English Title: Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.
Production: USA, 2012.
Release Date: 02.03.2012 (USA).
Russian Distributor: UPI (08.03.2012).
Genres: Adaptation / Animation / Family / Fantasy.
Directors: Kyle Balda, Chris Renaud.
Voices: Danny DeVito, Zac Efron, Ed Helms, Taylor Swift.
Running Time: 95 minutes.
One Fluffy Meatball
6th of March, 2012 is the day, when Danny DeVito visits Moscow to present the new animated featurie film named Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, review of which as always goes belo. The well-known 67-year-old actor from Hollywood is ready for many hours of work here, including a Press Conference and other media events as well as a Russian public premiere.
Animation is not only the universe of boundless imagination, but the best, by far, field to use 3D-technologies in the film industry. While still at the motion pictures area the producers argue, whether it is more beneficial to shoot a film in 3D or just to convert it to 3D during the Post-production, the animators don’t have to waste time choosing the right option. The animation films audience expects to see bright colors and cool visual effects. At the same time the creators don’t even need to torment live actors to make them, except, probably, using their voices and gestures at times. Nowadays, the available animation tools allow you to bring to the screen any idea you like, even if it is one Fluffy Meatball presented an updated vision of the famous Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (2012) story.
An american resident of Springfield named Theodor Seuss Geisel had German roots. His father owned a brewery, while the son enjoyed literature much more than bear. Even at the University he already took the leading role in printing the local youth magazine. Soon after Theodore had got involved in the Caricature Art trying to expose the vices of modern industrialization in his works. However, the Great Depression in the U.S. in 1930s forced him to go offering his services to the companies making something that the characters of his stories tried to struggle with.
The most known pseudonym of a writer is Dr. Seuss. Though there were others, but still his debut full-length work was entitled And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street (1937) and then was rejected by dozens of various publichers. However, the popularity reached the author over time, and he always admitted that he wanted more to entertain children, than to raise them himself. Some of his new stories started to appear in the 1950s, and two decades later, the Soviet cartoonists drew their inspiration out of them. After even more decades Dr. Seuss got a welcome place in Hollywood. The two major adaptions already released were How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) and Horton Hears a Who! (2008) telling about an unusual elephant. The box office earnings from these titles far exceeded their production costs, and even the Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax new animated feature film shows the same potential in terms of creating sequels, though the authors then will have to stay without literary material support, because Dr. Seuss more often than not preferred to tell each story only once.
«Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not» – here goes a direct quote out of the original The Lorax (1971) story. At that time it was scaring the logging industry members. You could consider it looking as a refreshing Ecological satire denouncing entrepreneurs, who were caring more about their profits, than about preserving the nature’s wealth. Nevertheless, environmentalist propaganda in this Fairytale was driven by The Lorax character performing the duties of the magical forests’ guard or safekeeper.
The Lorax will entertain you in many ways
The Marginal Drawings
The American animation studio known under the brand of Illumination Entertainment has already developed its personal visual style, which could be seen in its film Despicable Me (2010), making the creators much richer. Next year will see its sequel released, and in the last year the team brought a different story named Hop (2011) to the theaters. Now Illumination is working over a dozen of different projects, including some based on the stories for children. When starting to adapt The Lorax screenplay for the second time in history, the team of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax led by two directors, including Kyle Balda and Chris Renaud, was facing a daunting task. By the way, before taking this position, they had been earning their experience providing artist services to other famous members of the Animation genre.
The original material, in fact, was too short for a feature film, so Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul were hired as scriptwriters to fill in the missing pieces and to expand the story, where it was possible even telling about the arrival of Lorax to the beautiful valley created by the imagination of Dr. Seuss. However, the creators at Illumination chose a very careful approach, when dealing with the literary heritage. They were looking for any inspiring signs from the past, searching for any basic illustrations left by the writer in the fields to make proper design choices. As a result, the plot’s subject will be understandable by many and doesn’t require any previous knowledge of Dr. Seuss novels.
The plot brings to the stage a relatively small number of actors, although at times uses general animated crowds, which participate in the performance of musical songs. The main hero of the updated Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax story is a 12-year-old boy named Ted, who was voiced by actor Zac Efron. He is ready to do anything to obtain the love of the girl-next-door known as Audrey. Her original voice was provided by the US country and pop singer – Taylor Swift. Audrey is a true future environmentalist at heart. When the nature has no more places to be saved, she dreams of making it reappear in the real world.
However, a couple lives in a plastic town Thneed-Ville, which no longer has any live trees left, but is completely overrun by artificial flavor once, changing colors depending on a current season or even flashing in case of a planned dance party. All the other residents feel themselves very comfortable here, while not knowing that outside the city wall lies the dark and polluted wasteland. Audrey enjoys painting her house with beautiful Truffula Trees on the facade, but she also promises a kiss to someone, who will show her a true tree. One brave Ted is ready to do anything to earn such an award.
His mother credited simply as Ted’s Mom with the voice of Jenny Slate, honors the family traditions, and she is also somewhat conservative following the moods of the general crowd till she needs to protect her family from threats. At the same time, Grammy Norma speaking as Betty White in Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax shows her nostalgic feelings for the past beauty of nature. She helps Ted to find an old hermit living in a distant tower and named the Once-ler. The Russian distributor of the animated film has contributed a lot for adapting the story for the Russian market. It can be seen in many things, including the staged vocal performances.
There are many vivid colors on screen here
The Once-ler is voiced by Ed Helms. In Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax he will tell Ted a whole story about the thing needed by all – the invention of a young careless man being able to attract a lot of customers. The main problem was in the requirements for its production. A lot of Truffula leaves were needed for the goods, and at one point the already successful businessman forgot, who he owers his profits to. Then the mystical keeper of the forests in the valley arrived. His name is Lorax, but his power has little magic to use. Instead, he carries his tasks with wise advice and clever tricks, initially tring to get rid of the Once-ler. The important role in his plan is played by all the the other area residents with Humming Fish and Brown Barbalut participatin as well. The large bear sometimes even really steals the show here.
These second plan characters are genuinely involved in the story opening new moves for the script. In general, the authors share their cute sense of humor, although we have to warn that it will not lead to people laughing in bursts because a comic layer is just one of many in this animated film. There are also romantic motives, some musical elements in a form of songs, a few dynamic adventure scenes and one notable villain, of course. He is Mr. O’Hare himself, who speaks with a voice of Rob Riggle. Of course, this fresh air seller wouldn’t like living trees to return to Thneed-Ville, because their usual photosynthesis is bad for his business making it not profitable anymore. So by all means employing two wardrobe-like bodyguards he tries to stop Ted from reviving nature in the surroundings.
The visual part demonstrates, how the animators are comitted to specific color palettes. Here you will see a lot of orange, purple and green objects. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax remains true to the Illumination’s style with characters getting inproportionally big heads for their bodies. It is better to watch this film in IMAX 3D, where you might enjoy many 3D-effects. It is not as inconvenient as the origian 3D with its bulky 3D-glasses consuming a lot of light out of the picture. The original story was very important for the scriptwriters, so, unfortunately, Lorax only appears close to the Once-ler and scenes of him and his arrogant family.
Universal Pictures again was thinking about the Russian audience. Actor Danny DeVito has actually learnt Russian to dub his character for this market. It is very important as a precedent, since he delivers an abundance of lines of different complexity speaking for the forest keeper Lorax. Danny DeVito completed the task, made a few promotional videos and just did a good job here. His accent shows its origin, but still it is much better to listen to the original voice overs instead of some invited local dubbers. The music also fills the mood with the appropriate material.
Firstly, the soundtrack’s length for Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax reaches 80 minutes. Secondly, it was split in two albums, composed by British maestro John Powell, who is always a welcome guest for many animation titles producers. He was assisted by Cinco Paul. The Half of these 26 tracks were performed not only by some actors, but also by a few guest vocalists. To our surprise Taylor Swift this time didn’t record anything, though Ed Helms, Jenny Slate, Betty White and Rob Riggle did instead. The title track of the film is Let It Grow (Celebrate The World), which was performed by Ester Dean. The melody is catchy, while using some electronic sounds staying inside the popular music flow. In addition, this young singer from the United States has already been involved in making music for animated films like the Rio (2011) one.
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax can impress not only with a good story hiding some environmentalist context inside, but also with a positive mood it brings employing the bold usage of many bright colors surprising geometric shapes on the screen. Then the Lorax and all the inhabitants of his magical valley create an unique group of characters, who will quickly make you smile with their animated play.
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax Trailer
Movie Score by GameScope:
8.0 / 10