By Kendyll Boucher
I have a broad sense of humor. While I love raunchy, dirty comedies like Superbad, I also crack up watching animated family films. The entire Shrek series puts me into hysterics. I’m pretty positive soda came out my nose the first time I heard Donkey tell Shrek that “they’ll stay up late telling manly stories, and in the morning, I’m making waffles!” It kills me every time.
But my favorite animated film of all time is Horton Hears a Who. That was my favorite Dr. Seuss book as a child, and when it came out during my senior year of high school, I dragged my friends to see it on the opening night. It goes without saying that we were the only group of people there without children. In a theater full of kids, I laughed harder and louder than anyone there. There’s no shame in being an eighteen-year-old girl giggling uncontrollably at a little yellow pouf named Katie saying, “In my world, everyone is a unicorn, and they eat rainbows and poop butterflies.”
I was thrilled when I learned that Dr. Seuss’s book The Lorax was being adapted into a film. I loved Horton Hears a Who so much, and I was hoping that Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax would not disappoint me. Unfortunately, it did.
I found that the movie just wasn’t that funny. Many of the jokes fell flat. Even the children in the audience weren’t laughing. The only character that made me chuckle at all was Grammy Norma, voiced by the incredible Betty White. Yet as I’m writing this I can’t think of any concrete examples that made me laugh.
The pacing of the story was also a little off. Since it was based off a short children’s book, it seemed like the writers added many unnecessary musical numbers to fill time. The Once-ler, voiced by Ed Helms, sang five songs in the movie, most of which weren’t necessary to the plot. The part of the film that angered me the most though was that the characters of Ted and Audrey, Zac Efron and Taylor Swift respectively, didn’t sing in any of the musical numbers. They were two of the lead characters, and every other character in the film sang. Not to mention that it’s Zac Efron and Taylor Swift. They’re professionals, and arguably the best singers of the entire cast.
The best part of the movie was Danny DeVito’s portrayal of The Lorax. He was an adorable little orange fur ball with a big yellow moustache. It was great to hear DeVito’s big, gravelly voice coming out of that tiny little things. Ed Helms also gave a strong vocal performance with The Once-ler. He voiced an elderly and a young Once-ler, and each performance was strong.
Unless you’re accompanying a child, I wouldn’t recommend going to see this movie. Unlike other animated family films, this movie lacks jokes that translate well to adults, in addition to kids. But it’s grossed $70.2 million dollars in it’s opening weekend, and $38 million in it’s second, so someone must like it. It just wasn’t for me.