Rental Review - The Lorax

The Lorax (2012), PG, 86 minutes - Some may remember that The Lorax ranked #10 on my Most Anticipated Films of 2012 list back towards the beginning of the year.  As I mentioned there, this was mostly because The Lorax was one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books when I was a kid.  If I were making my Top 10 list for this year today, The Lorax probably wouldn't make the cut, but it was a very fun and entertaining presentation of Dr. Seuss' environmental tale.

The big screen version of The Lorax tells the story of a boy named Ted and his efforts to find a real tree to bring back to his small town of Thneedville in an effort to impress a girl named Audrey.  At first this doesn't sound like this would be a big deal, but Thneedville has grown into a completely artificial town.  There are no naturally occurring plants anywhere and as a result, a local business mogul named Mr. O'Hare all but runs the town.  His company supplies the people of Thneedville with fresh are to breath.  I suppose one could take the environmental commentary as being a little heavy handed, but considering that was the vibe of Dr. Seuss' original story, I think this animated version was a good adaptation.

The animation is very well done.  The tufts of the trees and the Lorax's fur are extremely detailed.  It's kind of funny how hair and how it is rendered is such a defining characteristic of well done computer animation.  The voice over work is also well done, led by the vocal talents of Danny DeVito (The Lorax), Ed Helms (The Once-ler), Zac Efron (Ted), Taylor Swift (Audrey), Betty White (Grammy Norma), and Rob Riggle (Mr. O'Hare).  I can't remember the last thing I had seen Danny DeVito in (other than It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), but I really can't hear anyone else's voice coming out of The Lorax's mouth.  Ed Helms does something just a little different with his voice that had me think to myself the entire time 'the Once-ler sounds familiar, who is it?'.  Betty White's and Rob Riggle's voices were also perfect fits for their respective characters.

For anyone that grew up with Dr. Seuss' story, I would recommend giving this version a shot.  The Lorax won't win any awards, but it is a well made, entertaining film for people of all ages.

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