The Lorax’ not the film Dr. Seuss intended

Heartwarming, quick-paced and generic – just some of the words one might use when describing “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.” The film, which opened on Seuss’ 108th birthday, tells the story of Ted, voiced by Zac Efron, who singled-handedly brings trees back to a town that had completely rejected the idea of anything natural.

The movie is set in a plastic town called Thneed-ville, where fresh air must be purchased and all plants are either blown up trees or have disco features installed in them. The citizens of Thneed-ville all agree that this is the ideal way to live, except for Audrey, Ted’s mature, hippy love interest, voiced by Taylor Swift. Audrey’s wish for a tree sends Ted on his way to the Once-ler, voiced by comedian Ed Helms, who knows everything about the trees, according to Ted’s grandmother, played by Betty White. The Once-ler tells Ted about the orange, magical speaker of the trees, the Lorax, voiced by Danny DeVitto.

While this star-studded film may not exactly be classified as an environmental film, it does try to send the message of being environmentally friendly while also bashing big corporations, such as the one who sells fresh air to the people of Thneed-ville.

Because this is based on one of Seuss’ books, one would expect rhyming to occur more often in the dialogue than just three lines. In place of the Seuss-inspiring rhymes were musical numbers that were cute and catchy, but did not fill the void.

Although the overall theme of saving the planet may inspire younger viewers to try and save a tree or two, the green message is lost between Ted mistakenly kissing a cereal box and the Once-ler’s strange musical number. The story falls flat and becomes one of puppy love rather than persuading the public to care, as Seuss’ goal originally was.

Tiffany Do can be reached at tiffany.do@student.shu.edu.

Author: Tiffany Do

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