Posted March 14, 2012 by Mikael Angelo Francisco in Movies/TV


 (Illumination Entertainment; Universal Pictures – MTRCB Rating: GP)

Garfield is watching you!


The Lorax is the latest in a series of films that have adapted Dr. Seuss’s famous children’s books (The Grinch and The Cat in the Hat were live-action adaptations, while Horton Hears A Who was turned into an animated movie). See The Lorax Trailer

The film follows a young boy, Ted (Zac Efron), a denizen of the technologically-advanced city of Thneed-ville, as he tries to impress Audrey (Taylor Swift) by securing a real Truffula tree for her in a society that has completely rejected nature. To do this, he must ask the hermit who lives beyond the city walls, the Once-Ler (Ed Helms), about how the land used to be the home of all kinds of animals, all under the protection of the Lorax (Danny De Vito). He inadvertently discovers the dirty secrets of the Mayor of Thneed-ville, the chief seller and supplier of clean air, Aloysius O’Hare (Rob Riggle), and makes it his personal quest to convince the town to go green for their own good.

With a running time of 95 minutes, The Lorax is a relatively short film. Given the length of the source material, this is actually an accomplishment. This movie is a visual treat for kids – the animation is fluid, the colors really pop, and the characters are endearing and have a wide range of facial expressions. It will also be easy for children to feel attached to the animals, especially during the scene where the Lorax leads them out of their homeland to find a new place to live in.

Poof! It became Koko Krunch.


While a few minor parts of the book were lost, it had pretty much remained intact. In order to make the story more appealing to the target audience, they wove it into a love story, making the boy’s determination to secure a tree for his dream girl his primary motivation. While this may put the integrity of the message into question (the primary motivation for saving the environment should be, well, to save the environment and not to impress a girl), in this case, the means justifies the ends. The boy learns the value of trees upon hearing the rest of the Once-Ler’s story, anyway, so it’s all good.

“…I left a tooth under my pillow and I get *this*?”


The movie has many song and dance numbers, conveying the message of environmentalism in a way that appeals to the senses of children. The Lorax is also full of visual gags and verbal jokes, perhaps to keep the parents and older brothers and sisters interested while the young ones marvel at the colorful leaves of the Truffula trees.

However, singing and dancing about nature can only do so much. The film does its best to emphasize the value of taking care of nature. The stark contrast between the barren, colorless land and the bright and lively skies and sights in Thneed-ville, which stands right in the middle of the land that the Once-Ler and his family ravaged, clearly depicts how bad things can really get if humanity doesn’t wake up, get up on our collective butt and start replanting.

Figures that the only thing this shrimp can chop down is a freaking cotton tree.


The movie’s message is clear and good: Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

All in all, it’s a film worth seeing with your little siblings or children.

Don’t forget to plant a tree afterwards, though. You wouldn’t want to disappoint the Lorax, would you?

Mikael Angelo Francisco