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I Am The Lorax. I Speak For The Trees.
I Speak For The Trees, For The Trees Have No Tongues.

Although THE LORAX ($25) first aired in 1972, this forty-year-old Dr. Seuss special is probably timelier and more relevant today that it was all those years ago. With its story of corporate greed and waste vs. environmental conservation, THE LORAX hits home even harder, especially in a world that is severely over-populated, where natural resources are being bled dry at an alarming rate, and where pollution has lead to a hole in the ozone layer is having an effect on the climate. Narrated by Eddie Albert, THE LORAX tells the story of a young boy who goes to hear the tale of the lifted Lorax, from an industrialist known as the Once-ler, as he peeks out from of the shutters of on top of his former factory and store. We quickly learn that there was once a beautiful forest of Truffula Trees, before it became the wasteland where the Once-ler’s factory and store now sits.

Upon his arrival in the forest, the Once-ler chops down his first Truffula Tree, turning its beautiful foliage into a product called "Thneed"- something he insist that everyone needs. Popping out of that very first chopped Truffula Tree is a wise old creature called the Lorax who speaks for the trees and protests the Once-ler’s cutting of said Truffula. Brisk sales of "Thneed" leads to both the chopping of more Truffula Trees and to clearing of the land to build a factory to turn Truffula foliage into "Thneed" at an even quicker rate. Again, the Lorax appeals to the Once-ler, telling him the impact he is having on not only the Truffula Trees, but also the creatures of the forest that depend upon the trees to live. Driven by greed, the Once-ler ignores the Lorax, which results in out of control industrialization, pollution and displacement of all the creatures of the forest, which is rapidly transformed into a smog-laden wasteland. The vocal talent behind also features Bob Holt, Athena Lorde and Harlen Carraher.

Warner Home Video has made THE LORAX available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.37:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. The 1080p presentation of THE LORAX is quite robust and appealing for a forty-year-old animated television special. Image sharpness is very strong, with the black outlines of the animated characters, figures and backgrounds appearing crisp. Colors are vivid and pop pretty nicely, while remaining quite stabile. Blacks are faithfully reproduced, as are the whites. Contrast is very good for this time of vintage animated program. Some of the imperfections that are inherent to the original animation remain evident, as do a few minor signs of age in film elements. Modest grain is present in the image.

THE LORAX is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Considering the age of the program, fidelity has some limitations related to the recording technology of four decades past, but nothing beyond expectations. Still, the lossless encoding maximizes what the recordings have to offer. Most signs of background hiss and other audible anomalies have been cleaned up during the mastering process, so the sound is free of troubling sonic debris. Dialogue remains clean sounding and is fully understandable. A Spanish Dolby Digital monaural track is also encoded onto the disc, as are English and Spanish subtitles.

The interactive menus provide access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the extras. Two additional animated Dr. Seuss programs in standard definition are also provided. THE BUTTER BATTLE BOOK was directed by Ralph Bakshi and adapts the Dr. Seuss tale about the escalating hostilities between two factions- the Yooks, who butter their bread "butter side up and the Zooks, who butter their bread "butter side down. PONTOFFEL POCK, WHERE ARE YOU? finds the title character’s wish to get away from it all granted after getting fired from a dill pickle factory. Closing out the extras is The Trees! The Trees! The Voice Of The Trees! an eleven minute promo for the central message of THE LORAX. Disc two offers a DVD copy of the program for those who are on the fence about making the upgrade to Blu-ray. An authorization code is provided for an UltraViolet Digital Copy of the program, which is just a stream away.

THE LORAX offers a Dr. Seuss story that is more relevant today than it was 40 years ago. The Blu-ray presentation is great. Recommended.


The Lorax (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + UltraViolet Digital Copy) (2012)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2012 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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