Seuss comes alive in ‘Lorax’

“The Lorax,” the Dr. Seuss fable about the preservation of the natural environment and the contrast between what’s right and what you believe in, comes alive in Illumination Entertainment’s 2012 film of the same name.

It has been given a 3D and IMAX face lift in its newest incarnation, but the wonderful story is mostly unchanged.

Big-name stars voice this animated flick: Taylor Swift, Zac Effron and Danny DeVito.

DeVito voices the iconic Lorax, who speaks for the trees. Effron plays Ted, the optimistic youth who discovers the story of the Truffula Trees through the tale of the Once-Ler (the anti-hero in the film, played by Ed Helms). Swift plays Ted’s love interest, Audrey, whose desire to get a real tree motivates Ted to skip town and find out more about them.

Ted and his mother and grandmother live in Thneedville, a town where everything is made out of plastic, computerized, and O’Hare Air is the sole supplier of air for the entire town.

The city came as a result of the Once-Ler’s evildoings: He manufactured an odd garment he called Thneed, a multi-purpose product that he felt everyone needed.

To supply the demand, he happens upon the forest of Truffula Trees, where he meets the forest creatures and then the Lorax. Despite promising to refrain from cutting down the tress, the Once-ler singlehandedly destroys the forest to satisfy his business desires – and the rest is history.

Similar to Disney/Pixar’s “Wall-E,” “The Lorax” delivers a lot of high-minded criticisms about modern society through its colorful and affectionate cartoon story.

Thneedville and O’Hare Air are clear symbolisms for the industrial nature of our society, the emphasis it places on high technology and immediate results.

Other elements emphasize our consumer-oriented nature and companies who don’t care about preserving the environment.

But “The Lorax” is still a children’s film at heart. The animation is top-notch, and the creatures of the forest are endearing, imaginative animals that, combined with the touching nature of the film’s plot, earn a place in your heart. 

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