The new Illumination 3-D film The Lorax is an adaptation of a classic Dr. Seuss tale in which a forest creature teaches a child to hope. Also, he has the cutest mustache ever. We mean, adorable! We were lucky enough to get a chance to visit the edit bay for the new film and speak to producer Chris Meledandri about the new film. We’ve also got some brand new images from film to share with you.
“The challenge with this movie was very different from the challenge with ‘Despicable Me.’ In many ways, it’s a very different movie, Meledandri said. The experience of doing an adaptation of a beloved work, and really, any of Geisel’s work, presents a really different challenge.
We saw some footage from the film, and it took us from skepticism to a gooey pile of happy. Dr. Seuss stories are the stories kids grow up on and messing with stories that are so well-loved that they’re often given to young adults on their way to college, is a dangerous thing. Everyone has a favorite and feels that the story is theirs. Meledandri and the Illumination team approached this with all the reverence you’d wish and from what we saw, the beauty of this film is going to leave you a bit breathless.
We won’t spoil the scenes we saw for you. The book is out there, of course, but there is something about seeing this on the big screen that will make it all new for you. And the animation is just gorgeous. The trees … just mind-numbingly beautiful. It’s … dare we say … prettier than anything we’ve seen from Pixar. (Yes, we’re cowering in a corner, hoping no one shoots us.)
The biggest bit of skepticism we went in with was the idea of the fluffy little, mustashioed creature being voiced by Danny DeVito. He didn’t seem as gentle as we would have liked. But when we heard his voice in the scenes, it worked perfectly.
The story has some very serious themes, starting with how greed can seduce you to the point where you lose your sensitivity to the world around you, Meledandri said. and in the case of this story, actually become destructive. But we also found at the center of it, for us was a story about redemption, because the story about the Once-ler (Ed Helms) is ultimately a character that wants to undo that which he’s done.
Meledandri also shared with us that, if you adapted the film literally, you’d have a movie that ran about 20 minutes. They expanded the story so that you see where Ted (Zac Efron) comes from and what happens after the film. We saw the beginning and it we think Geisler would be happy with what they’ve created.
If you remember the story, you’ll understand why this film is going to resonate with environmentalists. The destruction of the forest, the homelessness of the forest creatures … it’s all very appropriate for our time. Also, the animal group in the film will have you giggling. It looks like (please don’t hit us) Illumination has captured the Pixar-style heart of the characters that make them beloved like they did with the minions in Despicable Me. We’re also going to predict that when you see the destruction scene, you’ll get weepy. Not that we cry. Oh, no, we’re far too tough for that. Sniff.