lorax
Thursday, 09 August 2012

Film Review: 10 August

A walrus/ginger-wig cross voiced by Danny DeVito – he’s cute rather than classic

Written by Kat Brown

THE LORAX

kat brown1-BWExcepting the one whose name we dare not speak (Mike Myers's disastrous The Cat In The Hat, may it forever rest in peace in charity-shop bargain bins), Dr Seuss's zany children's books have generally had a good pageto- screen transformation.

From How The Grinch Stole Christmas to the lovely Horton Hears A Who!, they provide the American flipside to Roald Dahl's trippier children's books, as well as showing Jim Carrey to be a brilliant children's actor.

The Lorax – cuter, bigger and more colourful than all three films – should be splendid. It certainly looks gorgeous. Bless Pixar for making every other studio – here, Universal – up its game where animation is concerned.

Carrey, sadly, is absent, presumably because the settings are the most outrageous character in the film. Ted (teen icon Zac Efron) lives with his mother and grandma in Thneedville, a town totally absent of nature, where trees are battery powered and the devilish, poorly coiffed Mayor O'Hare, is plotting to sell air in plastic bottles.

Keen to impress clever Audrey (who, along with Merida in the forthcoming Pixar animation Brave, is making this a vintage summer for redheaded girls seeking screen role models), who desperately wants to see a real tree, Ted sneaks out of town in search of The Once-ler. This is a reclusive man who, it turns out, is to blame for the lack of trees in the area, having discovered a wonder fabric that could be made from the trees' leaves years ago.

While O'Hare tries to keep the town under plastic lock and key, Ted sneaks out to hear more from The Once-ler. In what feels halfmontage, half-environmental public-service message, we hear how the forest's guardian, The Lorax – a cross between a walrus and a ginger wig, and voiced by Danny DeVito – tried to warn The Once-ler about the dangers of logging. The Once-ler, equally keen to impress his horrible, grasping family, has soon mined the forest's materials to such an extent that the trees are gone and the animals have scarpered.

Presumably seeing more in Ted than his desire to impress a pretty girl, The Once-ler gives him the very last tree seed in the hope that Ted can bring nature back.

The Lorax hammers home its environmental message as hard as Ted trying to break through Thneedville's polluted crust in search of soil in which to plant his little tree: playing up the humour would have made this all a bit less overbearing.

Seuss's rhymes are nodded to in a series of songs that 'mimble' along nicely enough, but lack the verve suggested by the wonderfully animated characters, particularly Betty White's (The Golden Girls) feisty grandma.

It's certainly all very pretty to look at, but if you're hoping for something to inspire the children into appreciating our planet, you would be better off getting some David Attenborough DVDs out of the library.

Otherwise, just switch off your ears and enjoy a totally harmless and very cute 86 minutes.



Forgot your password?
Click to read our digital edition
Place-Classified-advert-336
TLR-advert-May2014-336

Boarders Dormitory Master-Mistress
We are looking to appoint a Dormitory Mistress/Master for 5 nights per week, weekday evenings and nights only, term time. (35 weeks). [...]

APPLY NOW


Housekeeper to Headmaster
We have an opportunity for an experienced live-out housekeeper. You will provide a cleaning and hospitality service for the Headmaster and his guests and help to ensure the household runs efficiently. [...]

APPLY NOW


Full Time Housekeeper, Nanny
We are looking for a full time, live-out housekeeper/nanny. We are a relaxed young couple living in a large country house, and will have one newborn baby. [...]

APPLY NOW


Experienced Carer, Companion, Housekeeper needed
Our elderly mother needs a live in carer/companion on a part time basis. Must be warm hearted, calm & compassionate, with a good sense of humour. [...]

APPLY NOW


Cook, Housekeeper wanted
Good cooking skills required to cater for light meals for the Principal and a small staff, as well as occasional lunch/dinner parties. [...]

APPLY NOW



MORE JOBS LIKE THESE

Horoscopes

What the stars have in store for you this week.2017

Capricorn Aquarius Pisces Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter