16 August 2012 | TheLittleSongbird
I personally enjoyed it...
As far as the feature Dr Seuss adaptations go, the best by quite some distance was the animated Horton Hears a Who. The Grinch I also liked, even though it doesn't hold a candle to the 1966 animated version, though I can definitely see why people may dislike it. But I detested Cat in the Hat, a failure both as an adaptation and on its own terms. In all honesty I was very nervous about seeing The Lorax, I'd see anything to do with Dr Seuss but when I saw people likening it to propaganda and the more positive reviews getting overly defensive and condescending and making all kinds of annoying excuses it did lower my expectations. After seeing it, I don't think it was as bad as all that, calling it propaganda I think is unfair, but I don't think it is perfect either. It does pale in comparison to the original story and to the 1972 cartoon, but on its own merits, on which I do think generally a movie should be judged, I found it a perfectly decent movie. Perfect? No, the "hippy grandma" character did get on my nerves and the main subplot with Ted could have been better developed. My biggest reservation was that while the story did have its heart and charm it was rather stretched which loses the initial simplicity of the story. However, the animation is wonderful, very bright and whimsical as it should be with some pleasingly psychedelic moments also. The songs are suitably catchy with some deliciously playful lyrics. The writing is much better than I expected, I was expecting the toilet humour and fart jokes of Cat in the Hat but actually the humour is cheerful and amusing. The message is heartfelt and despite what you'd expect reading the plot summary I don't think it talked down to the audience that much. The ending is heartwarming and a nice change from the one of the more downbeat yet hopeful one of the 1972 cartoon. The characters on the whole are likable and personable, the best being the Lorax himself, and the animals are very cute. The voice acting is also fine, Danny DeVito does cranky brilliantly, and Ed Helms and Betty White are also amusing. Zac Efron and Taylor Swift may raise some eyebrows and I was initially perplexed at their casting, but actually both do spirited jobs. So all in all, while I can understand the disappointment of those who didn't like it as much I did enjoy The Lorax despite fears that I wouldn't. 7/10 Bethany Cox