"The Lorax" has always been a great story by Dr Seuss, and one of the few heavy handed enviormental message stories that I actually found meaningful and well played. Now this trailer comes out, with mixed reactions from many people, especially those who love the book. Personally, I think this first trailer was brilliant. When it opens, you literally have no idea what the movie is based on or what story it's telling. It seems like just your average CG animated kids' movie about teenage kids living in this strange, otherworldly neighborhood. Zac Efron voices the boy, which is good since I already know he has talent and the more that breaks him away from "High School Musical" the better, and Taylor Swift voices the girl he has a crush on. Taylor Swift is an incredibly talented singer but I'm not so certain about her acting skills, but from what I hear of her here, she does a good, cute "hippy like" voice for this character. Then the girl shows off her painting of bizzare looking "trees", which supposedly don't grow anymore so she's never really "seen" one. At this point, I'm thinking "Wait, is this....nah, couldn't be."
Then the boy asks his family where he could find anything on trees in order to impress his crush. Cut to him riding his scooter down a dark and spooky mountainous road, with "Beware, Danger, Stay Out!" signs posted on the side. Now I'm like "Ho-ly shit, is is!" a second before Dr Seuss' name even shows up on the screen and we see Once-ler's creepy tower.
Apparently, Once-ler does not like visitors and has set traps that nearly kill the boy. Immediately, the awesome sounding song ("Light and Day") kicks into high gear as the Seuss style images fully rendered in 3D come onto the screen. We see the Lorax's woodland home, the creatures that inhabit it, a young Once-ler voiced by Ed Helms arriving and chopping down his first tree, and then the Lorax shows up...with the voice of Danny Devito. When Jim Carrey was cast as Horton back in the CGI "Horton Hears A Who" movie, I had my doubts but he turned out to be great in the role. (Though I will always say that Will Ferrel would've been better.) With this, though, there was no doubt in my mind; this is perfect casting. Devito's voice somehow fits the Lorax's short, stubby, hairy design perfectly. We then see more images flash by, including a brief shot of Old Man Once-ler reaching out his window, grabbing at Zac Efron's character. And I'm thinking "What the hell is he?" From what little we can make out, he has yellow eyes, hair all over his face, and long green gloves on. It freaked me out a little the first time I saw it. Appropriately enough, the trailer ends on the only genuinely hilarious joke in it, made funny by Danny Devito's delivery of the Lorax's utterly sincere confusion. We hear "Reach for the SUN!" one last time, and I'm sold.
I hear that the story's been altered a good deal. Well, that was obvious. Alot of purists still don't seem to grasp that no short story can be adapted as a full length movie without adding new stuff in. The stuff that's here seems promising. We have Thneedsville as a nice, happy place where everything is artificial and nobody can ever leave due to some sort of government conspiracy, the lead boy and girl and their families getting involved somehow, and the main villain named O'hare, who in the backstory is a canned air salesman and the devil with whom Once-ler makes a deal. The biggest change is that we're going to see what happens after the boy gets the seed from Once-ler. That's going to be interesting. The movie's outcome could be made or broken depending on how this is all used. I, for one, am defentitely looking forward to seeing it in March. Once I have, I'll write up a review to sum up my thoughts.