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Dr. Seuss' The Lorax: Fun for kids, fluff for adults

A scene from "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax"

Universal Pictures/AP

2 out of 4 stars


From the people who brought you Despicable Me comes The Lorax – in colour and 3D-CG.

Dr. Seuss wrote the book back in seventy-one and its theme, as you know, really isn't much fun.

It is said Dr. Seuss was ahead of his time with a story of caution delivered in rhyme

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And told by the Once-ler, whose long arms are green But whose face, in the book, never ever is seen.

He whispers his tale, to a curious lad Of the trees he clear-cut (like I told you, it's sad).

It begins with one chop, then he sets up a shop To make Thneeds, a strange product that sells without stop.

And not once does he heed the quite desperate pleas Of the Lorax, who speaks for the Truffula trees

And the bears, birds and fish that are driven away When the smog and the sludge make them too sick to stay.

Like the old TV special from seventy-two,

The film has some songs – but there's more that is new.

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For a Hollywood feature, mildly taking a stand, Dr. Seuss's main story just had to expand.

So it's puffed up with lots of extraneous stuff – Super fun for the kids but for grown-ups? Just fluff.

(Already Lou Dobbs has made quite a kerfuffle, Its liberal "agenda" the Fox host wants to muffle,

Claiming the film aims to brainwash our kids, As they snorffle down popcorn and sodas with lids.)

It opens in Thneedville, where boss villain O'Hare (Who sounds like Rob Riggle, but is short with weird hair)

Keeps the townsfolk in check by selling them air, But what's outside the town? They are all unaware.

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Until 12-year-old Ted (Zac Efron) goes on a spree And busts his way out just to find a real tree

For the girl of his dreams (Taylor Swift plays Audrey). The Once-ler, he's told, is the one man to see.

And see him we do (very unlike the book). Ed Helms is the voice, and he's got quite the look,

Lanky and lean and given to song As his much younger self (well before things go wrong).

His story is told in not just one instalment But many – to keep us in total enthrallment

Of the Lorax, with Danny DeVito the voice, Which I must pause to say is a pretty good choice.

The Dr. Seuss book and the old TV show Both hinge on one word, which you probably know:


And what happens next? Well, it's anyone's guess As to whether the boy will clean up the mess

By planting the very last Truffula seed – Which is not quite the Hollywood ending we need.

Will Ted be the hero or tragically sink? I won't be a spoiler but – what do you think?

The Lorax

  • Directed by Chris Renaud
  • Written by Ken Daurio
  • Starring the voices of Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Zac Efron, Jenny Slate, Rob Riggle and Betty White
  • Classification: G
  • 2 stars
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