Monday, August 6, 2012

Review: 'Dr. Seuss' The Lorax' on DVD

With sumptuous artwork that looks good enough to reach out and touch -- and sometimes cuddle with -- Dr. Seuss' The Lorax on DVD ($24.99), which arrives Aug. 7 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment, is true eye candy.

Based on the Dr. Seuss book (apparently the author's favorite work), The Lorax film tells the story of Ted (voiced by Zac Efron), a 12-year-old boy who lives in Thneedville, which is completely devoid of real trees. (What the town does have are plastic replicas that can light up with a simple click of the remote.) To impress an older girl (Taylor Swift), Ted goes in search of The Once-ler (Ed Helms), a hermit who might know how to find a real Truffula tree. While talking to this mysterious creature, Ted learns about the Lorax (Danny DeVito), a furry little grump who speaks for the trees.

The story, of course, is about the environment and the sometimes selfish way we treat it. It's the children's tale of Joni Mitchell's famous Big Yellow Taxi, in which they (we?) paved paradise and put up a parking lot. And make no mistake, paradise really looks dreamy in this illustration, led by Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me). The Truffula trees, with their bright puffs of cotton-candy fur, look inviting and harmless -- so much so that it really does make you ache when you see the first one cut down.

The Lorax himself, whose fluff of a mustache belies his grumpy but loving nature, is there to remind The Once-ler that the trees are not to be cut down ... ultimately to little avail.

I won't spoil the rest for you, but the film is both funny and wistful -- a great reminder of how we should better appreciate the world around us.

If I were going to quibble, there was a key plot point that me wonder why the trees hadn't been replaced long ago. But it's tough to be persnickety when CC loved the movie (and has watched it three times since we received the review copy last week; of course, being sick had something to do with that). She even understood the idea that destroying the beauty around us can be very sad.

The Blu-ray-DVD-digital combo pack also has a ton of features, including three mini-movies, the making-of the mini-movies, a "Seuss to Screen" look at how the book became a movie, games and a sing-along.

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