Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Movie Reviews: The Lorax

By Perry S. Chen, Amazing Movie Review Columnist

 

Perry Chen at The Lorax screening at Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas in Del Mar (photo by Zhu Shen)


(3.5 out of 5 starfish)


Can you imagine living in a world full of plastic and pollution, with not a tree or plant anywhere? Ted Wiggins, a young boy who lives in the town of Thneedville, decides to find a real tree after Audrey, a girl whom Ted has a crush on, said that she would marry whoever got her one.

The story begins when the citizens of Thneedville sing a song describing the pollution of their land and how a dwarf named Mr. O’ Hare sells them clean, fresh air without pollution. O’ Hare’s company, O’ Hare Air, has made him the richest and most powerful man in Thneedville. Then, the story shifts to Ted, who flies a plane into his crush, Audrey’s house where she reveals her love of trees. Thneedville is completely barren of any plant life, and Ted has no idea where to find a tree. Ted’s grandmother tells him to meet the Once-ler, an old man who lives outside of town and knows what happened to the trees. The Once-ler then tells Ted about his youth as an entrepreneur and his life with a short, mustached, mystical, “slightly annoying” creature called the Lorax, who tried to speak for the Truffula trees.

This film was pretty good overall, but not quite “Perrific.” I would give it 3.5 starfish. I really liked the 3D, which makes the images pop out of the screen! It added a lot to the film because the 3D enhanced the action scenes such as when the Once-ler’s bed almost fell off a waterfall. Also, the 3D made the Truffula tree tufts look realistic, like cotton candy. I also liked the moral about conservation, which was a quote by Dr. Seuss, whose book this film is based on. Finally, I noticed that Ted and Audrey were Theodore Seuss Gisel and Audrey Gisel: Dr. Seuss and his wife! That is very clever of the filmmakers to include their names.

The Lorax film was made by the same team that created “Despicable Me.” I noticed quite a few similarities. The supposed love from the mothers of both villains (The Once-ler here and Gru in Despicable Me) is conditional upon the success of their sons. Both films featured cute little creatures to entertain the younger audience: the minions in Despicable Me, and bears, fish, and swans in The Lorax,

The scene of Ted and Audrey lying down side by side dreaming about real trees reminds me instantly of Carl and Ellie in the exact same pose, watching the clouds, in Pixar’s “Up,” one of my favorite films of all time.

There were some things that I didn’t like very much about the film, though. First of all, my mom and I agreed that the film was much too loud. Many small kids were crying at the screening not because it was scary, but because of the ear-piercing rock music that Once-ler was playing on his electric guitar. I also noticed that in the film, Ted didn’t initially care much about trees, he only cared about impressing his crush. Lastly, I didn’t think that the movie is as good as the book.

The original Lorax book is short and sweet, and it gets the message across about conservation and protecting nature. The movie, however, drags on too long and sidetracks from the main plot. The similarities of the book and the movie are that the movie takes many phrases, quotes, and made up “Seuss” words from the book. It seemed unnerving to my mom to see the fish in the film walking on their fins on land all the time. In the book, the fish only got out of the water when the Once-ler polluted it, and didn’t spend their time on land regularly. Finally, how can people from Thneedville survive on only a gelatinous, artificial substance for decades? Everyone would be malnourished and suffer many defects. Also, in the film, Ted’s mother baked cookies, but I wonder how she got the ingredients. It would seem unlikely that anything is imported to Thneedville, since nobody is allowed in or out of the town.

I would recommend this film for people ages 5 and up, because it has slapstick and physical humor, which many kids enjoy, but the film may be too loud for very young children. I really think that the message of conservation, preserving nature, and stopping pollution is extremely important.

The moral was stated by the Once-ler in the film when he talked to Ted: Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.

Perry S. Chen is an 12-year-old award-winning film critic, artist, entertainment personality, filmmaker and animator. He has written movie reviews for San Diego Union Tribune, Animation World Network, Amazing Kids!, and his own website Perry’s Previews (http://perryspreviews.com). His first animation short “Ingrid Pitt: Beyond the Forest” about a young Holocaust survivor won “Best Animation Award” for age 8-13 group at the 17th International Family Film Festival in Hollywood, and has been acquired for worldwide distribution by Shorts International, distributor of Oscar-nominated shorts. Connect with him on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/perryspreviewsfan