No magic, misbegotten
Dr Seuss' The Lorax
Direction: Chris Renaud, Kyle Balda
Actors: Zac Efron, Danny DeVito
The animated adaptation of the popular 1971 bedtime book by Theodor Seuss Geisel has an eco-friendly storyline, bright colour palette and frenetic 3D chases — everything, it seems, except the good doctor’s magic.
Admittedly, the target, under-10-year-old audience will be amused, but others may not relate to the attempts at fun and frolic. Overall, The Lorax is a far cry from the classic cartoon caper it desperately wants to be.
Remaining faithful to the broad outline of the source material, the narrative follows a young boy (dubbed by Efron) who ventures beyond his barren hometown to bring back the seed of all-but-extinct trees.
It turns out that an avaricious hermit (Ed Helms) is responsible for ruining the once-lush habitat, never mind the constant protests by the eponymous tree spokesman (DeVito)
This is a cautionary tale about the dangers of crass commercialism but co-directors Renaud and Balda pad it out with a perfunctory romantic subplot and a horde of peripheral characters.
The musical interludes are instantly forgettable. Just like the rest of this misbegotten enterprise.