I shouldn’t be as offended by how grossly ill advised this trailer hints for the latest is Dr. Seuss film adaptation. I did quite like what Blue Sky Animation did with Horton Hears A Who, although they are not doing this one it is nevertheless is hard to tell from the animated look. It seems that Seuss and CGI are a pretty natural fit. Things look gorgeous and bright and beautifully rendered, clearly the ‘pre-industrial land’ is going to be the best looking part of the film. But the tone (oh the tone!) implied in the trailer is so radically wrong for this material. The Lorax is one of my favourite Seuss books, it boasts a strong environmental message; heck it is as close to a call to activism in a children’s book, in environmentalism and sustainability as you can possibly get, and still has that Seussian whimsy and Rube Goldberg mayhem. One thing that Seuss never had was a boatload snark and smugness and overall action (see also, Ron Howard’s awful Grinch adaptation). That this will be a smart-alec kid implied by the trailer causes me pain. A rather lackluster voice cast does not help. Danny Devito notwithstanding, it looks to be quite lazily voice-casted (Taylor Swift and Zac Efron? Really?) I never managed to bother with Despicable Me (its loose riffing on Austin Power-isms did not endear to me in the slightest) but I was kind of excited for this film if only because the source material is as timely as ever.
But, really, does main character need a crush on the girl next door to give a crap or be curious about history? Hell does the girl even think to get do anything or is in any way capable? Fuck you, screenwriters for giving this generation the film, judging by this trailer, it deserves.
If ever an adaption of the work of Theodor Seuss Geisel deserved a little surrealism, an exaggeration of things between bright and colourful to exaggerated horror, it is this one. Apparently, they’ve decided to take the really easy one. Alas, I’d have rather see Ghibli tackle this material with a far more sophisticated approach – this type of co-existence with nature is a common theme in their work – rather than what looks like just another pandering bit of fluff. Maybe the final product will better articulate things, but the advertising stinks. This trailer only succeeded, in my particular case, in selling 3 or 4 fewer tickets to the film.
The trailer is tucked under the seat.
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