Adapting the carefully calibrated, imaginative and uniquely original worlds and characters created by Dr. Seuss is no easy feat, and the live action incarnations “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “The Cat and the Hat” are the exact definition of how to do it wrong. But on the animated side, the writer’s tales have fared much better. Of course, on the small screen, the animated ‘Grinch’ is a classic and a yearly ritual during the holiday season while “Horton Hears a Who!” from a few years back did Seuss some reasonable justice. Well, the team behind that film are back with “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax,” and while the purists may take umbrage, it’s hard to find fault here.
Co-directed by Chris Renaud (”Despicable Me”) and Ken Daurio (who co-wrote scripts for both this and “Horton Hears a Who!”) the environmental fable will find Zac Efron playing a boy who befriends The Lorax (Danny DeVito) to find a tree to impress a girl (Taylor Swift), only to come up against the tree chopping zealot The Once-ler (Ed Helms). It’s straightforward enough and that’s where the strength of the trailer lies. Yes, bringing Seuss’ story to the big screen does require a fair bit of tinkering for a modern audience, but the spirit of the story is there and frankly, the primary color-blasted setting looks like a pure delight. The humor seems smart and subtle and there is a pretty generous heart, so yeah, we wouldn’t mind taking our little cousin/brother/sister/niece to this at all.
So put aside your doubts and give the trailer a whirl below (or in HD at Apple). “The Lorax” hits theaters in 3D on March 2, 2012.