By now you’ve probably seen the trailers, the billboards, or the general buzz letting you know that a new version of Dr. Seuss’ 1971 parable The Lorax is coming to the big screen. The last time The Lorax was animated was 1972, in a TV special created by DePatie-Freleng (well known for The Pink Panther cartoon show). This time, Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment (who most recently brought us Despicable Me) will be releasing the CGI film version on March 2nd. It’s directed by Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda, and stars the voice of Danny DeVito (as the Lorax) as well as Zac Efron, Ed Helms, Betty White, and Taylor Swift. The original story, if you didn’t know, tells of a young boy who meets up with an unseen creature known as the Once-ler, who tells a story of his youth… when he destroyed a tranquil forest in the name of industrialization and commercialism, despite the pleas and warnings of the Lorax, a sort of spirit of the forest. As with the big screen adaptation of Horton Hears A Who, a lot has been added to the basic plot for this new version of The Lorax. It remains to be seen if the new movie will maintain not only the original’s important message, but also the power of it’s hopeful yet rather bleak ending. You can decide for yourself when the film comes out, or by visiting Unversal’s Lorax Movie Site.
“It’s the literary equivalent of buried treasure!” That’s more than just publisher’s hyperbole. It might just be the best description of The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories, published last fall in hardcover by Random House. For the first time it collects together 7 original stories by Dr. Seuss that have not seen the light of day since they were first published in magazines from 1948 to 1959. From Amazon: “Seuss scholar/collector Charles D. Cohen has hunted down seven rarely seen stories by Dr. Seuss. Originally published in magazines between 1948 and 1959, they include ‘The Bear, the Rabbit, and the Zinniga-Zanniga’ (about a rabbit who is saved from a bear with a single eyelash!); ‘Gustav the Goldfish’ (an early, rhymed version of the Beginner Book ‘A Fish Out of Water’); ‘Tadd and Todd’ (a tale passed down via photocopy to generations of twins); ‘Steak for Supper’ (about fantastic creatures who follow a boy home in anticipation of a steak dinner); ‘The Bippolo Seed’ (in which a scheming feline leads an innocent duck to make a bad decision); ‘The Strange Shirt Spot’ (the inspiration for the bathtub-ring scene in The Cat in the Hat Comes Back); and ‘The Great Henry McBride’ (about a boy whose far-flung career fantasies are only bested by those of the real Dr. Seuss himself).