the first look at The Lorax, the 3-D adaptation of the 1971 Dr. Seuss book in which the gruff title character (voiced by Danny DeVito), pictured, speaks for the trees that are being chopped down by the Once-ler (voiced by Ed Helms), a naive businessman who turns disastrously greedy. Zac Efron will voice the young boy who wants to find the Lorax because even though the Once-ler destroyed the forest, there is still hope for Mother Nature. Betty White will voice the boy’s grandmother, who remembers the world when it was still green. (“They live in an outrageously artificial world where all things natural have been replaced by plastic and steel. It’s like living in Las Vegas,” producer Chris Meledandri, head of Illumination Animation, joked to USA Today.) Rob Riggle will voice another new character, described as “another industrialist who sells cans of fresh air to the polluted world the Once-ler creates and wants to keep it that way.” (Anyone else just think of Spaceballs?)It could be the most environmentally-conscious movie since Avatar. USA Today has
Thoughts? Sounds like perfect casting by Universal and Illumination. I remember chatting with DeVito about his 2006 holiday movie Deck the Halls for one of EW’s movie preview issues, and he spent 10 minutes convincing me to see An Inconvenient Truth, which had just hit theaters, immediately. (It worked, too: I went that night after we hung up.) DeVito’s passion – and his penchant for giving memorable interviews – should definitely garner the film some headlines when he does the media tour. Watch a clip from the 1972 TV version of The Lorax below.