Considering that the children’s books by the late Dr. Seuss have been classics over the years, adaptations of these stories have not been entirely well-received critically in the film industry. Following previous adaptations How The Grinch Stole Christmas, The Cat In The Hat and Horton Hears A Who!, The Lorax follows in the footsteps of those films as it makes its mark as the fourth film on Seuss’s work. The film’s immediate approach was that of a much more colourful, child-friendly feature; maybe even at a pre-school standard for infants. Still, The Lorax unfortunately transformed itself into a complete misinterpretation of Seuss’s book and, therefore, sinks to an incredibly low level that almost merges with the other Seuss adaptation disaster - The Cat In The Hat.
For anybody to make a film based on a children’s book will always either hit the nail on the head or simply flop, which has been the case with Dr. Seuss’s work. There are the basic animated family films that serve meaningful messages with a tender and exciting story as well as lovable characters. In the case of The Lorax, it was not really anything at all. For example, like the 1972 TV special, it is stationed as a musical and even the songs did not enlighten the tone of the film and they just did not flow with the story. Furthermore, this whole scenario regarding the environment and protecting it may be a soft spot for under-4 kids but it is still serves a very unrealistic that, quite frankly, nobody even cares about. However, the animation was, of course, remarkable and the crew behind Despicable Me did a good job with that, but even that didn’t save The Lorax.
You can quite easily tell that The Lorax is attempting to aim high towards its target audience (young children) by typically casting two popular symbols for that age range as the leading male and female characters – Zac Efron as Ted and Taylor Swift as Audrey. Both of these characters very closely define both of these actors and, like what has been the case on a number of occasions with Seuss film adaptations, it lacked the charm and wit of the characters from the original source. The decision to cast Danny DeVito in the role of the Lorax was absolutely typical as the short and stocky appearance of the character is identical to DeVito himself. Seuss has introduced characters where you cannot explain what type of creature they are (whether they’re a form of extra-terrestrial or human). Still, despite that and that the Lorax, quite frankly, is not really a form of anything; he is one of the least funny and most unrealistic and corny children’s characters. However, the biggest controversy of the film in comparison to the book was the completely different transformation of a crucial supporting character - The Once-Ler. There have been the minor adjustments in almost every film, such as events that occur and what is said, but going beyond the limit is altering the physical representation of a character. Of what we saw of the Once-Ler in the film, he is identified as a human, but in the book, he is a mysterious creature which, therefore, left the audience something to think about.
Although the studio behind Despicable Me obviously provided very colourful and impressive animated effects, it still did not in the slightest save the film. Watching The Lorax was literally like experiencing an empty and incredibly corny direct-to-video feature. It takes incredibly poor preparation to transform another Seuss adaptation into a complete disaster like the agonizingly painful The Cat In The Hat and despite The Lorax may have the slighter edge due to effects, it is still a complete and utter failure. This is a solid example of why certain books should not be made into films.