Danny DeVito is Voicing 'The Lorax' Who Speaks for the Trees
"I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees." So says the classic Dr. Seuss character from the environmentally conscientious children's book The Lorax. Following in the footsteps of the previous computer animated Horton Hears a Who, we've already heard the cautionary tale is heading to the big screen in 3D courtesy of Universal and producer Chris Meledandri (Despicable Me). Now USA Today reveals who will speak for the trees with Danny DeVito providing his vocal talent for the sad, mustached titular character. In addition, the newspaper has our first look at the computer animated version of The Lorax which you can see above.
If you never encountered The Lorax in your childhood, that's actually kind of sad. Anyway, in brief, a remorseful and saddened narrator speaks of the industrial, entrepreneurial endeavors of the Once-ler, who uses the tufts of the Truffula Trees to make the versatile product Thneeds (a thing everyone needs). But in his efforts to mass-market his best-selling product, the businessman begins to destroy the world around him, exhausting all the natural resources and polluting the environment. Suddenly, The Lorax speaks for the trees in an attempt to make him stop production and the destruction of the land and its animals. However, his efforts are ignored, thus ruining the once beautiful landscape and leaving the Once-ler with regret.
Ed Helms will provide the voice of the motivated Once-ler (who, unlike the book, will actually show his face), while Rob Riggle voices O'Hare, another industrialist character (not found in the book) who sells cans of fresh air to the polluted world the Once-ler creates. Zac Efron will voice the boy named Ted (after Seuss' real-life name Theodore Giesel) trying to find the cause of the devastated world before him and Betty White will play his grandmother who tells him about the once luscious and colorful surroundings. Another new character thrown into the mix is Audrey (named for Seuss' widow and currently with no voice talent cast yet), Ted's crush who dreams someday to see a real forest, not just the fake plastic trees that dot their devastated landscape.
Meledandri said of DeVito's talent: "Danny has this wonderful ability to be acerbic and grouchy but at the same time absolutely lovable. It's almost like Walter Matthau had. His comedic edge was very sharp, but he always maintained that warmth." Meanwhile, DeVito is adamant about the book's message hitting hard in today's green geared society, "Look, I don't want to be gruff about it, but we've got to wake up and smell the oil burning. I feel sometimes the only way to get things done is shake people up a little bit, and the Lorax is not a guy who pussyfoots around. He's not a guy who uses kid gloves. No, no, the Lorax means business." I hope so, as this was one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books, and I'm hoping it's given its due diligence on the big screen. Anyone else excited about this version of The Lorax?