|Page 1 of 2:|| |
|Index||19 reviews in total|
Although a slightly silly film, as commented by another user, the Lorax is a revealing and relevant film. Released in the early 1970's when such issues were not publicly recognized, the film addresses perfectly the issue of the environment and natural resource depletion. The older generation feels that such a topic is not a pressing issue and needs not immediate attention. Perhaps that is why this "silly film" is aimed towards younger people, who will be impacted by its message and will not be too stubborn to make a change. The Lorax exemplifies this problem exactly, where the Once-ler feels that the economy and his own interests are more important then that of mother earth. God gave us one life, one planet. Act that way.
A Dr Seuss relatively unknown gem. A narrator (never identified) tells a story of how a person discovered a crop that could be used for anything. Soon all the trees where this crop grew were cut down and factories were built along with houses and highways while all the while a creature in the forest gives warning, saying he speaks for the trees. Unfortunately the warning goes unheeded and the wildlife that lives there make a fateful decision. A cautionary tale that was ahead of its time but seems very on point today. It warns us to be careful not to become to obsessed with our needs for consumer items and not to be suckered in by commercialism at expense of nature and the wonderful world around us. A Dr Seuss that should be shown on televison much more often than it is - some Logging companies in the west wanted it banned because of the ecological message - but now it is available to all. A must see and one to watch and discuss with your children. On a scale of one to ten...8
Well, of course it's good for kids--it's Dr. Seuss! Of course, he's for
all ages, but that should have been a clue. I suppose adults can get
something from Barney the Dinosaur (to use an extreme example) but it
isn't really created for adults, is it.
I'm curious: how old is the poster to whom I am replying? I ask because I sense that without a real understanding of the concerns of the '70s, this film might appear just a piece of outdated animation.
While this film might seem simplistic, its timing was impeccable. It premiered at the moment that the original ecology movement had begun to touch the general populace, and it began with baby seals . . . and serious deforestation of US land. The true-life events and fears of that time were exactly as presented; in fact, this movie aired only that once (until decades later) because the lumber industry was powerful enough at the time to have it hidden on a back shelf. Imagine: they were that scared of the power of this message that Dr. Seuss created (ostensibly) for children.
In any case, I was thrilled to find access to the movie as it is one of those pieces that defined my childhood in its era. Enjoy it for what it is or spend some time really watching it, but don't dismiss it so easily.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Though it is most often associated with the playfulness and innocence
of youth, even the whimsical, surreal land of Dr. Seuss isn't exempt
from the destruction that ruthless, money-driven big business tycoons
can create, as charmingly demonstrated in the 1972 animated film, The
Our titular protagonist is a stumpy, passionate, and unmistakably Seussical creature who "speaks for the trees". He takes his job very seriously and adamantly speaks out against their depletion when an avaricious, faceless character known as the Once-ler, our antagonist whose blatant disregard for the environment is topped only by his insatiable greed, comes into the picture. Immediately upon seeing the soft, colorful tops of the Truffula trees, he starts hacking away in an attempt to turn nature into profit, but at a heavy price.
After seeing just one of the trees chopped down, the Lorax springs into defensive action, only to be brushed off nonchalantly. "Look, Lorax, calm down. There's no cause for alarm. I chopped just one tree, I'm doing no harm. This thing is most useful! This thing is a "thneed." A theed, a fine something-that-all-people-need!" is the Once-ler's lethargic reply. As soon as he begins selling the odd but versatile thneeds, consumers start buying, thus beginning a voracious cycle of supply and demand that Mother Nature had apparently never prepared for.
Before long, the Once-ler's business grows to the point where he cannot fulfill the demand for thneeds, leading him to call family over for assistance. They dutifully make the move over, bringing pollution and garbage with them.
Meanwhile, the fantastical creatures that'd been living there find they are being forced out by the gradual but steady destruction of their habitat. The Once-ler is not as clueless about the grave situation as he would like to pretend, but he argues that if he didn't do it, "someone else would." Before long, many confrontations between the Lorax and Once-ler later, no creatures are left and the pair are sorrowed by "the sickening smack of an axe on a tree," as they "saw the tree fall... the very last truffula tree of them all." And with that, a defeated Lorax pulls himself up from the "seat of his pants", leaving behind only a small pile of rocks surrounding the word "Unless".
Defying typical Seussical conventions, the film does not end on a generically happy note, but on an ambiguous one instead. The contrite Once-ler presents a young boy, presumably symbolizing the new generation, with the very last Truffula seed and the parting sentiment, "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing's going to get better. It's not." His words are especially powerful when one considers that throughout the film, he knew at the back of his head that what he was doing was wrong, but figured he could still take the time to "think it over" while the money rolled in. He finally realizes that things just don't get done by having people idly "think it over", and that instead action needs to be taken. While there is little evidence that suggests the boy's endeavor could be anymore successful than the Lorax's, one is still left with the possibility of hope, that even in the most dire of situations, things could always begin to turn around at least a little.
It is interesting to note the direct association the characters make with progression and the devitalization of nature. The Lorax cries out at one point, "They say I'm old-fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!" It's almost sad to note how even the Lorax instantly identifies the terror of what the Once-ler is creating as a step forward rather than a step back. The economy is often placed in higher regard than the environment, leaving even the most hard-headed environmentalist to reluctantly bow down to its magnitude. The power of a country is measured by its wealth, not how green it is. And of course, a wealthy, strong economy is nearly synonymous with big businesses, many of which unfortunately produce excessive amounts of waste and do little to give back to the environment they abuse.
It's also worth mentioning how the Once-ler manages to convince the consumer of what they need, rather than what they want. In today's society, this trend continues. Through clever advertisements, the line between a person's wants and needs is often blurred. Many of the items that we once may have considered a luxury are now thought of as necessities, and even things that may be flashy and superfluous are easily thrown into the category of "needs", as today in society it is imperative to live in luxury and be up to date with the latest trends. Little Tabitha doesn't want the new Miley Cyrus CD, she needs it. After all, if she doesn't get it, how will she be able to keep up with her all of her friends? She won't; she'll be isolated and doomed to the life of a loner, or so she argues to her mother, who begrudgingly complies. And so another voracious cycle begins.
I watched this movie as a project for a College Now class, and I'm glad I did. Great for giving the young ones a head start, and great for inspiring adults to start a new leaf.
As Dr. Seuss's work was usually politically charged,* "The Lorax" does
a good job looking at the environment. Scary is how realistic the
book/movie eventually became (especially under George W. Bush). But it
does have an element of hope to it. I guess that it makes sense to have
Eddie Albert narrate, given his environmental work. After watching the
movie, you just might feel like speaking for the trees, and all other
*"The Cat in the Hat" was promoting rebellion, "Yertle the Turtle" was about the class system, "The Butter Battle Book" was about the Cold War-era arms buildup.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Wise old forest creature the Lorax (beautifully voiced by Bob Holt) tries to warn greedy and ruthless industrialist the Once-ler (also voiced by Holt with suitably sinister aplomb) about the potential harm of chopping down all the trees in the woods he's the self-appointed protector of. Alas, the Once-ler doesn't listen to the Lorax's warning and eventually lots of severe irreparable harm is wrought on the woods. This TV special manages to persuasively articulate a pertinent ecological message in a humorous, yet still relevant and respectful way without ever becoming too preachy or heavy-handed. Yes, we still do have the trademark smart and witty wordplay, a wealth of lively and engaging songs, colorful and creative animation, and a certain playful air, but underneath all the deceptive silliness is a totally serious and heartfelt concern about the well being of the earth as well as a still timely and topical statement about the evils of deforestation, the dark side of so-called progress, and the savage damage beget by corporate avarice and amorality run dangerously amok. Indeed, the environmental havoc the Once-ler brings upon the land with his factory is profoundly grim and depressing to behold. The fact that this TV special's central message hasn't dated a bit speaks volumes about its considerable artistic merit. An excellent and admirable program.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This may possibly be my favorite animated movie from the famous Dr.
Seuss. It has the usual witty rhymes and it has one actor I really
like, Eddie Albert, already in his sixties when this was made, and
prolific voice actor who does a good job here in portraying the Lorax
as well as his antagonist, The Once-ler. Also, it's a topic that
appeals to me more than for example the one in the Grinch.
At the beginning we see baboons and fish dancing happily though the forests and the green nature, but with the arrival of the Once-ler everything goes south. He starts building an industry at the expense of the nature and thus the Lorax, described as an an old forest creature that looks like the mix between walrus and hamster, is called into action to talk reason into the businessman. Sadly all attempts and neat rhymes from the little thing fail and more and more trees fall. Consequently, also the baboons and fish suffer and, eventually, leave for good. Growth and pollution increase rapidly and more and more trees fall until finally the very last one hits the ground, in what is really a sad moment and well displayed by the makers of the film. As there's no more raw materials left, the people leave the place and leave back an environmentally ruined area. The result is the Once-ler being equally ruined.
It's a good morale and it's a story that can teach something to all of us. I guess that's also what is implied by the fact that we never see the Once-ler clearly identified, only his arms and hands creating destruction. It could be anybody. I very much recommend this short film. Not too long ago, a full feature with Danny DeVito was made based on this 25-minute short. I haven't seen that version, but as animation draws audiences in masses to theaters these days, I'm sure many have and I hope they took something from it or maybe get inspired to watch the original from the early 1970s.
Cute and surreal, of course, with a message as timely as it could be. The voices are good and the songs - well, they sound more like game show themes than anything else, but they are endearing in their own anachronistic, groovy way. I appreciated the Once-lers vacillating viewpoint; he wasn't just a monster, he was torn between good and bad. It helps me have a conversation with my kid about money and the environment, so I appreciate the moral of the story, but since it's Suess, it manages to avoid heavy-handed messaging (and this is probably Dr. S's heaviest- handed) and it stays uniquely weird-looking, which I appreciate too, since it helps me have a conversation with my kid about aesthetics.
I love Dr Seuss and I love the cartoon television specials based on his work, the live-action movies excepting The 5000 Fingers of Dr T not so much. The Lorax is one of Dr Seuss' best stories and the 1972 television special is one of the classics too. It has a wonderful message that is still relevant now, simple and I think beautiful animation, catchy songs, witty dialogue, timeless characters that have their conflicts(especially Once-Ler), a story that is just as charming, whimsical and surreal as Dr Seuss' writing and stories and great voice acting from Eddie Albert and especially Bob Holt. I know this is not adding very much to the previous reviews, but anything I wanted to say about The Lorax has been said brilliantly already and better than I could do. I haven't seen the recent movie yet(doesn't come out until July where I live), I am very dubious in all honesty but even if it does turn out better than expected I don't think it will surpass this classic. 10/10 Bethany Cox
The story is the strength here. Dr. Seuss message here is more that
there has to be balance in everything that you do. You can't just make
the needs that everyone, everyone needs without considering the price
of making it, that everyone must pay. A lot of folks now go over board
trying to go too far in one direction.
A bonus here is the talented Eddie Albert singing & narrating the story. That drew me to this story as I always loved Albert as Oliver Wendell Douglas on Green Acres.
This is a book, that is exactly mirrored in this animated special. I loved reading this book to my kids, & suggest to all parents this book to read to the kiddies at bedtime when they are small. It is as enjoyable to read as it is to watch here. Pure message & entertainment, par excel-lance.
|Page 1 of 2:|| |
|Plot summary||Plot synopsis||Ratings|
|External reviews||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|