THE LORAX REVIEW (GRADE: B+)
By Jonathan Decker
Featuring the vocal talents of Danny Devito, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Ed Helms, and Betty White, The Lorax is a bubbly and engaging piece of family entertainment. Based on the book by Dr. Suess, the film follows a young man from a plantless community as he learns the value of nature. The characters and animation are well-realized, the jokes hit their marks, the forest creatures are adorably hilarious, and the song and dance numbers are absolutely delightful. As an adult viewer, my one qualm with the film is its oversimplification of a complex issue: environmentalism is portrayed as “all good” while entrepenuership is “all bad.”
As someone who both reveres nature and who has friends aversely affected by the shutting down of a logging company, I believe there must be a balance between caring for the environment and taking care of the employed. But that's a minor quibble as far as the film is concerned. Parents can decide how and if they discuss it with their children, and certainly the notion of appreciating and taking care of the planet is a good one. Plus, there's lots of fun to be had.
CONTENT OVERVIEW: The Lorax is rated PG, though it probably should have been G. It has some slapstick violence and mild peril, but nothing else.
MESSAGES TO DISCUSS: We are stewards of the Earth and must use its resources responsibly, with regard for the natural kingdom.
Jonathan Decker is the clinical director of Your Family Expert. He is a licensed marriage and family therapist, husband, and father of five. Jonathan earned a masters degree in family therapy from Auburn University as well as a bachelor's degree in clinical psychology from Brigham Young University. He is an actor, author, and television personality.