The Lorax


The Lorax Information

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax is a 2012 American computer-animated 3D musical comedy film based on Dr. Seuss' children's book of the same name. It was produced by Illumination Entertainment and was released by Universal Pictures on March 2, 2012, the 108th birthday of Seuss.

It is the second adaptation of the book, the first one being the 1972 animated musical television special. It builds on the book by expanding the story of Ted, the previously unnamed boy who visits the Once-ler. The main cast includes Zac Efron as Ted, Danny DeVito as the Lorax, and Ed Helms as the Once-ler. New characters introduced in the film are Audrey, who is voiced by Taylor Swift, Aloysius O'Hare, voiced by Rob Riggle, and Grammy Norma, voiced by Betty White.

Plot

Theodore "Ted" Wiggins is an idealistic 12-year-old boy, who lives in "Thneedville", a walled city that, aside from its citizens, is completely artificial"?everything there is made of plastic, metal, or synthetics. Ted sets out to find a real tree in order to impress Audrey, who Ted has a crush on. His energetic grandmother suggests he speak with the Once-ler about this. According to the tale Ted's grandmother mentions, the Once-ler will tell anyone about trees if brought fifteen cents, a nail, and a shell of great-great-great grandfather snail. When Ted sets off outside of Thneedville in search of the Once-ler with these items, he discovers that the outside world is a contaminated, empty wasteland|wasteland. The Once-ler agrees to tell Ted about the trees if he listens to the story over multiple visits. Ted agrees, even after the mayor of Thneedville, Aloysius O'Hare, who is also the greedy proprietor of a bottled oxygen company, confronts the boy and pressures him to stay in town. Over the course of the film, Ted continues to sneak out of O'Hare's sight with the encouragement of his grandmother and learns more of the history of the trees.

Over Ted's various visits, the Once-ler recounts the story of how he departed his family to make his fortune. After stumbling upon a lush Truffula Tree forest, Once-ler meets the guardian of the forest, the Lorax, after cutting down a Truffula Tree. The Lorax urges Once-ler to leave the forest, but Once-ler refuses. Eventually, the Once-ler promises not to chop another tree down, and the two seem to begin a friendship of sorts. Then, the young businessman's Thneed invention becomes a major success and Once-ler's family arrives to participate in the business. At first keeping his promise, the Once-ler continues Thneed production by harvesting the Truffula Tree tufts in a sustainable manner. However, soon his greedy and lazy relatives convince him to resume chopping down the trees, due to how long harvesting the tufts takes. Over time, the Once-ler's deforestation spirals into a mass overproduction. Flush with wealth, the Once-ler rationalises his short-sighted needs into arrogant self-righteousness, and the Lorax's helpless protests do not stop him. The Once-ler pollutes the sky, river and landscape, until the last Truffula Tree falls. Finally, the Once-ler is distraught, with the region uninhabitable because of his business's pollution. He is left ruined and abandoned by his own family and becomes a recluse. The Lorax sends the animals away to search for a better place to live before departing himself into the sky, leaving only a stonecut word: "Unless".

At the end of the story, the Once-ler understands the meaning behind the Lorax's last message, and gives Ted the last Truffula seed in hopes that he can plant it and make others care about real trees once more. Ted's desire to impress Audrey is now a personal mission to remind his town of the importance of nature. O'Hare, determined not to have trees undercut his business, takes heavy-handed steps such as covering Audrey's nature paintings, closing off the door that Ted uses to see the Once-ler, and forcibly searching Ted's room for the seed. Ted enlists his family and Audrey to help plant the seed, which has begun to germinate after coming into contact with water. O'Hare and his employees pursue the dissidents until they manage to elude him and reach the town center. Unfortunately, their attempt to plant the seed is interrupted by O'Hare, who rallies the population to stop them. To convince them otherwise, Ted takes an earthmover and rams down a section of the city wall to reveal the environmental destruction outside. Horrified at the sight and inspired by Ted's conviction, the crowd defies O'Hare, with his own henchmen expelling him from the town. The seed is finally planted, and Audrey kisses Ted on the cheek. Time passes and the land starts to recover; the trees grow, the animals return, and the redeemed Once-ler is happily reunited with the Lorax.

The Once-ler

The book and TV special both never reveal the Once-ler's face, but instead throughout the book, the Once-ler is pictured by what appear to be green limbs. But the line "...his secret strange hole in his gruvvulous glove," shows that the Once-ler may not actually have hands or arms of this color. The filmmakers used that as the basis for the Once-ler's character design. They interpreted the Once-ler as a human, and also included his green gloves and showed his face for the first time.

Cast

  • Zac Efron as Ted Wiggins, an idealistic 12-year-old boy. He is named after the author of the book, Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel).
  • Rob Riggle as Aloysius O'Hare, the mayor of Thneedville and head of the "O'Hare Air" company that supplies fresh air to Thneedville residents.
  • Danny DeVito as the Lorax, a grumpy yet charming orange creature with a large moustache.
  • Ed Helms as the Once-ler, a man who recounts how his discovery of the Truffula Forest as a younger man led to its depletion. In the film, he is portrayed as a tall, lanky human, while the original book and television special left his species ambiguous and his face hidden.
  • Taylor Swift as Audrey, an older girl and Ted's love interest. She is named after Audrey Geisel, Dr. Seuss' wife.
  • Betty White as Grammy Norma, Ted's grandmother
  • Jenny Slate as Mrs. Wiggins, Ted's mother
  • Nasim Pedrad as the Once-ler's mother.
  • Stephen Tobolowsky as Uncle Ubb, the Once-ler's uncle.
  • Elmarie Wendel as Aunt Grizelda, the Once-ler's aunt.
  • Danny Cooksey as Brett and Chet, the Once-ler's brothers.
  • Additional voices were provided by Jack Angel, Bob Bergen, John Cygan, Debi Derryberry, Bill Farmer, Jess Harnell, Sherry Lynn, Danny Mann, Mona Marshall, Mickie McGowan, Laraine Newman, Jan Rabson, Claira Nicole Titman, and Jim Ward

Production

The film is the fourth feature film based on a book by Dr. Seuss, the second fully computer-animated Dr. Seuss adaptation (the first one is Horton Hears a Who!), and the first of them all released in 3-D. The Lorax was also Illumination's first film presented in IMAX 3D (known as "IMAX Tree-D" in publicity for the film).

A film based on the original, The Lorax, had been in preparation since July 2009 by Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment. In 2010, it was announced that Danny DeVito would be voicing the titular character. The trailer debuted in Australia in November 2011.

The film was directed by Chris Renaud, and co-directed by Kyle Balda. It was written by Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul, the duo who also wrote the script for Blue Sky's Horton Hears a Who!. Audrey Geisel, Seuss's wife, was the executive producer, and Chris Meledandri, who managed Horton Hears a Who! at Fox Animation, produced the film.

The film was fully produced at the French studio "Illumination Mac Guff", which was the animation department of Mac Guff which has been acquired by Illumination Entertainment in the summer of 2011.

DeVito reprised his role in five different languages, including the original English audio, and also for the Spanish, Italian, German, and Russian language dub editions.

Universal added an environmental message to the film's website after a fourth-grade class in Brookline, Massachusetts launched a successful petition through Change.org.

Release

The film was released on March 2, 2012 in the United States and Canada and was released on July 27, 2012 in the United Kingdom.

Marketing

Mazda used the likeness of The Loraxs setting and characters in an advertisement for their CX-5 SUV. This was seen by some as the complete opposite of the work's original meaning. In response, Stephanie Sperber, president of Universal partnerships and licensing, said Universal chose to partner with the Mazda CX-5 because it is "a really good choice for consumers to make who may not have the luxury or the money to buy electric or buy hybrid. It's a way to take the better environmental choice to everyone." The film has also been used to sell Seventh Generation disposable diapers. In total, Illumination Entertainment struck more than 70 different product integration deals for the film.

Home media

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on August 7, 2012. The Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack also includes three new short films based on the main feature, Serenade, Wagon Ho!, and Forces of Nature.

Video game

Blockdot created a mobile puzzle game based on the film, titled Truffula Shuffula. The game was released on February 1, 2012, for Apple iOS and Android platforms.

Reception

Critical response

The film received mixed reviews from critics, with criticism directed towards the film and its marketing as betraying the original message of the book. The film earned a "rotten" rating of 55% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 146 reviews and an average rating of 5.9/10, with the critical consensus saying, "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax is cute and funny enough, but the moral simplicity of the book gets lost with the zany Hollywood production values." It also has a score of 46 on Metacritic based on 30 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".

New York magazine film critic David Edelstein on NPR's All Things Considered strongly objected to the movie, arguing that the Hollywood animation and writing formulas washed out the spirit of the book. "This kind of studio 3-D feature animation is all wrong for the material," he wrote. Demonstrating the poor way the book's text was used in the movie"?how modern cultural styles were pasted over the text"?in this excerpt from the review, Edelstein shows Audrey describing the truffula trees to Ted:

"the touch of their tufts was much softer than silk and they had the sweet smell of fresh butterfly milk" -- and [in the movie] Ted says, "Wow, what does that even mean?" and Audrey says, "I know, right?" So one of the only lines that is from the book, that does have Dr. Seuss' sublime whimsy, is basically made fun of, or at least, dragged down to Earth."
Some conservatives have criticized the film for having a strong environmentalist message. Lou Dobbs, the host of Lou Dobbs Tonight on the Fox Business Network, has criticized the film as being "insidious nonsense from Hollywood," and accused "Hollywood of trying to indoctrinate children."

The film also garnered some positive reviews, from critics such as Richard Roeper who called it a "solid piece of family entertainment". Roger Moore of the Pittsburgh Tribune called the film "a feast of bright, Seuss colors and wonderful Seuss design", and supported its environmentalist message.

Box office

The film has grossed $214,030,500 in North America, and $132,273,439 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $346,303,939.

The film topped the North American box office with $17.5 million on its opening day (Friday, March 2, 2012). During the weekend, it grossed $70.2 million, easily beating the other new nationwide release, Project X ($21 million), and all other films. This was the biggest opening for an Illumination Entertainment film, and for a feature film adaptation of a book by Dr. Seuss, as well as the second largest for an environmentalist film. It also scored the third-best debut for a film opening in March, and the eighth-best of all time for an animated film. The Lorax stayed at #1 the following weekend, dropping 45% to $38.8 million and beating all new nationwide releases, including Disney's John Carter (second place). On April 11, 2012, it became the first animated film in nearly a year to gross more than $200 million in North America, since Disney's Tangled.

Music

</ref> |title1=Ted, Audrey and the Trees |length1=2:36 |title2=Granny to the Edge |length2=2:33 |title3=Wasteland |length3=2:17 |title4=Truffula Valley Fantasy (featuring The Lorax Humming Fish) |length4=5:00 |title5=Once-ler & Lorax Meet |length5=2:35 |title6=O'Hare Warns Ted |length6=3:21 |title7=The River Bed |length7=4:03 |title8=Houseguests |length8=3:12 |title9=Valley Exodus |length9=4:54 |title10=The Last Seed |length10=4:54 |title11=Thneedville Chase |length11=5:04 |title12=At the Park |length12=3:12 |title13=Funeral For a Tree |length13=2:10 |total_length=45:51 }}

</ref> |music_credits=yes |title1=Let It Grow (Celebrate the World) |music1=Ester Dean |length1=3:39 |title2=Thneedville |music2=Fletcher Sheridan, Antonio Sol, Beth Anderson, Oliver Powell, Edie Lehmann Boddicker, Missi Hale, and Rob Riggle |length2=2:44 |title3=This is the Place |music3=Ed Helms |length3=2:24 |title4=Everybody Needs a Thneed |music4=Ed Helms, Randy Crenshaw, Fletcher Sheridan, Edie Lehmann Boddicker, Monique Donnelly, Ty Taylor and The 88 |length4=1:31 |title5=How Bad Can I Be? |music5=Ed Helms, Kool Kojak |length5=2:52 |title6=Let It Grow |music6=Fletcher Sheridan, Dan Navarro, Edie Lehmann Boddicker, Jenny Slate, Claira Titman, Betty White, Rob Riggle, and Ed Helms |length6=3:17 |title7=Let It Grow Gospel Ending (Original Demo) |music7=Jenny Slate |length7=0:52 |title8=Thneedville (Original Demo) |music8=Fletcher Sheridan |length8=3:58 |title9=The Once-ler's Traveling Madness (Original Demo) |music9=Ed Helms |length9=1:35 |title10=I Love Nature (Original Demo) |music10=Randy Crenshaw |length10=2:43 |title11=You Need a Thneed (Original Demo) |music11=Keith Slettedahl & The 88 featuring Antonio Sol, Fletcher Sheridan, and Taylor Graves |length11=1:32 |title12=Nobody Needs a Thneed (Original Demo) |music12=Fletcher Sheridan and Randy Crenshaw |length12=1:52 |title13=Biggering (Original Demo) |music13=Gabriel Mann, Randy Crenshaw, and The 88 |length13=5:01 |total_length=34:00 }}

Mini-movies

Three mini-movies were released on the Lorax Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack on August 7, 2012: Serenade, Wagon Ho!, and Forces of Nature.

Wagon Ho!

The Once-ler arrives with his wagon and Melvin. Pipsqueak & Lou arrive shortly after. The Once-ler tells them to have no joyrides, though Pipsqueak and Lou trick him. When Once-ler goes inside his house Pipsqueak and Lou start cranking up the wagon, but Melvin won't pull the wagon because whiping the reins makes him angry. So Pipsqueak grabs a Truffula Fruit, a stick and some string, which makes Melvin pull the wagon, until Melvin goes up a steep hill, causing him to get exhausted. Lou lets go of the reins and the wagon is unhooked from Melvin, and the wagon goes downhill backwards while Pipsqueak and Lou scream in terror. Melvin hears these screams and chases the runaway wagon. Lou tries to stop the wagon by stabbing a stick in one of its wheels, but fails because when Lou stabbed the wheel he got stuck on the wheel he stabbed. He lands back on the seat besdide Pipsqueak, who hugs him happily. The wagon hits a rock and is propelled downhill, chased by Melvin, only to approach a cliff. Pipsqueak panics and holds on to the canopy, which flies off the wagon frame but is held in place by Lou. The wagon flies off the cliff, but the canopy Lou holds is used as a parachute as they calmly make their descent, landing in the same place they left, Melvin, appearing shortly after. The Once-ler comes out of the house, only to be surprised with the sight. He tells them he is surprised they listened to instructions, and when it seems like they got away with it, Lou sneezes, causing the wagon to fall apart. Melvin hides beneath his hooves and Lou and Pipsqueak curl up into a ball. The Once-ler looks annoyed and makes a small, disgruntled "Grr" sound, at which Lou and Pipsqueak run away into the trees.

Forces of Nature

The Lorax makes Pipsqueak a Honorary Lorax and team up to scare the Once-ler by using two sticks that looks like a monsters hand to freak him out. The Once-ler finds out its fake and sprays water on the Lorax, which makes his fur puff-up. When the Lorax tells Pipsqueak that he's going to turn out like him, Pipsqueak gets scared and runs away. The short ends with the Lorax telling Pipsqueak that he lost his Honorary Lorax.

Serenade

Lou wants to impress a girl Barboloot, but he has some competition.

Proposed sequel

Soon after the film's release, it was reported that a sequel to the film was being considered.

See also

  • List of films based on Dr. Seuss books



This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "The_Lorax_%28film%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.
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