Here’s what I like about this movie. It’s short. I even felt that it was perhaps too short because I was out and back to my desk in two hours flat. It should be of no surprise really because too my knowledge, Dr.Seuss’ original materials are short that it was a bit of a stretch when brought for a feature length treatment anyway. Even so, I was surprised that I liked this movie as much as I do. Catchy songs, cute characters, decent voice actings, and a delivery of a message that didn’t felt a bit excessive and most importantly, didn’t felt preachy. To the best of my knowledge, this movie is the first decent animated movie in a fairly long time.
It opens with the titular character, delivering a message that he speaks for the trees and then opens up the curtain to unravel the story of Tneedville where trees are just things of the past, and the air so polluted, its citizens have to buy a supply of fresh air from a very definition of capitalism represented by the movie’s villainous character, Mr.O’Hare. It takes a puppy love stricken young boy to breaks out the confines of the city in order to seek the truth behind the disappearance of the trees and perhaps, brings back the world to a state it was once, taken for granted.
As a proponent of a musical movie, I approved the songs selection of this movie. Not necessarily “catchy” in an usual term where you hum one of its tune on your way out of the theater (I had completely forgotten any original tunes this movie has to offer once the movie ends), but I really love the song’s rhymes (don’t read subtitles if you could afford it). They are ever hilarious, sometimes ridiculous, but I strongly felt that there were integral to this universe created by Dr.Seuss. Spot on. I really really love it. Other than that, the characters were also well designed and voice actings are not too shabby. At the very least, some of their little quirks are pleasant to watch.
The message itself, about the need to preserve the nature, especially trees, is I think one that rings true to what we currently have right now. I’m not sure how the message would be accepted by the (far) younger minds, but I’d like to believe that it would hit the mark. You know, for the, yeah, future? (says a thirty year old boy who obsessively collected dead trees on his shelf). My point is, the movie had successfully shown us that things that we took for granted, would not be missed until it’s completely gone. But then, it would be already too late. And regrets always came after.
Moving on. All in all, “The Lorax” is a cut above a decent animated movies could go. Entertaining, catchy songs, a none too preachy message, and well, it’s short. It might not stand a chance against the stiff competition this coming weekend. Not with both “The Hunger Games” and “The Raid” coming out at the same time, but if you have a toddler old enough to watch a movie, you might consider this movie as your and your toddler’s quality time. Although of course, I would advice to go soak a warm morning/afternoon sun in the park instead. Oh, wait, we don’t have a decent public park here in Jakarta. So, yeah …