May 13, 2012 -- This weekend I saw several animated films, including “Dr. Seuss' The Lorax” and “The Pirates! Band of Misfits.” I was surprised to find that even though I am a fan of the Aardman (“Chicken Run” and the “Wallace and Gromit” films) films, “Lorax” had better characters and a better story than the “Pirates” film did.
The story of the “Lorax” is one of clear-cutting an entire forest to the ground next to a strange walled city in which there are no trees and the air pollution is so bad people buy bottled air to breathe. A young boy, Ted, who is in love with a young girl, Audrey, bravely breaks out of the city in an attempt to fulfill Audrey's fondest wish for a real tree.
Down a lonely road in a wasteland, Ted finds a solitary house inhabited by a mysterious man known as the Once-ler. Legend has it that the Once-ler is the only person who knows where the trees are. Ted begins to listen to the Once-ler's story about an ambitious young man who wanted to make his mark in the world by making fabric from trees. When he chops down his first tree, the Lorax appears and persuades the young man not to chop down any more trees. Ambition and family pressure get the best of him, however and he eventually chops down all the trees, and they nearly become extinct.
Meanwhile, back in town, the most powerful man in town, Mr. O'Hare, gets wind of Ted's plan to find a real tree. O'Hare doesn't want any trees planted in town because trees create free oxygen and that will hurt O'Hare's bottled air business. O'Hare goes to great lengths to stop Ted from leaving town and from planting a tree in town, but love is a powerful force and Ted fights back. Ted, the Once-ler and Ted's grandmother, Grammy Norma are very strong characters.
The film's animation is very colorful and imaginative, reflecting the original artwork of Theodor Seuss Geisel, who wrote and illustrated numerous books, including “The Lorax” and many others, such as “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” and “Horton Hears a Who.” Although there is a definite environmental message in the film, it is also a story of empowerment. The film argues that one person can make an impact on the world, for good or evil. There are examples of both in the film.
There are also some musical numbers in the film. The book, “The Lorax” was written in 1971. It was made into an animated TV special in 1972. It is also available as an audio book. This film rates a B.
Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.