'The Lorax': What the Critics Are Saying
The 3D adaptation of Dr. Seuss' classic tale starring Danny DeVito, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Ed Helms and Betty White hits theaters on March 2. Directed by Chris Renaud and screenwriters Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul, all from Despicable Me, the Universal is a big-screen adaptation of the 1971 book Dr. Seuss' The Lorax.
The Hollywood Reporter's film critic Michael Rechtshaffen says, "Armed with a splendid voice cast and a gorgeously rendered 3D-CG landscape, the film entertains while delivering it’s pro-environmental, anti-greed message wrapped in a bright package of primary colors that truly pop."
Rechtshaffen also points out that Efron "brings a youthful wholesomeness to the role of Ted," who is an "idealistic 12-year-old whose ecological consciousness springs to life courtesy of his crush on his slightly older and more enlightened neighbor, Audrey (agreeably voiced by Taylor Swift)."
Movie critic Michael Phillips from the Chicago Tribune doesn't agree with THR's film critic, writing, "The message tends to get lost in all the clanging slapstick and Wall-E imagery. The Lorax is just another OK feature-length animated edition (in 3-D, if you choose to pay for it) of a Dr. Seuss book."
Los Angeles Times' Kenneth Turan, critiques the film regardless of its ecological message: "Although it keeps intact the ecological message of one of the original tree-hugger books, first published in 1971, this movie version adds a whole lot of other stuff, most of it not very good and not in keeping with the spirit of the Seuss original."
New York Times' A.O. Scott calls The Lorax "part of a left-wing Hollywood conspiracy to brainwash America’s children into hating capitalism and loving trees." He also says that the movie is "a noisy, useless piece of junk, reverse-engineered into something resembling popular art in accordance with the reigning imperatives of marketing and brand extension."
Adam Mazmanian from The Washington Times seemed to agree with Scott, saying, "The use of the character to promote sustainably manufactured products points to the essential hypocrisy and crude stupidity of the new film."
Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman was more generous than the other critics saying that, "The movie is like a less original WALL- E, but it's still vibrant and touching." He observes that Efron "nicely voices" his character Ted.