Tags: 3D, BD-Live, Betty White, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, Chris Renaud, D-BOX, Danny Devito, Digital Copy, Dr. Seuss, Ed Helms, Illumination Entertainment, Jenny Slate, Kyle Balda, pocketBlu, Rob Riggle, Taylor Swift, UltraViolet, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Zac Efron
has an average rating of 6.4 on IMDb
some of the better animated 3D I’ve seen
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 50gb disc
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
include 3 ALL-NEW Mini-Movies in 3D
– 87 minutes
The Blu-ray Disc uses 39.2GB total.
The Blu-ray 3D uses 44.0GB total.
Street Date: August 7th, 2012
Overall Verdict – Recommended for All Ages
— Review written by: Justin Sluss —
The Movie Itself is based on the book by Dr. Seuss “The Lorax“, which was originally published back in 1972 by Random House. Over the years it has definitely become one of his more popular works and a favorite of many children growing up.
This CG animated film adaptation of the story was directed by Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda. Chris Renaud served as a co-director on Illumination Entertainment‘s previous CG animated film “Despicable Me” and Kyle Balda worked in the animation department on that film as well. It’s worth noting that Chris Renaud had previously worked in the animation department on yet another CG animated film adaptation of a Dr. Seuss story, “Horton Hears A Who!” (with a different studio) back in 2008. One last interesting fact, co-director Kyle Balda previously worked at Pixar in the animation department for such memorable films as “Toy Story 2” from 1999 and “Monsters Inc.” from 2001. I’d totally suggest you check these guys’ list of credits out on their IMDb listings by clicking their names above. Both of them seem to be pretty accomplished and experienced in the field of CG animation.
The story to this CG animated film adaptation involves a twelve-year-old boy by the name of “Ted” (voiced by Zac Efron) who lives in the town of Thneedville. Thneedville as we’re shown in the opening sequence of the film is a town made entirely of plastic and has no trees. Ted has a crush on a girl who’s his neighbor by the name of “Audrey” (voiced by Taylor Swift). He does anything he can to make an excuse to talk to her. One day we see him buy a RC toy airplane and purposely fly it into her backyard. He goes over to her house to get his plane back and discovers that she’s been painting a giant mural on the back of her home of “Truffula” trees. She’s obsessed with these trees which no longer grow. To try win over the girl of his dreams Ted decides to embark on a quest to find a real life Truffula tree. At dinner that night he mentions these trees to his mother and his grandmother. His grandmother, “Grammy Norma” (voiced by Betty White), tells him how she remembers when the trees grew. Once his mother is away from the dinner table Grammy Norma tells him to find a man outside of the town called “The Once-ler” (voiced by Ed Helms). It’s no easy task to get outside of the town but with his one-wheeled motorcycle or scooter of sorts he manages to. Outside of town he finds it to be a barren wasteland with nothing but tons of tree trunks and pollution on the horizon. After somewhat of a journey he comes across the home of The Once-ler. At first he’s told to go away but he explains to The Once-ler that he’s looking for a Truffula tree. The Once-ler has been living here alone for a very long time and seeks an audience of sorts. So, he tells Ted the story of how the Truffula trees came to be nonexistent.
When the Once-ler was a younger man he went out on his own to try to make a name for himself and discovered a beautiful forest. He saw these amazing Truffula trees and decided to chop one down. The creatures of the forest were immediately upset by this. In fact, the forest itself was upset by this and as a result came forth a small orange and yellow creature with a large mustache by the name of “The Lorax” (voiced by Danny DeVito) who speaks for the trees. The Lorax warned The Once-ler that he had made a mistake and forbid him from chopping down any more trees. Sadly, The Lorax was only a small creature and The Once-ler was a stubborn young man determined to use the tops of the trees to create an invention. Eventually The Once-ler managed to create his invention which he called a “Thneed” but once it become a success and he wanted more to sell he decided to chop down the trees and left the forest in state of shock; as well as barren. The creatures that called the forest home were utterly devastated by his actions. That sets up the story here. I won’t go into further details to avoid any real “spoilers” but let’s just say that it expands on the original story that Dr. Seuss wrote as well as holds true to the original in ways.
The 2012 CG animated version of “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” proves to be both a beautiful representation of the story and film in terms of visuals. It has its bits of comedy thrown in that are sure to please audiences of all ages. The message behind it is very “green” and tells us to not chop down forests and destroy our environment with pollution. A message that some may consider “tree hugger” philosophy but one that is, I’m happy to say, becoming more accepted by the general public. As a major motion picture it did pretty well at the box office by bringing in 214 million dollars via domestic ticket sales and reportedly had a 70 million dollar budget — according to Box Office Mojo. Critics really seemed to either like it or hate it as the film only carries a 55% (out of 100%) on the “tomatometer” over at Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences seemed to like the film a bit more than critics as it carries a 66% there (on Rotten Tomatoes) from the audience and holds a pretty decent 6.4 rating (out of 10) on IMDb.
This proves to have some impressive 3D from the very start of the film when the main character flies a toy (RC) airplane. The airplane seems to come right at you and this is only 4 minutes or so in. There’s lots of depth here in every single shot of the film and some definite 3D pop in shots like when stairs open up around the 10 minute mark (as pictured above). The stairs seem to come right out at you with a great illusion of depth. Around the 15 minute mark once the main character gets to the house of “Once-Ler” you’ll be treated to some really cool 3D effects that should leave you pretty amazed. His strange house and security system of sorts really seem to have some 3D pop to them — even if they are in darker lighting conditions. This sequence holds a great amount of stuff “jumping off of the screen at you” so-to-speak.
Some of my favorite 3D effects aren’t all that intense as they are just cool. For instance one of those is the fact that the mustache of “The Lorax” seems to stand out from his face and body with a really good sense of depth. However, if you want intense 3D there’s two sequences that come to mind. One sequence involving marshmallows falling from the sky (as seen HERE) as well as another where the Once-Ler sings a song called “How Bad Can I Be?” Both of these sequences contain some very intense and impressive 3D. Those are actually some of the most intense 3D in the film. This film in 3D almost rivals the 3D version “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” — which had been one of the most impressive CG animated films I’ve personally seen to-date on the Blu-ray 3D format. That being said, this really is worth checking out in 3D and earns itself an excellent “4.5 Star Rating” for overall 3D quality. It’s worth noting that the Blu-ray 3D also contains the 3 Mini-Movies which are ALL presented in 3D. The 3D in those mini-movies looks just as impressive as that in the feature film.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Disc) in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Simply put, this looks just downright gorgeous from start to finish. There’s such a massive amount of detail, a vibrant color palette and just very impressive CG animation from the folks at Illumination Entertainment. Speaking of detail here, you’ll notice things like the fabric on the sweater of “Grammy Norma” or her curls in her grey hair which look somewhat lifelike. The fabric and hair on all the other characters look just as impressive, by all means, I was just using her as an example. Another few great examples of the amount of detail involving hair are the mustache of “The Lorax” and the stray hairs on the somewhat hidden older “Once-ler” which both look extremely lifelike. The black level here is solid as ink and helps to emphasize detail and the darkness in lighting conditions. Simply put, this is pure “eye candy” in terms of Hi-Def visuals and is well worthy of a perfect “5 Star Rating” for overall video quality for the 2D presentation.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. The definite highlight here of the entire lossless 5.1 mix is the music. Be it the original music composed by John Powell or the original songs (most of which were also co-wrote by John Powell). The music gets a wonderful amount of rear channel presence and LFE (bass) throughout. The original songs such as “Everybody Needs a Thneed” and “How Bad Can I Be?” sound downright awesome and are two definite and specific highlights to the mix. Both dialogue and the vocals during songs here are delivered very distinctly through the center channel and never become “drowned out” by any of the music or sound effects. No need at all here for any volume adjustments. The sound effects come across very lifelike with a good amount of “oomph” to them in terms of LFE as well as a very impressive amount of rear channel presence. This mix just sounds excellent and earns itself a perfect “5 Star Rating” for overall audio quality.
Bonus Materials on this release are ALL presented in full 1080p Hi-Def (HD) video with a variety of Dolby Digital 5.1 @448kbps and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo @192kbps & @256kbps. The audio quality will be noted below for each bonus material. Also, since some of the same bonus materials appear on both the Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray Disc, I’ll only be noting the descriptions once for them on the disc they appear on but I will be noting a list of what is included on each disc.
- BD-Live is included on this Universal Studios Home Entertainment Blu-ray 3D & Blu-ray Disc release. This allows you to access online content such as trailers and clips for upcoming & current theatrical releases as well as upcoming & current home video releases from the studio. This also includes the feature pocketBLU which allows you to use your smartphone or tablet as a remote control and access select bonus materials. This requires the user to be on a “Profile 2.0” capable Blu-ray Disc player with Internet connectivity. The pocketBLU feature requires that your Blu-ray Disc player be Wi-Fi enabled and on the same network as your portable media device.
The Blu-ray 3D disc includes:
- “3 ALL-NEW Mini-Movies” are presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 @448kbps sound and include the following:
- – “Wagon Ho!” (3:10 – 3D HD)
- – “Forces of Nature” (2:14 – 3D HD)
- – “Serenade” (3:19 – 3D HD)
The Blu-ray Disc includes:
- “3 ALL-NEW Mini-Movies” include the following:
- – “Wagon Ho!” (3:10 – HD)
- – “Forces of Nature” (2:14 – HD)
- – “Serenade” (3:19 – HD)
Other bonus materials:
- A DVD of the film in Standard Definition with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is also included in this “combo pack” release.
- A Digital Copy of the film is included via a URL and redemption code included a paper insert — this is compatible with both iTunes and Windows Media portable devices, both Mac and PC.
- An UltraViolet streaming / downloadable digital copy of the film is included via a URL and redemption code included on the paper insert mentioned above.
- D-BOX motion code is included on both the Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray Disc for those with the proper equipment to decode it.
Overall the bonus materials here prove to be entertaining but mostly seem to be aimed at the younger audiences with more games thrown in than featurettes. Sure, this is a film that’s aimed at children but it would have been nice to have seen some more technical aspects of the animation process and such included. The only real two features that seem to be aimed at the adult audiences are the audio commentary and the D-BOX motion code for those wealthy enough to be able to afford the equipment to actually enjoy that experience. Still, as I said, this is aimed at a younger audience and it scores there with a solid set of supplemental material that ranges from games, videos, interactive features, tutorials on how to draw characters from the film and of course those 3 Mini-Movies which prove to be very enjoyable to those of all ages. There’s also the physical and digital supplemental materials like a DVD, Digital Copy and UltraViolet digital copy of the film. Kids will like those being included so they can take the movie with them on the go and some adults may enjoy that option as well.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Please be patient with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.