The Once-ler, a clear-cutting industrial polluter. Images courtesy of Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures
The Lorax, champion of the environment, is coming to the big screen in an animated 3D (or rather "Tree-D") movie featuring Danny DeVito as the grumpy forest creature. Seuss took on consumerism with How the Grinch Stole Christmas and environmental concerns with The Lorax, which has had its share of controversy. What better way to get the message across than in a fantasy land losing its colorful cotton candy-esque Truffula trees? Check out the just-released trailer for the upcoming adaptation of this classic 1971 story.
In a hidden land where Smogulous Smoke fills the skies and Gluppity Glup and Shloppity Shlop pollute the ponds, the greedy Once-ler, which never shows itself, cashes in on its Thneed-making business by chopping down the Truffula Trees -- a food source for the Bar-ba-Loot bears. Holding out hope, The Lorax speaks out for the trees since they have no tongues.
Ed Helms lends his voice to the enigmatic and evil Once-ler, Zac Efron plays an idealistic kid searching for The Lorax, Taylor Swift is the girl who yearns to see trees again, The Daily Show's Rob Riggle portrays a financial kingpin and Betty White is wise Grammy.
The book experienced criticism from the logging and wood floor industries in its day, and a line about polluted Lake Erie was removed after it was cleaned up and stopped burning. But Amnesty International sang the books praises last year, drawing comparisons to the plight of the Dongria Kondh in India whose environment was being decimated.
We have the fun creators of the animated Despicable Me to thank for resurrecting The Lorax 40 years later. The Lorax comes to theaters March 3, 2012. Sadly, the story is still relevant. Hello, Monsanto, are you watching?