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Coming at the 1% harder than the “Occupy” movement is Director Chris Renaud’s latest release “The Lorax.” Y’all know who the Lorax is, I’m sure you’ve read the children’s book by Dr. Seuss, and I’m happy to say that this 3D film is pretty loyal to the book.
The in-your-face “protect the environment” and “big corporations are BAD” messages might at first seem like a serious downfall for the movie, but they were ever-present in the book and part of the reason Seuss wrote it in the first place. Enter Thneedville, a seemingly wonderfully well-kept community where everyone has a smile on their face and the Mayor has created a monopoly on oxygen. He created this monopoly by making all of Thneedville out of plastic, getting rid of all of the oxygen-producing Truffula trees to do so.
Meet Ted (voiced by Zac Efron, who still sounds like an adolescent boy), a young adventurous teenager who rides a uni-motorcycle. He’s got a crush on Audrey (Taylor Swift), and he wants to earn her affection by giving her something that she’s never seen before – a Truffula tree. Ted seeks advice from his cool Grammy Norma on where to find a tree, and she leads him in the direction of the Once-Ler, an old man who lives on the outskirts of Thneedville in the barren wild. Ted makes his way out there and finds that in order to get the very last Truffula seed, he must listen to the tales of the Once-Ler.
(Photo by flickr user MacGuffinPodcast)
The Once-Ler tells Ted of a day when Thneedville was a beautiful place full of Truffula trees and wild animals - when the Lorax, a short and hairy Danny-DeVito-shaped creature (voiced by Danny Devito) ruled the lands. It isn’t necessary to know anything else about the plot, except maybe that it’s rightfully biblically inspired the way Dr. Seuss wanted to be. In the end, there are obvious representations of God, Jesus and Judas figures within the movie.
It’s a cute little story, and it’s true to itself, but the serious, serious issue with this movie is the necessity for 3D technology. Wearing those goofy, blurry sunglasses, there is ALWAYS an extra hint of darkness onscreen. When you take them off, the colors look so much more vibrant! It’s simply baffling to me that people still find value in this headache of a technology. Also, Danny DeVito was relatively useless. He could have been much, much funnier voicing such a spunky character like the Lorax. Being a PG movie, it’s pretty clear that he didn’t get much freedom voicing that part. Whatever – I just look forward to the day I can watch this on TV without wearing stupid 3D glasses.
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