Previously incarnated only as a pair of long green arms in Dr. Seuss’ storybook The Lorax, this villain will appear in the flesh — or is it fur? — in the big-screen 3-D adaptation planned for release in March 2012.
The 1971 book revealed the Once-ler as a greedy creature who visits a colorful forest full of Truffala trees and begins chopping them down to harvest their tufts, only to wipe out every last one — and the frolicking Bar-ba-loots, Humming-fish and Swomee-Swans to boot.
The tale starts with a boy visiting the aged Once-ler as he recounts how he long ago ignored the preachy little Lorax, who appeared at the start of the reckless chopping to “speak for the trees.”
The movie will begin the same way, says producer Chris Meledandri, head of Illumination Animation. “What he finds, just like in the book, is this wonderful set of arms emerging from this boarded-up window, with these yellow eyes,” Meledandri says. “And then, at a pivotal moment, the character is revealed.”
The film expands Seuss’ story to give the curious unnamed boy more of a back story, dubbing him Ted (after the author) and giving him a grandmother (voiced by Betty White) who recalls the days when the world was clean and full of life. Zac Efron voices the boy.
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Source: USA Today