The Lorax

“First post since the big awards this past Sunday. Really not much to comment on. Everything went pretty much as predicted, and those that didnt went to my backup selection (with the exception of Documentary, but the only time I ever gave a \m/ about that category was when Exit Through the Gift Shop was in the mix). The single thing that made me happiest was Meryl Streep finally clutching that elusive Oscar #3. The rest of the night was fairly unremarkable.

Im not liking this trend of only one viable movie option per week. It’s a bit unsettling. And the few that I have been opting for, I’ve approached with caution. This week, I went into The Lorax with the utmost apprehension. We’ve seen that Dr Seuss movies dont exactly have the best track record. And I absolutely adore The Lorax. It’s prolly my favorite Dr Seuss story (used to be There’s a Wocket in My Pocket, but over time The Lorax has edged that out). I felt very protective of our adorable advocate and I was scared to see him go the way of Horton or The Grinch or *shudder* The Cat In the Hat.

On top of that, I’ve been incredibly mopey the past two days. So besides the apprehension about the movie, I also didnt go into the theater in the best mood. But then I saw the first trailer and had the only good chuckle of the past couple days. There were a lot of other good trailers as well. Not used to such a high percentage of new AND interesting ones before a movie.

Probably my biggest concern was the story framing the tale of the Lorax and the Onceler. Seuss’ original story has a little bit of framework with the Onceler telling the kid (now named Ted) about his dealings with the Lorax, but this movie expanded that to much much more. Now the kid wanted to find out about the trees so he could impress a girl, and there was this whole villain story with a guy who sells fresh air to the town, and there were so so many more new characters. While I appreciated there being characters voiced by Betty White and Jenny Slate, I really found all that extra incredibly unnecessary. The initial set up was fine. But when the story flipped back to Thneedville, my interest would wane. And the concluding sequence went on for way too long.

The other thing that was kinda off was the music. Those songs were pretty \m/ awful. The animation was great and the lyrics were funny, but I really dont have any clue what the composers were thinking.

Yeah, the animation. That was great. The barbaloots, the swami swans, and the humming fish were cute overload (though I was a little annoyed that their species were never called out by name). And I loved the characterization for Ted and the Onceler. I’d read an article in EW that was defending the decision to show the Onceler’s face. The idea was that if you saw him as human, he’d be more relatable and the story would be more effective. I’m inclined to agree. Although I dont know that I’d have even registered the fact that we were seeing his face if I hadn’t read that.

I’ll also give the dialogue and the voice talent a win. A lot of that was very clever and it was well cast. I could have done with a bit more of the original verses from the story, but I did light up a bit every time I recognized bits and pieces here and there.

Ultimately, I wanted to love this. Despite my hesitation, I did have some fairly high hopes for this knowing that it came from Illumination Entertainment (the same peeps who brought you Despicable Me). And yes, there was some that I liked. But so much just fell short. Thankfully not the disaster it could have been, but def still lacking. I think I’ll stick to the old animated version from the 70’s.

The Lorax – \m/ \m/ \m/

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