The Lorax

March 2, 2012

Adapting Dr. Seuss’ often-gloomy ecology sermon into something that today’s kids might still for is definitely a challenge, particularly given that The Lorax lacks a lot of the things that traditionally make for hit children’s movies, like fun. So how does the creative team behind Despicable Me solve that problem? By covering everything with a taste-the-rainbow candy coating that’s every bit as cheery as the trailer’s relentless Polyphonic Spree song, turning the preachy Lorax into a lovably grumpy wise-ass voiced by Danny DeVito, and framing the film with a budding teen romance between Taylor Swift and Zac Efron, who hopes to win Swift’s chaste, giggly love by finding a real live tree before they’re all chopped down by the Once-ler—made cartoon flesh here as an ordinary goofball, voiced by quintessential ordinary goofball Ed Helms. It’s an environmental message hidden under several layers of primary colors and slapstick, but hey, whatever helps the medicine go down.

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