None of this should come as a surprise: The Lorax is the third dismal Seuss film the Geisel estate has waved through in the last 12 years, alongside live-action murderings of How The Grinch Stole Christmas and The Cat in the Hat. The Dr Seuss children’s books have been adapted by Hollywood before – How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) and Dr Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat (2003) were live-action versions with frantically zany and conceited lead performances from Jim Carrey and Mike Myers respectively; both films were pretty well unwatchable. The 3D adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ classic tale stars Danny DeVito, Zac Efron and Taylor Swift. Seuss’ The Lorax’ The animated feature, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, is based on the classic Dr. Seuss environmentally themed children’s book and stars the voices of Ed Helms, Danny DeVito and Zac Efron. Despicable Me has turned Theodor Geisel’s 1971 cautionary eco-tale Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax into the most satisfyingly Seussian big-screen effort to date.

The Lorax Review

The Lorax is a terribly preachy little creature; the trees would have done better to choose a spokesperson who wasn’t quite such a pill. This beating is a little hard to take from a film distributed in a 3D format that requires disposable plastic glasses. The film has a surface sheen of plausibility: it looks and sounds as if it should be as charming as witty as some of the terrific animated movies from Pixar and Dreamworks that we’ve been spoiled by over the last decade or so. The Once-ler is unbothered and he continues with the business until he finds himself running out material to the point that he has to shut down his factory because there are no more Truffula Trees left.The Lorax pops up one last time, looks back sadly at the Once-ler, says “UNLESS” and never comes back again.

There are no complaints to make about the technical work here: it looks bright and clean and sharp. Curiously, it’s the parts that are faithful to Seuss that are least entertaining. Having previously blended the irreverent and the touching to rewarding effect in Despicable Me, director Chris Renaud and writers Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio (the pair previously got their Seuss on with Horton Hears a Who!

He can only hope that the Lorax and all the animals will come back.

Respectfully sticking to the adaptation template set by 2008’s Horton Hears a Who! Critic David Edelstein says the movie is far from the best Seuss adaptation. It’s a shame, then, that it’s given far less time, even to the point that the love story gets no firm resolution. Because that story fills about 20 minutes, we now also have a love interest, a big-business villain who has obliterated anything natural to make a whole town so artificial that he can sell the residents fresh air, and Betty White as a snowboarding granny. He can only hope that the Lorax and all the animals will come back. The Lorax has unevenly weighted hands.