Video: Oh No. They’re Making Another Dr. Seuss Movie?
Hasn’t Hollywood already filled its appetite for ruining our childhood memories with its terrible adaptations of How The Grinch Stole Christmas, The Cat In The Hat, and Horton Hears A Who? Apparently not.
Universal Studios has been working on an adaptation of Seuss’ environmentalist fable, The Lorax. The studio released the first trailer recently.
Ok, it looks like they’re not playing entirely fast and loose with the story. We’ve got a boy in a future with no natural environment going to see the Once-ler. And then, we’ve got a flashback to the tree-chopping Once-ler, and his tussles with the stubborn Lorax (brilliantly cast as Danny DeVito).
But there’s a whole lot of tacked-on love story, blatantly grasping for tween appeal by casting Zac Efron as the love-sick boy, in search of a tree for the object of his affection (Taylor Swift). These two seem to get in some adventures that appear nowhere in the book. Worse, these additions threaten to distract from the simple storyline at the center of the book.
It’s possible that the studio intentionally wants to distract from that story: The Lorax was one of Dr. Seuss’ most controversial books for it’s portrayal of industry and business destroying the environment. Logging groups especially have condemned the book over the years, even writing their own children’s story in response. And Universal may have no desire to stir up these ideas in the middle of an election where industry is lagging, and the Environmental Protection Agency has become a regular punching bag.
But the glimpse we get of the Lorax’s world in this trailer definitely brought a smile to my face. Wow, the animation is great. Look at those Bar-ba-loots frolic! Look at the Swomee Swans swoop and the Humming Fish play! If the film can balance this kind of childlike wonder and irreverence with the original story’s surprisingly gloomy tone, it may be a solid adaptation; or even better, it could use Seuss’ ideas as inspiration for something faithful yet new.
What do you think? Will you be waiting to see The Lorax?