The Lorax

Photo #1

Film (with rating): The Lorax (PG)

 

Studio:
Universal

 

Summary: A
young boy (voiced by Zac Efron) searching for the one thing that will enable
him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams must first learn the story
of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.

 

Review: I
loved the book “The Lorax,” written by Dr. Seuss. Who can argue with
a rhyming, colorful tale that explains the disasters that happen when greed
runs amok? And in true Seussian fashion, “The Lorax” never preaches,
yet it screams its message loud and clear. The movie, directed by  Chris Renaud, follows that same path. It
is beautifully animated, with amazing voice talent from Efron, Taylor Swift,
Danny DeVito (as the Lorax. Perfect job!) and Betty White.  While not a lot of the famed Seuss
language makes an appearance in the film, that is forgivable since the film
holds true to the book’s message and feel. The musical numbers are actually
kind of charming, too.

 

In a nutshell, “The Lorax” tells the tale of young
Ted and his crush Audrey, who live in a town with only fake trees. Ted heads
out to see the Once-ler and the Lorax in an attempt to find a real tree and
impress his gal.  Problems happened
years and years ago when the Once-ler fell in love with the Truffula trees and
turned their fluff into “thneed” scarves. More scarves, more trees
cut down, more scarves made, more trees gone. On and on this went–despite
warnings from the Lorax–until no trees were left.

 

“The Lorax” beautifully tells this story of
environmentalism, conservationism and greed, but in a way that even the young
can understand and the grown ups can enjoy.

 

Extra highlight:
The animated shorts

 

What to serve for dinner: For tonight’s Meatless Monday recipe, let’s serve
up some “trees,” in honor of those Truffulas. (Doesn’t anyone else
have a kid who calls asparagus “trees?”) Springtime Asparagus Risotto
(www. mizkan.com).

 

According to the website: “The cooking method for this
risotto is not traditional, but even without constant stirring the result is
excellent. The flavors of grated cheeses vary. Start with 1/3 cup, and then add
more if desired. Serve risotto in 1-cup portions as a side dish or larger
portions as a main dish. A pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc wine would make a
lovely accompaniment.”

 

1            lb.
thin asparagus spears

2            Tbsp.
butter

2            Tbsp.
extra virgin olive oil

1            medium
onion, chopped

2            large
cloves garlic, minced

2            cups
(14 oz.) Arborio rice

1            cup
HOLLAND HOUSE White Cooking Wine (available at Target or other retailers)

4            cups
(32 oz.) reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/3            cup
grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino-Romano cheese

1            Tbsp.
grated lemon peel (optional)

1/4            tsp.
dried marjoram, tarragon, or sage

 

Wash asparagus and break off the tough ends. Cut spears into
1-inch pieces; set aside.

 

In a 6-quart pot, melt butter with olive oil. Add onion,
garlic and rice. Over medium-high heat, cook and stir 3-4 minutes; do not
brown. Add cooking wine and broth. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
Immediately reduce heat to low, cover and cook 10 minutes. No need to stir.

 

Add asparagus and continue to cook and stir, uncovered,
about 3 minutes. Taste rice to ensure it does not overcook. Rice should be al
dente and rather soupy. Stir in cheese, lemon peel and marjoram. Remove from
heat and serve immediately. Sprinkle with additional cheese, if desired.

 

Makes 8 cups (8 side dish servings, 4 main dish servings)

 

 

What to talk about over dinner: What is your favorite Dr. Seuss story? Why? What do
you think about “The Lorax’s” message? How can we help kids today
understand the need to conserve and protect the environment? What is the most
important crisis facing our earth today? Why is Betty White so awesome?