“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not”
-Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax takes the story of preservation and ecology from the 45-page children’s book and transforms it into a musical filled with humor, but remains true to its heart of environmentalism.
While the young boy who goes to visit The Once-Ler, the mysterious being who knows what happened to the trees, does not have much of a story in the book, he is given an entire identity in the film. Ted, voiced by Zac Efron, is spunky, brave and absolutely smitten with his beautiful friend Audrey, voiced by Taylor Swift. She is the reason he visits the Once-Ler because Audrey yearns to see a real, live tree.
The film also explores the new, entirely manufactured town of Thneedville, where the trees are plastic and the grass is concrete. The air quality is so poor that O’Hare Air, a company that sells clean, bottled air, is the most profitable industry in town.
Of course, the film features flashbacks to the times when the Truffula Trees grew everywhere and the air was clean and pure. The animation shines in these scenes as the Truffula tufts look soft enough to touch. The animals, like a tiny bear named Pipsqueak, are “painfully adorable” as Taylor Swift said in an interview.
Enter the young, optimistic Once-Ler, voiced by Ed Helms. He’s ready to prove his family wrong by making his Thneed, showcasing the scarf-hat-rope-rag-whatever in Billy Mays fashion (It’s a Thneed! It’s everything you need!). To make the Thneed, he has to cut down a towering Truffula tree, calling down the mystical Lorax, the speaker for the trees.
Casting could not have picked a better fit than Danny DeVito. Tossing in the appropriate amount of sass and sincerity, the Lorax will make you laugh as he eats nine helping of pancakes, but bring you to tears as he prepares a funeral for the first tree the Once-Ler chops down.
Musical numbers like “How Bad Can I Be” and “Let It Grow” are catchy and light-hearted. I plan on buying the soundtrack as soon as my bank account is not so depleted.
I won’t give away the ending, but The Lorax will make you question the choices you make. Though Going Green has become a trendy topic in today’s society, this film shows you why it’s so important to care for something as simple as a tree. And why it’s important to constantly question what’s going on around you. And why we don’t want a world that’s purely plastic.
Needless to say, I was in tears. Now, go see The Lorax. Seriously, go.