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Danny DeVito is 'The Lorax'

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Oct 25, 2010 | 8:29am EDT

ALT TEXTDanny DeVito speaks for the trees!

According to USA Today, the actor will voice the title character in Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment's adaptation of Dr. Suess's The Lorax -- a.k.a. that really sad children's book about the destruction of the environment.

DeVito seems pretty excited to make a statement with the project.

“Look, I don’t want to be gruff about it, but we’ve got to wake up and smell the oil burning," he said. "I’m hoping that the squeakiest wheel gets the least grease. 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.”

To be honest, when I first read that book in grade school, I can't say I ever expected to read "the Lorax" and "pussyfoot" in the same sentence. Only Danny DeVito.

Joining the veteran actor will be Zac Efron, Betty White, Ed Helms, and Rob Riggle. Efron will voice Ted, the young boy searching for The Once-ler, voiced by Helms, to understand why the world has become so polluted. In the Dr. Suess book, The Once-ler is a "shortsighted, greedy creature who chops down every tree he can find to make his Thneeds, which are 'things everyone needs.'" For those who don't remember, the Thneeds are made from the infamous Truffula Trees -- the soft, colorful, and magical trees.

Riggle will play a new character, O'Hare. He's an industrialist who sells cans of fresh air to the polluted world, which is a totally ridiculous concept. That's like buying bottled water! Who would do that? Anyway, White finds herself as the grandmother of the boy, who "tells him of the colorful world that used to be."

And here's some other special news. Unlike the original book and 1972 film adaptation, we will actually see The Once-ler's face this time around. And I'm not quite sure how I feel about that. Not seeing The Once-ler's face left the pollution and destruction anonymous -- almost like it was the entire community's fault for not standing up to him. Giving him a face makes him real and the enemy, when really, The Lorax isn't about good versus evil. It's a political statement on what our society is doing as a whole to the place that we live. Giving him a face makes takes the responsibility away from us, and risks ruining the whole theme and argument of the book.

Regardless, I think DeVito has a dynamic voice and will do a fantastic job as the Lorax. And although I love him as Frank Reynolds on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, it will be nice to see him not do something repulsive and disgusting for a change.

Source: USA Today

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