Mook Review: The Lorax

The Lorax – Written by Dr. Seuss

The Lorax, Dr. Seuss

via Wikipedia.org

Growing up, I really loved Dr. Seuss.  I was a big fan of the classics: The Foot BookOne Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Green Eggs and Ham, and, obviously The Cat in the Hat.  Dr. Seuss created such imaginitive and colorful worlds that were interesting to look at and admire, and all the stories had clever rhymes that made reading them fun.  It wasn’t until I grew older that I understood the strength behind his words and the true meaning some of these books carried.

Enter, The Lorax.  Published in 1971, it is filled with parallels to our culture and the shameless way humans disregard nature.  It is impossible to read the story of the Lorax and the Once-ler and not feel compelled by its truth.  Dr. Seuss describes the world pre-Thneed so wonderfully, which makes watching the greedy Once-ler destroy the Truffula trees and its surrounding environment so upsetting.

This book carries one of the most inspiring Dr. Seuss quotes, that I will leave with you.  I have always felt it encompasses what change really means and, while there is power in numbers, one person can truly make a difference.

“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot,  nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss

“The Lorax” – Directed by Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda

The Lorax, Dr. Seuss, Chris Renaud, Danny DeVito, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift

via IMDB.com

I was so excited for this movie and refused to see it in anything but IMAX 3D.  With vivid colors and incredible animation, “The Lorax” was bound to have that fun, wow-factor that makes this movie enjoyable for both children and adults.  It began with a cute little intro from the Lorax himself (voiced by Danny DeVito) and led us into the world of Thneedville, an artificial community where nothing is naturally made.  This is a new addition to the story, one that was not in the book.

Since The Lorax is limited in it’s text, there was a lot of additional plotline injected with the film, aside from the community of Thneedville.  Instead of this just being a fairytale like story, the movie begins with a young boy named Ted who goes looking for the Once-ler to learn about trees; this, of course, is to impress a girl named Audrey.  As the Once-ler’s story goes into gear, we are shifted from the too-manufactured Thneedville and to a beautiful, naturally growing world where the Truffula trees and the Lorax reside.

Without going into details and spoilers, “The Lorax” had a very clear message rooted in Dr. Seuss’ text.  There is some controversy over how this movie can be seen as propaganda or anti-business.  I can see how some people would want to take that side of the story, but I found “The Lorax” to be more of an eye opener as to how much processed, material items have taken over our natural way of life.  As someone who was born and raised in one of the boroughs, it has always been tragic for me that wildlife was only something I could find in the zoo.  Our manufactured world is rapidly growing and pushing out wildlife and natural resources.  This is something anyone can relate to, regardless of liberal or conservative politics.

I loved “The Lorax.”  It stayed very true to the purpose of Dr. Seuss’ original book, but brought something more to it for the screen.  The story was internally developed in both characters and plot, which I enjoyed a lot.  Everyone should go see this movie, regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity.  It was fun and inspirational, and left off with the very quote I loved so much from the book.  You will not be disappointed!

Mook Rating – ★★★★

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119 thoughts on “Mook Review: The Lorax

  1. So what did you think about the 3-D aspects of the flick? Worth the extra ticket price?

    I’m contemplating going this weekend, but I’m wondering if it’s worth paying so much more for 3-D…

    :)

    • I would say go 3D only if you can also do IMAX. The animation is really fantastic and its worth it to see The Lorax in the biggest, boldest way possible, but if you can’t do IMAX I wouldn’t pay the extra price just for 3D. Hope that helps :) Happy reading!

      • i would avoid 3d. the animation is so brilliant now that it’s almost 3d already. 3d glasses are polarized, like sunglasses, and it dims out the brilliant colors. would you wear sunglasses in a movie theater?

  2. i will definitely go and see this now! I’m so up for watching an alternative future, where we pay attention to the aspects of nature that have been so disregarded.
    loved reading the post looking forward to seeing the movie :)

  3. I somehow didn’t know about this. The Lorax is not only my favorite Seuss book but probably one of my favorite books, for children or adults.

    I want to write a children’s book one day. I imagine writing a fantastic one is actually far more challenging than writing a good novel.

  4. While I agree with you on a superficial level, I thought the movie was a little heavy handed. They sure drilled the point home about saving the trees and caring for the environment, but in the same film they were busy selling every piece of merchandise they could think of. I thought the whole thing looked like a commercial for the soundtrack / video game / merchandise / latest attraction at Universal Studios. Makes the whole “How Bad Can I Be” number a little too meta for my liking.
    The animation was spectacular though, that’s for sure. It was a feast for the eyes, and those little fish were just beyond precious!
    Overall, I had mixed feelings about the movie, but it did make me want to go plant a tree. So I guess mission accomplished.

    • It’s difficult to approach a movie like The Lorax from an adult’s perspective. We get a much different feel for a movie than, lets say, a 7 year old. I agree with you on some of your statements – “How Bad Can I Be” was far from my favorite part of the movie. But, in general, I think it carried a valuable message about the environment. Plant that tree madmegan! And happy reading :)

  5. Hi Allysa,
    I loved the movie too! Yes, it is fun and inspirational too. It sure forces one to think on lines we have never thought before. We forget that a few generations down, people will face the aftermaths of what we do today. Someone somewhere should have the vision to see this, isn’t it? I hope the Lorax helps people see that.
    Sushree

  6. Thank you for setting my mind at ease! The Lorax is my favorite Dr. Seuss story and I was very ambivalent about a movie version – other than the original animated film I first saw at a youth environmental conference! I’m glad they didn’t alter the story line just to make it feature-length. And I’m glad you didn’t ruin any surprises! Maybe I can go see it now!

  7. So glad you reviewed this, thanks! I’m so excited about taking my 9 year old daughter to see this tomorrow, we’ve been waiting for ages, and it’s finally here. I’m delighted you gave it a good review, we’ve been so disappointed by some other kids movies recently, but this one sounds great =)

  8. Thanks for the review. It’s always nice to know the real story if a movie is worth it. I also love this book it is my second favorite next to- Oh, the Places You’ll Go!.

  9. Can’t believe the critics disliked it. Just shows you that critics can be really clueless about what is entertainment and what isn’t

    • I can understand how some may have been turned off by the, at times, very strong message. But this movie is definitely intended for children and critics most definitely do not fall into that age category (and also expect much more from movies.) This is why I never go with the critics opinion! I always ask other viewers, like myself.

    • The critics never like good movies. I really want to see this movie. Dr. Seuss is the best author ever. Thanks for such a wonderful review! I am now chomping at the bit to see it. :)

  10. i heard the animation is good… :) like the tailor very much :p
    like the quote “Welcome to Thneedville. A city they say that was plastic and fake. And they liked it that way! No nature, no flowers. No one seemed to mind. But a secret was waiting for someone to find.”
    find more
    http://moviejit.com/

  11. the critic A.O. Scott from the new york times did not just hate it but attacked it. but he’s also a staunch republican and regards this film as liberal propaganda for environmentalists. so that’s something.

  12. The Lorax, video version, is just another disgraceful and disrespectful addition to all the other disgraceful and disrespectful efforts of ruining books into movies. Even a 12 YO could tell, and did, just by the advertisements that it is another “crap” kids flick. And is using 70 tie-ins in any way for-the-environment? How does selling all that crap from all those advertisers make this movie “Green” in any way? Save your child the mind control indoctrination, and just read the book to him in a fun and animated way.

    • I definitely don’t think The Lorax was disgraceful and I don’t think the movies aim was to be a “Green” movie, but rather, promote ideas of environmental-consciousness. I am sorry you didn’t enjoy the movie, but no need to get angry here. Mookology is a happy blog :)

  13. Anyone who has ever cared about anything and has had it taken away or destroyed because of someone else’s greed can identify with The Lorax. It’s one of my favorite children’s books, although I always found it incredibly sad. I see conservation as a clear choice to value the things created by God over things created by man, so I guess it always amazes me that conservation is so villified by the political right. All preaching aside, I’m glad I read this review. I really (really) hate most computer animated stuff these days but I also wanted my kids to see this one. Great post (and cool blog-I’m a follower now).

    • I love the title of the larger, Arts Week proejct here, as “Where Can Art Take You?” By having such an open ended question floating around for the course of a week, I feel that students will inevitably be turning that thought over in their heads on their own time. The process put forward in this particular proejct is also supportive of individual critical thinking. By having a workshop in which new and controversial information is presented, an ongoing, open reflection, and awesome individual as well as collaborative proejct prompts, I feel that children will be immersed in their own ideas regarding these concerns. This proejct touches on a lot of the ideas I feel strongly about as a teacher. Not to mention- I love The Lorax and Dr. Seuss in general. Wonderful!

  14. I’m really looking forward to seeing “The Lorax.” Those colorful poof ball trees (the Truffula trees?) make me feel happy. The review I read of this movie was very good. I think it will be even more compelling than “Horton,” which was very visually appealing to me.

  15. I was really not all that impressed. I did have a few good laughs but really prefer political statements to be left to other venues… the “too big to fail” message really seemed out of place to me… but that was just me. I loved the colors and the overall plot, music and message. My niece enjoyed the movie as well. So glad you got past the “stuff” and gave it a good rating. Mine was somewhat lower.

    • I do agree with you on the whole “How Bad Can I Be” scenario being out of place – I didn’t like it much and yes, political affiliations should be left out of entertainment (particularly children’s movies.) However, back in 1971 when Dr. Seuss wrote this story he wanted it to parallel the current, as I felt the directors of “The Lorax” did with this movie in 2012. Thanks for reading and for your comment! I hope you give some of my other reviews a shot :)

      • I will… I like reading reviews (and I don’t mind spoilers either)… I have found some great movies by perusing the various reviews and taking things into consideration that I would normally not even bother with.

  16. Thanks for this review. I have a strong propensity to distrust movies based on beloved books, and I was extremely suspicious of a Hollywood version of such a classic. You give me plausible reason to think again, and I appreciate that.

  17. Another parallel between the story and real life is that the Once-ler really had no idea how much he was harming the environment. It didn’t really kick in until it was too late.

  18. My 4 year old has made me read the book to him every night this week, I can’t wait to take him to see the movie this weekend.

  19. Thank you for your review! I plan on taking my daughter to see this. It looks really cute and she laughs at the commercial all the time, especially when he says “That’s a woman?!”. I really like the message it has as well. I read an article the other day that said Ted and Audrey were named after Dr. Seuss and his wife! Anyways this was my favorite Dr. Seuss book growing up so I think I will be as excited as her to see it :)

  20. Two thumbs up for the mention of The Foot Book! My sister and I made our Dad read that book every night without fail. I bet he can recite it from memory, lol. Great review!

  21. Omg i saw the movie,and your review abut the book and the movie i totaly agreed on, oh and for 3d(i watched it like that but it wasnt much of a difference) the trees looked real!!! And im like 12 and my freiends and i got o whole group of people and watched. So…. i agree i think EVERYONE should totaly go see it!!!! It was awsome!! And thnx for ur reveiw.

  22. This was one of my son’s favourite books….and mine. He is now 38 and we can both still quote the whole book, which some people find quite strange. I look forward to the movie.

  23. Seen and heard some pretty varied views on this film but this is among the most honest sounding reviews I’ve seen thus far and one clearly from a fan of the original.
    While I don’t expect it to be award-material or anything, I was expecting to simply enjoy this movie for what it was and that they would stay true to the spirit of what made the original as nice as it was and from your review it sounds kind of like they did.
    So long as its not over hollywood-ised I think I’ll enjoy it and you know what? I think that if we try and send a slightly more anti-business and pro-nature and simpler life message to the kids of today, they will be happier and thank us in the long run if they learn to appreciate life and to stop and smell the roses and such.
    Cheers.

  24. The Lorax was always my favorite Dr. Seuss book, so I was really excited when I saw the previews. I swear, I can’t picture Danny DeVito any way but as the little orange peanut now. Choosing him as the voice was a really good choice I think. I’m excited to see the movie. Thanks for the review!

  25. I was kinda of insulted when they made fun of the original dialog and how overly flashy the movie had to be. I won’t lie I was not impressed and I’m glad I did not pay to see it (my partner’s sister is an assistant manager at a theater and she was treating us). I did laugh at some of the jokes but I disliked most of the songs (I think they could and should have been left out because they didn’t really add much). Honestly I felt like the movie was just trying to dangle shiny objects in front of me to try and divert the fact that this movie has been done so many time.
    I personally think Wall-e did it better, and it had almost no dialogue, and no songs that made me want to walk out.
    Granted I know this is for kids, but as stated above, I’d rather take then to see Wall-e, and read them Dr. Seuss. So far I have not liked a single Dr. Seuss movie that has come out which saddens me because I love his books. :(

  26. We found it a bit heavy handed on the capitalism bashing side, and not enough on the environmental preservation side. Definitely gave us some teachable moments after the show, to clarify the right way and the wrong way to make a difference when standing up for what you believe in. Shoving someone into the river…that would be the wrong way. Teaching how to replant and regrow the resources you use, before full destruction takes place…that would be the right way.

    • I do agree there were some moments that can be taken as anti-capitalism. I am surprised that I wasn’t more offended, considering I do sway to the conservative side. But I felt it was a children’s movie, truly intended for those on the younger side, and the whole “Let it Grow” ending really drove that point home. Thanks for your response!

  27. Funny, as a Seuss fan, I had an entirely different reaction to this movie. I actually found that the rather complex story about greed, listening (and not listening), and taking personal responsibility for your actions was replaced by a sappy, simplistic, and ultimately unhelpful message that “TREES ARE GOOD!” Indeed, they sanitized the story to the point that it was comfortable for them to have the Lorax hawking Mazda SUVs and IHOP sugar-coated kiddie breakfasts.

    They actually took quite a bit away from the actual book to shove in this whole “Thneed-Ville” plotline that I felt was trite at best. I put my review of it over at my blog StopHittingYourBrother.com if you’re interested. I agree it’s not a bad movie for kids, but compared to the absolutely faithful and brilliant Horton Hears a Who interpretation, this one is wholly lacking in the nuanced allegories that makes Seuss so fantastic.

  28. Ted for Theodore was actually the real first name of Dr Suess!! We all and my two little boys who are 6 and 4 absolutely love Dr Suess and his many stories…many thanks for the recommendation, because when I read the review which said that the movie involved a boy trying to impress a girl, I was not too sure whether it would be the same! But now we definitely have to see this.

  29. Thanks for this review. My wife really wants to see this, but I was a little leery, figuring Hollywood would do it’s usual hatchet job to Seuss’ story. Maybe I’ll take the plunge.

  30. I love Dr. Seuss and The Lorax is one of my favorites. I’ve lived my whole life in and around Seuss’ home town of Springfield, MA and The Lorax and the Thneed factory were inspired by the old Springfield Gasworks factory that polluted the neighborhood where his grandparent’s bakery was located. The Gasworks is long gone now but Dr. Seuss is far from forgotten here in Springfield!

  31. Thank you! I’ve been holding off on this one, but I’m going to give it a go now. Also, not having seen the movie – what exactly is ‘anti-business’? Are people hurting business’ feelings? Have businesses gone from making corporations people to making them minorities in the hopes of reaping the great benefits they’ve heard of like “getting to tell people they’re never ever allowed to speak badly of them because they’re being ‘anti-business'”? Are there actually people out there watching movies critical toward business and crying out “but won’t somebody think of the businessmen!”? I’m confused as hell.

    And now I can’t type business without thinking it doesn’t look like a real word anymore.

  32. I’ve never read the original story (shame on me), but the movie was love at first sight. It was especially amazing in IMAX 3-D. It was totally worth the $40 it took for 4 people. I was also thrilled to see the commercials for Despicable Me, and Paranorman, which I’ve been waiting for.

  33. I am happy to hear and know that “The Lorax” brings forth the positive, genuine, meaningful and important lessons/messages of Dr. Seuss. I think society and the world can use much more of anything that is positive, genuine and meaningful. I look forward to watching this movie in 3-D hopefully soon.

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