Lorax, The (2012) (Blu-ray)

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Released 1-Aug-2012

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Main Menu Audio & Animation
Short Film-3
Featurette-Making Of-Multiple
Deleted Scenes
Alternative Version
Game-2
Music Video
Easter Egg
More…-Interactive Features
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 86:18
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Chris Renaud
Kyle Balda
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Danny DeVito
Ed Helms
Zac Efron
Taylor Swift
Betty White
Rob Riggle
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music John Powell
Claire Dodgson
Steven Liu


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Spanish dts 5.1
Thai dts 5.1
Arabic dts 5.1
Catalan dts 5.1
Cantonese dts 5.1
Hindi dts 5.1
Korean dts 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Spanish
Thai
Arabic
Catalan
Cantonese
Hindi
Korean
Mandarin
Romanian
English Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     When I was a kid, the Dr. Seuss books were some of my favourites with their odd characters and silly rhymes. I am really pleased that those books have survived as children's classics all those years and I can now share them with my kids. We have certainly had a copy of The Lorax in book form around the house since my boys were very small. I was also pleased to see that a movie adaptation was being made of the story. It was made into an animated movie back in the 1970s, but that only ran 45 minutes and was made for TV. So how does this movie stack up as an adaptation of a children's classic? Well, I was pleasantly surprised especially considering the bad press it got on theatrical release. This is a very good children's film, not as good as the best of Pixar but certainly as good as many others and much better than some other adaptations of children's classics (Where the Wild Things Are being an example of one adapted badly).

     The story, as adapted here, starts in a town called Thneedville, which is pretty much the children's animation equivalent of the town in The Truman Show. The town is walled in and controlled by a not so benevolent businessman, Mr O'Hare (voiced by Rob Riggle) who sells the town's citizens fresh air in bottles. The town is entirely artificial and there are no trees or plants. In the town lives young boy, Ted (voiced by Zac Efron) who is keen on the girl next door, Audrey. She is desperately keen to see a tree, a real one rather than a fake one. He determines that in order to win her heart he must find her a tree. He asks his old Granny about trees and she tells him that he must go outside the town and hear the story of the Once-ler (voiced by Ed Helms), which will lead him to the trees. After some difficulty evading Mr O'Hare and his goons, Ted arrives at a strange old house where he meets The Once-ler who tells him his life story and the story of The Lorax (voiced by Danny De Vito), a forest creature who speaks for the trees. The film then reverts to telling the story of The Once-ler, who decided to use the blooms of the Truffula trees to make his invention, The Thneed. In order to do this, and produce in the required quantity, he proceeded to cut down all the Truffula Trees, which led to the need to create Thneedville and sell fresh air. The Lorax tries to stop him.

     This film is basically a musical with quite a few musical numbers. The score is fantastic but the songs are a little variable, some like How Bad Can I Be are excellent, others a little insipid. The animation is marvellous, very vivid and detailed. The voice cast do a good job especially De Vito as The Lorax. The forest creatures are very cute (bordering on 'cutesy') including the bears and the fish. There is some funny dialogue and the story is fun and has a green message about looking after the earth. The green message is laid on a bit thick at times although this is consistent with the original book to my mind.

     Kids will certainly enjoy this bright and fun concoction and there is also much for adults to enjoy. Recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is excellent and really cannot be faulted.

     The feature is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080p encoded using AVC.

     The picture is extremely sharp and clear throughout. The detail levels are superb, the Lorax's hair and the fur of the bears has incredible detail. Colour is excellent, extremely vivid and bright.

     There are no artefacts.

     There are subtitles available in many languages including English. They are clear and easy to read.

     There is no obvious layer change during playback.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio quality is also excellent.

     This disc contains multiple soundtrack options, English DTS-HD MA 5.1 plus DTS 5.1 tracks in Spanish, Thai, Arabic, Catalan, Cantonese, Hindi, Korean, Mandarin & Romanian plus English Audio Descriptive and an Audio Commentary track in Dolby Digital 2.0.

     Dialogue is very clear and easy to understand throughout.

     The music by John Powell is marvellous, a real highlight, although as I mentioned above some of the songs are a little less impressive.

     The surround speakers are incredibly well used for lots of enveloping sound design. The surround speakers have a life of their own, adding wind sounds, the sounds of the rapids, off screen yelling and a big highlight from a surround perspective was the songs especially How Bad Can I Be where the surround speakers really made the song part of the room.

     The subwoofer is also used well for music, falling trees, the sound of rapids and the various cars.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     A great selection of extras.

Menu

     The menu is designed for multiple languages by not having any language at all. All the options are logos only which can be a little confusing. In the background the various characters are being cute.

Mini-Movies - Wagon Ho! (3:10)

     The bears take The Once-ler’s wagon for a joyride with disastrous effect. Good fun.

Mini-Movies - Forces of Nature (2:14)

     The Lorax tries to pull a stunt on The Once-ler. Also fun.

Mini-Movies - Serenade (3:19)

     The big bear and one of the other ones try to impress the female bear with their singing.

Mini-Movies - Making of (3:31)

     The crew discuss the process of making the mini-movies and where they came from.

Deleted Scene (1:30)

     A different version of what happens when The Once-ler throws away the Thneed.

O'Hare TV (93:41)

     This extra adds advertisements to the main film for various O'Hare products which are fairly silly. Interesting and different extra.

Expedition of Truffula Valley

     Large interactive feature which allows the viewer to explore the valley and access information about the various characters including character bios, animation tests, interviews with the voice actors and a featurette which instruct children on how they can have a go at drawing the characters. Excellent extra.

Seuss to Screen (4:26)

     Brief featurette about the source book of the movie and how the cast and crew adapted it.

The Once-ler's Wagon

     Disappointing interactive featurette which allows the viewer to choose things from his wagon, each of which then plays a short animation (which are mostly boring).

Get Out of Town

     Console style game to get Ted's bike through a maze and out of town. One of the best games I have seen on a Blu-ray.

Truffula Run

     Another game which is not quite as good as the first one. In this one you try to avoid tree stumps and pick flowers. Has three difficulty levels.

Let it Grow Singalong version (3:40)

     The songs from the final credits with karaoke lyrics. Kids will enjoy it.

Audio Commentary - Directors Chris Renaud & Kyle Balda

     Good quality commentary for animation buffs where the directors discuss a variety of topics including how they went about adapting the story and developing the film, the animation techniques, voice casting etc.

Easter Egg

     At the end of the extras menu is a logo which leads to a Truffula tree which grows more every time you look at more of the disc and then visit the tree again. Cool idea.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The local Blu-ray contains the same extras as overseas versions and there are only some minor language and subtitle differences. Tie.

Summary

    A surprisingly good children's animated film.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    The extras are excellent.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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