Synopsis the Lorax by Eric Eisenberg

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
The Lorax, the new adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ classic story, completely misses the point. The book espoused importance of conservation, the evils of excess, and the need to preserve our natural resources and some of those elements are still there. Unfortunately, it ends up being so lost in romantic subplots that distort the main character’s motivation, oddly-placed musical numbers that feel more like filler than entertainment, and strange anti-capitalistic messages that Seuss’ valuable message is overshadowed and the original intent is totally lost.

The story follows a young boy named Ted (Zac Efron) who lives with his family in an artificial utopia where nothing natural exists anymore – including fresh air. When he learns that the girl he has a crush on, Audrey (Taylor Swift), desperately wants to see a real-life tree, he takes a dangerous and forbidden trip outside of the city walls to talk with The Once-ler (Ed Helms), a mysterious figure who is the only one who knows what happened to the environment. Upon his arrival, Ted is told the story of The Once-ler’s invention of the Thneed, an object that can be used to do anything, and his battle with The Lorax, a small orange creature who speaks for the trees.

Ted’s motivation is the key problem with The Lorax. While in the book there is an unnamed narrator who is curious about why The Lorax was “lifted away,” the new motivation for Ted to grow trees – a schoolboy crush – makes the character, who was initially meant to represent the reader, become a total phony. As established in an opening music number, the people living within the artificial city known as Thneed-ville are perfectly happy without nature in their lives and Ted is no different. The only thing that drives him to try and grow a tree is the hope that he might get a kiss from a girl he likes. Is that really the environmental message that we want to be sent – that plants and animals are completely pointless unless you want to...