Starring (Voice Talents Of): Zac Efron, Danny Devito, Ed Helms, Taylor Swift, Rob Riggle and Betty White.
Seen At: Didsbury.
On: Thursday, 2nd August, 2012.
From The Cat In The Hat, The Grinch and Horton Hears a Who!, Dr. Seuss has created an array of idiosyncratic, yet oddly endearing characters.
ImageWorks, the company behind 2010’s surprise hit Despicable Me, now have The Lorax, a diminutive tangerine creature akin to the appearance of an orange segment.
Set in a synthetic Technicolor toy-town, (where air is only bottled and run by Rob Riggle’s tiny, evil conglomerate magnate – a male doppelganger for The Incredibles domineering boss) - a pre-teen is smitten with a beauty next door, and he promises to show her a real tree. The Once-ler is an aged, conflicted former woodcutter who tells him the only way to recapture a flourishing, economically healthy land is to enlist the help of the orange troublemaker.
I’ve rarely seen more glossy, fluorescent, aesthetically optimistic computer-animation. It’s a master-class in the tactile and the kinaesthetic, a veritable candy land of colour, texture, and intricate detail. Bubblegum pinks, pop-up flowers (3D reaches it’s vibrant best here), sugar-plumb-esque truffola trees, and those unmistakably apple-cheeked, almost plaster-scene faces (but always expressive).
The voice talent on display is eclectic, from Danny Devito’s rapid mischievousness means the Lorax is nothing by hilariously loveable, to Betty White’s delightful Grandma, complete with dentures! The songs (luckily not too many) are memorable and the jokes are funny – if overly reliant on the side of slapstick.
It’s a total feel-good charmer and a wonder of technical superiority, but it’s screenplay never quite works entirely coherently at feature-length. It occasionally feels like a series of short films strewn together with not a consistent enough narrative throughline, and the dialogue could’ve been a touch sharper. Still an absolute delight – superlative animation – the best since Megamind.
Rating: * * * *