As a kid, The Lorax was one of my favorite Dr. Seuss stories. Not only did I enjoy the storytelling, but I also had a lot of fun watching the 1972 cartoon based on the book. One thing to remember about the animated Dr. Seuss of the 70s is that they were very faithful representations of the book. They used the same art as the book and the script was very often an exact reading of the book text.
2012 updated version with my kids. Even from the preview I could tell that the movie makers were taking some definite liberties with the story. I didn't expect any major departures from the story, but it was clear that they would be adding considerable content into the "gaps" of the story. NOTE: I'm going to be going over some of the additions to the story. I assume that you're already familiar with the original book, so I don't claim any "spoilers" for that story, but if you want to be surprised, just skip to the end here for my overall opinion without risking spoiling any plot points for you.
As for the Once-ler's story, it also had some new elements added. We get to know his family more in depth and they are quite the set of characters. We spend quite a while with the Once-ler before he becomes a mega greedy corporate millionaire. We actually see the Once-ler and the Lorax build up quite the relationship, which is interesting.
One very interesting addition is that this movie continues on AFTER the story from the book ends. We get to see what happens after the Once-ler gives Ted the challenge of "Unless." The ending sequence of the movie includes vehicle chases, confrontations with big baddies and overcoming high odds in search of a higher goal. Where the book left the action in the hands of the reader (or viewer), this movie explicitly drives home the resolution that should be taken.
Generally, this was a fun movie. If you're a fan of the Lorax, you should enjoy it. If you're a fan of kids movies, you should have fun as well…there's good animation and solid kid humor. If you're a die-hard purist when it comes to Dr. Seuss, you may be a little disappointed at the changes made.
3 out of 5 stars