Sunday, March 11, 2012

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax in 3D

I saw this with some trepidation with my son last week. I say trepidation because the Dr. Seuss book has been his favorite since he was two. I've read it to him for consecutive days and weeks on and off for years now, he quotes it endlessly and it's also the only book where I go full out with character voices. What if he hates Danny DeVito's voice as the Lorax because I don't sound like Danny DeVito it actually sort of sounds like Professor Frink from the Simpsons. It's the cutest thing in the world when he comes over to me telling me that he speaks for the trees because the trees have no tongues. What if he hates the movie so much he stops doing that? To add another wrinkle to the mix he declared to me that he wanted to see the movie in 3D.  This was going to be a nightmare outing, I could just sense it.
The Lorax is based on the charming little book by Dr. Seuss about a naive young man named the Once-ler  (voiced by Ed Helms) who comes to a charming valley with the desire to start a business. He discovers the beautiful Truffula Trees that are apparently softer than silk with the smell of fresh butterfly milk. He starts chopping the trees and making these things called Thneeds until a orange furry creature called the Lorax (Danny DeVito) appears to tell him to stop.  This is the basic plot of the movie and the book but of course that would probably only take about ten or fifteen minutes to tell. For the movie they added another story on top of the Once-ler's story about a boy named Ted (Zac Effron) who likes this girl named Audrey (Taylor Swift, I assume she was hired to act and sing the big song with Effron) who is obsessed with Truffula Trees. Ted is obsessed with Audrey so he goes in search of Truffula trees and finds the Once-ler and the two stories merge.
The good news for me is that Nathan really enjoyed the movie and sat through the whole thing with his glasses on for pretty much the entire picture which is a pretty big feat for him. The 3D was actually pretty good and it worked out well. It didn't have too many things flying at you and it didn't seem to scare him at all. He laughed at the hi-jinks he quoted the memorable lines. He really loved the humming fish and the Brown Bear-ba-loots. I think he sort of ignored Ted and his story about restoring the air from the three stooges like character Mr. O'Hare (Robb Riggle), which is probably a good thing because it was the most annoying part of the movie. I really understand what they were trying to do in order to fill it in to make it almost two hours but man it just felt like a massive sell out to me. This book was all about anti-commercialization and phoniness and many of these scenes felt just like that. Again, thankfully, the little one didn't seem to notice and he loves his book even more than before with the major difference that he always asks why Ted isn't in the book more than a few pages and how come he doesn't talk. He also seems to like my nasaly Lorax voice better. All is right with the world.
So if you are looking for a very cute and ultimately painless version of a great Dr. Seuss book then please take your kids I'm sure they'll love it. If the current Box Office is any indication you don't need my review to help you decide. There are a few throw-away lines here and there that will go right over the little one's heads but other than that it's a pretty sterile and non-threatening little movie. Those Brown Bear-ba-loots are ridiculously cute.
My Grade: 3 Buckets

Kid Grade: 5 Buckets

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