Green aim misses Seuss' target

Green aim misses Seuss' target

Anyone who feels a connection to the outdoors will fall for The Lorax, about Dr Seuss' grumpy but lovable forest guardian who "speaks for the trees".

Director Chris Renaud and writers Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio (the superb team behind 2010's Despicable Me) remain faithful to Dr Seuss's evergreen message. The original tree-hugger book, first published in 1971, channelled Dr Seuss' concerns that human greed will put Nature in peril.

Twelve-year-old Ted (voiced by Zac Efron) lives in Thneedville, where the trees are plastic and air comes in bottles. He has no clue that candy floss-style truffula trees once sprouted from the soil until his dream girl, Audrey (Taylor Swift), shows him a colourful mural and tells him she yearns to see real plants.

Desperate to impress her, Ted goes into the empty wasteland to seek help from the Once-ler (Ed Helms). Once-ler admits that in his youth he ignored warnings from the Lorax - a fuzzy orange creature with bushy brows - and cut down all the trees for money. "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better ," the Lorax warns.

This adaptation leaves us rethinking our unsustainable lifestyle, but misses the spark of the original. Dr Seuss' mixture of anarchism and elegance is replaced with a raucous, facetious tone. A handful of unpleasant characters are added to expand the book to film length.

YP Rating: 3/5

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