Toe Tappin with The Lorax Soundtrack

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

This past weekend I took my family to see an advanced screening of The Lorax and I've been humming some of the songs ever since. Tyler has politely asked me to stop several times but I can't help it!  

The music in The Lorax is fantastic. The songs are catchy and help tell the story and fill the holes from taking a 45 page book and turning it into a feature length movie. When we interviewed the directors and actors, Renee and Chelsea both brought up how good the music was. Chris Melandandri (one of the producers) said that, "when music works, it's such an engaging, uplifting aspect of a film with that chemistry between imagery and song, there's nothing like it in terms of just immersing you in the emotion of a scene in a movie." The music definitely works in this movie.

In the middle of The Lorax, when one of the turning points happens, Ed Helms moves the story along by having the character he voices, The Once-ler sing about his morals and ethics. Helms had an interesting dilemma in voicing The Once-ler. For consistency, the directors wanted him to do both old and young Once-ler.

So in addition to speaking in two different tones, Helms had to sing as the young Once-ler. Despite the challenge, he had fun. He said it was  "fun and silly and ridiculous and campy." He echoed my sentiments that the music is "amazing," and that John Powell (the composer) "just knocked it out of the park with the opening."

I should have known I'd still be singing the songs days later because Helms has been singing too. "I got (composer) John to give me an advance of the soundtrack," he said. "You see me at a stop light and I'm singing, 'Everybody needs a thneed!'"

Me too, Ed. Me too.

I asked the writers (Cinco Paul and Ken Duario) how they determined what parts of a movie to use songs over dialogue.

"The definition," Cinco said, "is generally, does it sing? And so, you want to sort of find the moments when it's almost demanding that the characters burst into song. But, also we used the songs really narratively to sort of tell a lot of story in a little time. And so, the first song was just a way of how can we introduce everybody to the world as quickly as possible and have them tapping their feet while they're introduced to the world, and those two moments were ways to sort of compress time and to cover a lot of ground."

During the opening sequence of The Lorax, when the townspeople of Thneedville were singing and dancing, I thought, "you know, I bet this would be great on Broadway." Then later in the movie, when the three Hummingfish harmonized for the first time, I was sold. I think the fish are my favorite inhabitants of Truffula Valley. Between the bold, colorful scenery and the songs, I think The Lorax should be a musical and I said as much to the writers.

Me: "It was the fish that made me think that this would make a very good stage production. I can see these amazing sets and more musical numbers. If somebody came to you and said we want to do The Lorax on Broadway, would you guys write it?"

Mr. Ken Duario:  "Yes ma'am."

Mr. Cinco Paul:  "Yes, please.  Yes, I am a huge fan of musicals.  So, I would love that."

If The Lorax becomes a stage production, you heard it here first. I think The Lorax would have been a very different movie without the music. It would have been easy to get lost in the environmental message and it may even have been a little sad, but the songs interspersed with the humor keep it so entertaining and fun. The Lorax opens this weekend on May 2nd.

Follow The Lorax on Twitter and Pinterest and play games on the official Lorax movie site. The Lorax soundtrack is available on Amazon for $9.49. (as of 3/5/12)

Thank you to Universal Pictures for providing travel and accommodations to a press viewing of The Lorax. Affiliate link used.


Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting and letting me know your thoughts!

copyright melanie sheridan 2009 template design by Studio Mommy (© copyright 2015)