Feature – USA / UK Premiere
Imagine a world where nature no longer exists; where grass is artificial, bushes are inflatable and trees are operated by remote control; where fresh air is a commodity sold in plastic bottles. In Thneedville, trees have become a thing of legend – so when Ted (Zac Efron) decides to find a real one, he finds himself at the mercy of the man who destroyed them all.
It’s difficult to fault a film with such a valuable message. The ugly truth of capitalism and the destruction of the environment is explained for a young audience impressively simply yet thoroughly, leaving no doubt that corporate greed, deception and a disregard for nature are all absolutely unforgivable. The 3D graphics are deliciously juicy with layer upon layer of depth, while the wonderfully eccentric design with gravity-defying roads, top-heavy houses and fluffy lollipop trees is a treat for both the eyes and the imagination. Although full of energy, it takes a while for the real story to kick in – and when it does, the momentum starts to struggle. Although it’s only 86 minutes long, it somehow it feels much longer, with the plot spending too long on some parts and not enough on others. That said, Dr Seuss’ fabular warning to take individual responsibility to protect all that is good in the world is a valuable reminder, making this a worthwhile film for the family.