First Look at THE LORAX, starring Danny Devito, Betty White, and Zac Efron

Dr. Seuss films have had a mixed track record, between the lackluster CAT IN THE HAT and the Christmas classic HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS. Universal’s new animation studio, Illumination, is going to try their luck with one of the most topical and beloved of his books – The Lorax.

Danny Devito will voice the Lorax, with Ed Helms as the Once-ler, the villain who chops down trees for “the thing everyone needs.” Zac Efron will voice the main human boy, Ted, that is used as the framing device in the storytelling. The story begins because he wants to know what happened to the world and why it’s so ugly.

New characters are also being added. Rob Riggle will be O’Hare, an industrialist who sells fresh air and Betty White will be Ted’s grandmother. Check out the first image from the film, the Lorax himself, and some more information about the book, after the break! Continue reading

Another Dr. Seuss adaptation coming our way…in 3-D

The Lorax book cover

Dr. Seuss' books are an essential building block in everyone's childhood. They are wonderful, colorful, and intriguing stories that often come with morals. They are also a fantastic source for Hollywood to turn into films for a sure Blockbuster. I actually have no problem with this, as two-thirds of the Seuss adaptations have been good (I enjoyed THE GRINCH and HORTON HEARS A WHO, let's try and forget THE CAT IN THE HAT).

Currently, it looks like the story, THE LORAX, will be getting the big screen treatment next in 3-D CG. Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment have purchased the rights to the book, and Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio are already busy banging out the script. For those of you that might have forgotten the environment-friendly storyline, here's a story summary from

"The tale chronicles the plight of the environment and the Lorax (a 'mossy, bossy' man-like creature), who speaks for the trees against the greedy Once-ler."

In other words, the story is a classic good-versus-evil tale with the tree-hugging Lorax representing the good, and the money-loving Onceler, who desires to chop down the forest, the evil. This book is definitely the most controversial among Dr. Seuss' books, spurring banning in some schools for its explicit "anti-forestry industry" agenda. It even provoked "the creation of a book called The Truax, offering a logging-friendly perspective to an anthropomorphic tree known as the Guardbark." So this movie project could be quite interesting, considering its controversial material and the current political atmosphere. I hope this film is able to present a fun, but insightful, story that causes us all to rethink our actions. I pray it does not become a politically-charged agenda of a film that wags its finger in faces. I guess we will just have to wait and see. THE LORAX is hoping to be finished in time for a March 2, 2012 theatrical release.

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