At first glance, The Lorax grabs and loses attention for the same reasons: a cartoony exterior around Dr. Seuss' iconic brand of charming rhymes. How could The Lorax possibly interest an adult? On a whim, I started watching it a couple of days ago, and was instantly enamoured by the message of the film.
Using thinly-veiled allegories, The Lorax tells the tale of a ambitious upstart Once-ler who is driven to level entire forests for a raw material to manufacture thneeds, which are multifunctional apparel that are entirely unnecessary but highly in demand. The aforementioned Lorax is a mythical guardian of the forest, who appeals to Once-ler with passion and reason to leave the forest be, but Once-ler, however well-intentioned, is also greedy. How bad could he be, he asks. He's just trying to make a living...
Of course, the highlights of the movie are its cheery humour, bright palette and rhyming limericks. That last part is almost expected, considering it comes from Dr Seuss.
I was pleasantly surprised by the explicit environmentalism that the film tries to convey, in a way that is easy enough for kids to understand. It raises questions about the difference between wants and needs, the connection between our economy and the environment (including wildlife) and how the destruction of the latter seems to ironically drive more demand in the former. Highly recommended, especially for families with children.