Long before saving the earth became a global concern, Dr. Seuss, speaking through his character the Lorax, warned against mindless progress and the danger it posed to the earth’s natural beauty. When Dr. Seuss’ book The Lorax was published in 1971 it came with controversy and criticism. Many thought the book was too dark and gloomy for young children while others didn’t like the environmental message that came with it. So when the movie was announced 40 years later people weren’t sure what to expect.
The plot of the movie ties loosely to the children’s book. The movie is started like all great movies where a young boy, Ted, is trying to do something to impress a girl that he likes, Audrey. Ted and Audrey are living in the town of Thneed-Ville where all the trees and plants are made of plastic. Because there are no living plants in town, the people have a need for fresh air. This air is packaged into bottles and cans by the most powerful man in town, Mr. O’Hare. The citizens of Thneed-Ville have forgotten what a real environment looks like and don’t know why anyone would want a real, dirty old tree anyways. When Audrey, voiced by Taylor Swift, tells Ted she would give anything to see a real live tree, he makes it his mission to get her one. Ted, voiced by Zach Efron, decides to venture outside of the walls that enclose his small town. Outside the walls he finds a dark gloomy environment covered with nothing but tree stumps. It’s here that Ted runs into a strange house where a man named the Once-Ler lives. The Once-Ler tells Ted he knows what happens to the trees, because it was his fault they are gone. He tells Ted the story of a land filled with bears, birds, fish and running water, and all the beautiful trees you could ever hope for. The Once-Ler came to this land in hopes of making a name for himself. He soon began to chop down the trees in order to craft a useful invention that he thought of, insisting that his new creation is highly necessary for everybody. After chopping down his first tree a small orange creature called the Lorax, voiced by Danny DeVito, appears and tries to urge the Once-Ler to stop cutting down so many trees, pleading that doing so could harm the environment. But the Once-Ler becomes obsessed with greed and power as his business begins to grow. He keeps cutting down trees until finally there are no more left. With the environment compromised, the animals that lived in the forest must leave and the Once-Ler’s business goes bankrupt. After telling Ted his story the Once-Ler gives him the last seed of the trees. He tells Ted he must remind the citizens of Thneed-Ville of what the environment was once like by planting the seed in the center of town for everyone to see. It is up to Ted, who is no longer just trying to impress Audrey, to change the way his town thinks. To do this he must get past Mr. O’Hare, who doesn’t want trees because they make clean air for free and he will be out of business.
The Lorax is a great family film for both children and adults. There is enough humor and story to keep the adults entertained. The movie also is not just some environmental message that many fear it will be. It’s simply a story about a boy trying to impress a girl while learning the lost history of the town in which he lives. The 3D of the movie shows why 3D was really made for animation and looks great. When I went to see the film I didn’t realize that there was going to be musical numbers throughout the film. The movie opens up with the town signing a catchy tune and ends in the same fashion. The Lorax is one of those movies that just leave you feeling good. As the last song began to play I just all of the sudden had a great feeling in my stomach and I couldn’t help but smile. For that reason alone I would recommend this movie to everyone. The Lorax is a book from our past childhood and turned into a movie for our future.
“Unless someone like you…cares a whole awful lot…nothing is going to get better…It’s not.“
Take a look at the Trailer for The Lorax here: