Film review: The Lorax (3 out of 5 stars)

The Lorax.
The Lorax.

U (86mins)

Directors: Chris Renaud, Kyle Balda

Starring (voices): Danny De Vito, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift

Any film that is aimed at a younger audience should also have elements that will also hold parents’ attention.

If you want the children to go then it helps if those paying for the tickets are also entertained.

The Lorax just about fits the bill, with plenty of colourful action for the young ones and some good characters that get the ‘more mature’ audience chuckling.

Based on one of the well known Dr Seuss series of tales, this film sees young Ted (Efron) trying to win the affections of Audrey (Swift) by tracking down a real tree.

The problem is that the walled city of Thneed-ville is completely artificial, no real plants in sight.

So Ted goes off to track down the Once-ler, a man who is behind the disappearance of the trees and who came up against The Lorax (De Vito), a mystical character who tries to protect nature.

The two strands - the action with Ted and the Once-ler’s story - benefit from decent small role characters, as the main people in this 3D film are rather two dimensional.

Ted’s grandma, voiced by US TV stalwart Betty White, has some of the best lines, while the various bears and a trio of crazy goldfish are the highlight in the forest.

There’s a very strong environmental message throughout the movie.

However, it’s a bit like being clubbed over the head with a branch until you say ‘OK, we won’t chop down trees’.

At 86 minutes the film should hold most children’s attention and, at any rate, it’s better than watching the rain during summer holidays.

Steve Payne

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley