The Lorax

Looking to impress the girl of his dreams by finding her a real-life Truffula tree, Ted Wiggins follows the advice of his grandmother and ventures outside the walls of Thneedville in search of the Once-ler. At first, the reclusive old man wants nothing to do with the teenage boy, but he eventually tells his story of how greed and ignorance led to the destruction of the Truffula forest and how he should have listened to the warnings of the mystical Lorax—the protector of the trees. Looking for a chance at redemption, the Once-ler put his faith in the teenager to correct the errors of his ways, although the ruthless Aloysius O’Hare will stop at nothing to deter the young lad from fulfilling his destiny to restore the trees and get the girl.

A number of Dr. Seuss’ books have been adapted to the big screen over the years with mixed success. Unfortunately, adapting the 45-page book into an 87-minute feature film was a bit much for screenwriters Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul, as evidenced by its poor character development, a bloated subplot, and bizarre musical numbers. Despite its flaws, the second act is mostly entertaining as we learn how the Truffula forest was decimated, but it falls apart in the third act while Ted battles with Aloysius to save the last Truffula seed.

Thankfully, the presentation is flawless in turning Dr. Seuss’ Thneedville into a 3D wonderland with outstanding depth and detail. Rich colors burst off the screen throughout the town, and when venturing into the past with the Once-ler, the Truffula forest is drenched with eye-catching views, inky blacks, and vivid contrast. Not to be outshined is the enveloping DTS-HD soundtrack that fills the room with plenty of energy. Like most animated titles, the sound design is quite aggressive and features a plethora of discrete effects and ample low-end punch that almost makes the screenplay tolerable.

The supplemental package includes an audio commentary, three mini-movies the kids will certainly enjoy, a couple of making-of featurettes, deleted scenes, three games, and a cumbersome interactive tour of Thneedville and the Truffula Valley. There’s also a 2D Blu-ray Disc, DVD, and Digital Copy (both UltraViolet and iTunes compatible).

My teenage kids probably would have liked this film if they were younger, but no one in the family particularly enjoyed it. While The Lorax looks and sounds great on Blu-ray 3D, it’s all style and very little substance.

Blu-Ray 3D
Studio: Universal, 2012
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio Format: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Length: 87 mins.
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Chris Renaud, Kayle Balda
Starring: Danny DeVito, Zac Efron, Taylor

worthdoll's picture

While everyone in Steedville wears a bowler hat and carries an umbrella at all times, Thneedville is made entirely out of plastic. Audrey, an artist, desires to see a real tree so much that she promises to marry the person who finds one for her trap the cat. Ted's grandmother encourages him to seek information from the Once-ler beyond the city walls. Ted learns there about his desire to become wealthy and his first encounter with the Lorax, the protector of the forest. "The Lorax" makes an entertaining case for small-scale capitalism and environmentalism, while also warning about the dangers of marshmallow addiction and being ahead of the curve and Glenn Greenwald on the topic of the national security state. And while I recall that most Dr. Seuss stories contained a moral, this adaptation is hardly subtle. However, even with musical numbers, this is significantly less irritating than the typical episode of "Glee." Despite this, the displayed computer animation cannot come close to replicating the old-school charm of hand-drawn animation.