The Lorax: The Movies’ entertaining, but disappointing

Liam Greene, Review Writer

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The Dr. Seuss children’s books have been adapted by Hollywood before – How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) and Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat(2003) were live-action versions with frantically zany and conceited lead performances from Jim Carrey and Mike Myers respectively; both films were pretty well unwatchable. A mention perhaps should go to the drama I Am Sam (2001) with Sean Penn giving a highly mannered performance as Sam, a grown man with learning difficulties who likes Dr. Seuss’s book Green Eggs and Ham. In that desperately well-meaning film, Penn was having a bit of a “Jerry Lewis” moment.

    

    In its insidious way, The Lorax is more infuriating, more exasperating and more objectionable than any of these. It is a fantastically boring, soulless animation that could have been written by a computer program, an animation bot. The basic finger-wagging eco-tale is expanded into a cutesy, over-extended movie about a boy who visits a creepy old fellow called The Once-ler who destroyed all the trees thereabouts: the name perhaps alludes to rapacious logging industries which use up resources once and forever, with no sustainability. There’s another little guy called the Lorax, who is on the side of trees and nature but can apparently do.

     

    The Lorax never does anything much but raise his great cute bewhiskered face and look accusingly. Perhaps new generations of young cinemagoers will be encouraged to think that this kind of doe-eyed concern will be enough to protect nature. And in any case, this plasticky, production-line multiplex product does not make a compelling argument because it looks so very unnatural.

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