The Lorax was Dr. Seuss’ most serious work, as it conveyed an ecological message to youngsters and their parents. The message remains intact in this adaptation, by Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul, but it’s almost smothered by extraneous story material and characters. Directors Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda have filled every scene with funny-looking (or sounding) characters, sight gags, and one-liners to provide constant distraction. This might work as a diversion for younger kids, but there is no sign of the wit or wisdom of Dr. Seuss.
The songs, by screenwriter Paul and composer John Powell, are odd and unmemorable, except for the summing-up number “Let it Grow,” which ends the picture.
Theodore Geisel counted on the bond of trust he had built with his readers to offer a thoughtful and timely message. The people behind this forgettable film are merely trading on the author’s deep reserve of goodwill.
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