From the makers of Despicable Me comes Dr Seuss’ The Lorax, an eco friendly flick filled with cute and cuddly animals and a wonderfully voiced Lorax from Danny De Vito. Telling the tale of a 12 year old boy in Thneedville who needs to find a real tree in order to win the love of a young girl. But in order to do that, he has to venture out of the town to find out what happened to the trees.
Dr Seuss’ story was first published in 1972, a cautionary environmental tale of corporate greed gone mad. The film maintains the eco tale, but with enough frills, excitement and laughs to keep kids amused. Certainly a hit with under 10′s, older children may feel a little bored, unless, of course, they are fans of musicals as The Lorax is song filled from start to finish. This sudden need to burst into song every five minutes did grow old fast, especially with older kids, but for those with young families, it’s a Summer must.
The Lorax erupts on to screens on July 27th 2012.
By comparison, Disney/Pixar’s Brave is altogether different. This starts out with the usual Princess who must marry someone she doesn’t love, when really all she wants to do is shoot arrows – but then the plot takes a radical shift away from the usual Disney Princess in peril story line.
Feisty Merida has other plans when her willfulness comes up against tradition, but her attempts to change the course of her life have disastrous consequences, not least for her mother.
Brave is the story of a mother and daughter coming to terms with one another and not the usual Princess finds the man of her dreams and lives happily ever after. I took two nine years old girls and one teenage boy to see it. Amazingly, all three came out loving it – even the teenage boy! Unlike The Lorax, this isn’t really suitable for young children and certainly not for anyone afraid of bears.
Brave demonstrates that a female character (two in this case) can lead a film and still appeal to boys. The key is in the action that drives this film. It may well start as a Princess needing to marry tale, but that is only where it starts. This a story of two head strong women fighting to be in control of each other and ultimately learning that being strong is not about winning, it’s about being big enough to ‘lose’ when there is something greater at stake.
All in all, Brave is a fabulous film, a breakthrough for Disney, where finally the girl succeeds without needing to kiss the handsome prince or anyone else for that matter. With some brilliant voice work from Kelly MacDonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly and Robbie Coltrane amongst others, if this doesn’t put Scotland back on the map, I’m not sure what will.
Brave opens in the UK on August 13th 2012.