Don Bauder 12:35 p.m., June 19
Short Takes: The Lorax
Color Dr. Seuss’s “earth-friendly” children’s book gloomy-green and Illumination Entertainment’s animated counterpart a blinding shade of pestled-pastels. (Consider sporting two pair of 3D specs.)
The environmental fable holds firm, only this time our young hero does it all to impress a chick. (If you are in it strictly for a message, you’d be better showing the kids Ferngully, the Last Rain Forest.)
Throwaway gags (Nemo can be found congealed in Jell-O) and anachronistic one-liners about disco and Pac Man are intended to help ease parents’ pain. Not even shooting range earmuffs can deaden the fearfully upbeat songs.
In his lifetime, Ted Geisel frowned upon his books being adapted to the big screen for fear that Hollywood would transform them into cuddly licences to print money. His widow, La Jolla philanthropist, Audrey Geisel, acts as executive producer and obviously sees nothing wrong with bowdlerizing her late husband’s work in order to sell Lorax dolls. Is an endorsement of corporate greed really a good message to impart to the youth of America?
Directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me) and Kyle Balda. Danny DeVito, Zac Effron, and Taylor Swift lend their voices.
Reader Rating: One Star
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