trees, so he ended up chopping more trees than he thought. The Lorax and the animals try to tell the Once-ler about his evil corrupted ways, but he’s too busy and greedy to even notice the damage he’s doing to their home.
As time went on, all the trees were depleted, the valley is polluted, the family members left, the business was bankrupt, and the animals and the Lorax left for a new home. The Once-ler was left alone looking at what his actions had done to this once green land. Back to the main story, he gives the last Truffula tree seed to Ted telling him to take care of it, plant it, give it fresh water and air, and making it grow. But when Mr. O’Hare hears about Ted finding the seed, he feels threatened about being out of business with his oxygen company and stops at nothing to prevent Ted and Audrey from growing the tree.
In the end, everything works out well and the trees begin to grow and the Lorax and the animals begin to come back. Everyone lived happily ever after. The End.
The animation was CGI and it looked okay. It was nice and colorful, but that’s pretty much all I have to say about it. I don’t really remember seeing anything that made me say “Wow” when I saw it compared to The Secret World of Arrietty even when I saw it in 3D. The 3D is not needed for this movie. There, I just saved you 6 extra dollars. You’re welcome. 
Overall, it wasn’t the worst animated movie I’ve ever seen. It was a bit funny and quite cute, which is a huge disappointment when comparing it to a story that was as dark and shocking about the destruction of the environment in the original book. The main reason why Ted wanted to save the trees was not for the trees itself, but to impress Audrey. That’s a pretty weak reason why to do it. Also, they didn’t really focus that much on the love story, so I think that it shouldn’t have been part of the story. However, that was pretty much the main clutch, so the movie missed a big opportunity to tell the original story’s true meaning on what the moral was in the first place. For them to do that, this movie fails to capture the charm of the original story and that’s a real letdown for me. But even then, when they do talk about the environment, they lecture too much on it. There were a couple of times in which I said to myself, “Shut up, I already know”. It really dragged on for a bit.
Also, the Once-ler described the Lorax as a grumpy creature. Well, yeah, I would be grumpy too if you destroyed my home, you jerk. But the movie depicted the Lorax a lot more grumpier than necessary. The original Lorax was calm, persuasive, and tried his very best to stand up for the trees. I didn’t feel bad for him not even one time. He was up-in-you-face, threatening, loud, and brash and that’s not who the Lorax is. The voice didn’t even fit right for the Lorax. As much as I like Danny DeVito, he wasn’t the right voice for this character. I really couldn’t connect with him, I’m sorry. 
If you want to watch a great animated movie fun for kids and adults that teaches about the environment without sugar coating it or lecturing too much on it, watch WALL-E. It’s a much better movie in every way coming from one of the best animation companies of all time. 
That’s all for now. Thanks a lot for reading this. Tune in as Kevin posts his top 100 favorite cartoons of all time and a new First Impressions on a new video game coming out this year. Hope to see you around the Old School Lane real soon. 

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