Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
Voices of Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Danny DeVito
Directed by Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda
Why does Hollywood keep screwing up the iconic work of Dr. Seuss? After the wretched film versions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Cat in the Hat, and Horton Hears a Who, Dr. Seuss takes another one in the gut. This 3D, animated, idiotically musicalized version of The Lorax thoroughly debases the genius of the good doctor's book, adding characters, twisting plot points, and replacing Seuss subtlety with Hollywood frenzy. Everything organic in Seuss' 1971 illustrated book looks pasted on. The setting is still the polluted town of Thneedville, where trees don't grow and fresh air is sold in jars. The conflict between the tree-hugging Lorax (voiced by Danny De Vito) and the Once-ler (Ed Helms), who sold out the environment for a quick buck, has been sidetracked by the strained efforts of young Ted (Zac Efron) to win the heart of pretty Audrey (Taylor Swift) by finding her a real tree. Yikes! Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda direct strictly for short-attention spans on a fruit-loopy palette that made me want to puke. Had Dr. Seuss lived (he died in 1991), I'm confident he would have puked as well.