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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Sept 4: The Lorax


Sept 4: The Lorax

"A 12-year-old boy searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world."
Directed by: Chris Renaud & Kyle Balda, Rated: PG, 86 minutes

The Lorax is a disgusting little kid's movie that tries way too hard to tailor it's appeal to the young ones, pumping the film with 'catchy' songs, obnoxious characters, and little cute animals that try way too hard to be Despicable Me's minions. Any environmental friendly ideas the source material by Dr. Seuss tried to convey is practically completely absent in this adaptation, and it's a shame. The magic and imagination Seuss created in his books is insulted with this film and I'd rather be off playing roulette games online than watching this piece of crap. Heck, even Russian roulette has more appeal. 

Everything's better with some Walken. Even if it's the scariest 'game' in the history of mankind. 

The film follows pubescent Ted (voiced by Zac Effron) who wants to get up and personal with Audrey (Taylor Swift). The two kids live in Thneed-ville, a synthetic city made entirely of plastic and machine. The world around them lacks anything organic and a real, growing tree hasn't been seen in years. Of course Audrey tells Ted the only way to her heart is to find a tree so he embarks on a quest to find one. He follows the advice of his grammy (Betty White) and tracks down the Once-ler (Ed Helms), a hermit living right outside of town. The Once-ler tells Ted the story of his younger years, when trees were everywhere and animals inhabited the beautiful countryside. Unfortunately, the Once-ler found greed and chopped down all of the trees and led to the devastation everywhere. The Lorax (Danny DeVito), the protector of the forest who descends from heaven like Jesus, warns the Once-ler that his actions cannot be undone and that he's overall disappointed in the young man (because nothing tells kids to stop littering like a giant Cheeto with a mustache). 

Speaking of which, when is this creepy perv getting his own movie?

I like to believe that the filmmakers of The Lorax had honest intentions with the film, but the end result is lacking of any sign of such. The movie is over-the-top with nearly every aspect, including loud obnoxious songs and way too many 'cute' animals trying to earn a laugh. The story doesn't even try to tell much, as opposed to just jumping around here and there. It's moments of 'preachiness' come quick and hard, but in the end you just don't give a damn. Each song, full of dancing animals and pop-like tunes is irritating and is one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to movies. Sure, the songs play a large part to the film, but that doesn't mean they aren't annoying. It seems that nothing can emulate a Disney flick and with Alvin and the Chipmunks and many other similar films out now, the singing just shows signs of coping out to what's "cool". 
For the billionth time, singing animals aren't funny. 

I am fully aware that this movie is a kid's movie and that the youngins are the target audience, but when you adapt such a beloved story like Seuss' The Lorax, you need to have something for everyone. Hell, most of the children this movie was aimed at probably have never even heard of the book, let alone Dr. Seuss. I knew that the film wasn't great going in but I still had my hopes. And unfortunately, everything bad I've heard about it is true. I struggled getting through this mess and would not recommend it at all. As I mentioned before, you'd have more time playing exciting TV games from Paddy Power2012 is turning into a year of very uninspiring animated movies and I hope that the toons of the fall and winter will save this year from being one of worst in recent memory. 

The Bad:
an animation style that looks cheap, similar to the dud, Hoodwinked
The Worse:
obnoxious characters that leave very little to like about and try too hard to be funny or cute
The Ugly:
songs that are written specifically to get themselves ingrained into your skull, without any creativity or imagination behind them

Overall: 2.8/10


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At September 4, 2012 at 10:27 PM , Blogger Dusty said...

I couldn't disagree more with this review. I thought it was an excellent children's film. The characters and storytelling were excellent. The animation is terrific! What copy did you see? In HD the colors and depth are on brilliant display. The comparison to Hoodwinked is so totally off base. I was fine with the music too, especially the final number which I thought was the best. This is the best Dr. Seuss adaptation since the original Grinch cartoon in my opinion.

I don't think I've ever read one of your reviews and disagreed with you on every single point, until now.

Son, I am disappoint.

At September 4, 2012 at 10:28 PM , Blogger Nick said...

It was bound to happen, Dusty lol. I really, really, really disliked the film and found very little of it to actually be enjoyable. Sorry we're not on the same page on this one. We'll reconnect next time lol.

At September 5, 2012 at 1:47 AM , Blogger Benend said...

I really, really enjoyed it!

I actually thought the environmentalist themes were a little heavy-handed but either way, what's so bad about teaching young kids to respect the environment? Besides, I thought the themes were far stronger than Brave, which rehashed Disney princess messages such as growing up, being who you want to be etc. Stuff we've all seen before.

The Lorax was colourful, vibrant and I particularly enjoy the studio's style of animation. I would agree it's overly cutesy but, again for the target audience that's to be expected. It's my favourite animation of the year because it was so effortlessly fun to watch. Whereas Brave felt plodding and repetitive.

I'd just like to add that I saw it in the cinema, so it looked brilliant.

But hey, opinions. That's why we all love films I guess.

At September 5, 2012 at 3:36 PM , Blogger Nick said...

I guess I seem to be one of the only few that hated it lol. Is it your favorite animated movie of the year?

At September 9, 2012 at 6:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually think this is a great kids' movie, but it's also a kids' movie in the most real sense possible. This isn't a Pixar film that's balanced for both adults and children; it's aimed right squarely at kids, and I think it works for that demographic. For everyone else, maybe not quite as much-- some of the music is catchy, the animation is nice, and the voice work is solid. But it's also a story filtered through a very simple, easy-to-grasp lens that makes it kind of a dud for the older set.


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