Animated movies seem to be bigger than ever as studios scramble for classic books to turn into big budget 3D and CG animated properties. While it's generally agreed that few have managed to meet the level of Pixar, the animated offerings from DreamWorks and Universal are getting better and better. So I'll hold out hope that Universal will do right by their adaptation of Dr. Seuss' classic tale "The Lorax."
"The Lorax" is an extremely sad story of environmental destruction at the hands of "the Once-ler," who ignores the warning of the Lorax and chops down the magical Truffula forest in order to produce a goofy garment called "Thneed." Destruction and pollution rain down on the area, forcing its quirky residents to flee until only the Once-ler's ruined factories remain.
While the story ends with a hopeful Truffula seed, it's pretty grim in its greedy realism. It sparked a bit of controversy in the 1980s when the California logging industry decided it was an unfair portrayal of their work.
That kind of controversy could spark up again, as Variety reports that Universal and Illumination Entertainment are aiming to make "The Lorax" their next 3-D animated feature, and they'll be putting a lot of emphasis on its timely themes of conservation.
Chris Renaud, Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio are attached to split up directing duties on the project, which is being put into production for a March 2, 2012 release. If they succeed (and they did pretty well with "Horton Hears a Who"), "The Lorax" could be a nice conservation companion to Pixar's "Wall-E."
Do you want to see "The Lorax" made into a movie? Can it be done, or will it be too depressing? What other Dr. Seuss works would you like to see adapted?