Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dr. Suess's The Lorax

My son as The Lorax! 

Tomorrow we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Suess, beloved author of over 60 children's books. We are all familiar with Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Green Eggs and Ham, the list goes on and on. Dr. Suess's rhyming and sometimes tongue twisting writing is great read out loud fun for children both young and old. This week my son's teacher is celebrating by reading a Dr. Suess book daily for his class. My son is at the perfect age to enjoy these timeless classics and I recently introduced The Lorax to him. 

Honestly, I don't remember reading The Lorax as a kid but I am a big fan of early childhood literacy and Dr. Suess so when I received an invitation to preview the animated movie The Lorax by the makers of Despicable Me! and HOP! I immediately said yes! 

I quickly caught up with my Dr. Suess reading and found that The Lorax is a book after my own heart. It is the tale of how we must all be responsible and take care of the Earth! A message of environmentalism for young readers! Sold! The movie brings to life this story in vivid color and stars Betty White, Danny DeVito, Zac Efron, Ed Helms, Rob Riggle and Taylor Swift. An outstanding cast that I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing during my preview trip. 

One of the things was most interesting to me was how closely tied all of the actors were not only to Dr. Suess (aren't we all) but also expressed an interest in environmentalism. Danny DeVito (the voice of The Lorax) said "I was one of the first people to own a zero emissions car and currently owns a Leaf (another zero emissions and electric car." Mr. DeVito also mentioned not using bottled water and only utilizing cloth napkins. All of this ties in nicely with the message of The Lorax. Another thing that I was extremely impressed with was the fact that Mr. DeVito is the voice of The Lorax not only in English but in Spanish, Italian, German and Russian!  When asked why he decided to take on this task he said "I like to do different things, I like to challenge myself."

Actor Ed Helms is The Once-ler and The Lorax is his all time favorite Dr. Suess book. In fact, when he heard about the movie "I hunted down Chris Melandandri (the producer) and said 'I really want to be in this movie, I'll take any part.  I'll just be a Barbaloot or whatever, I just want to be a part of it' and I am thrilled with how it turned out."

To my surprise, The Lorax is a musical and Ed Helms sings all of his songs. The music added to the visual stimulation provided by the 3D animation and when I asked the producers about the music Chris Melandandri responded, 

"when music works, it's such an engaging, uplifting aspect of a film with that chemistry between imagery and song, there's nothing like it in terms of just immersing you in the emotion of a scene in a movie.
Sometimes, people will ask us to describe how music's used in the film.  It's its own thing.  I mean, it's woven in a way that its song scores times and a character who actually sings within the narrative structure.  But, it's something that I think makes this film just really distinctive and special."

The music, the animation and the talent of the actors truly bring The Lorax to life. I'll be bringing you part two of my experience previewing the film tomorrow..just know, this is one film you don't want to miss!

Disclosure: I was invited to preview the Lorax by Universal, all of my transportation and accommodations were provided by Universal. As usual all opinions are my own. 

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