The villainous character appears as a young man and not a Grinch-esque monster as many have expected.
First look at Once-ler from "The Lorax" has been unveiled. Entertainment Weekly has shared a photo that sees the villainous character from the movie adaptation of Dr. Seuss' children book as a young man, and not a Grinch-like monster as some may have expected. In it, he is seen chopping down a Truffula tree, which can be used to make Thneeds (a Fine-Something-That-All-People-Need).
Christopher Meledandri, Illumination CEO, explained about the character's appearance in the animated movie, "[Seuss] gave us the clues on the page." He said, "If there was a clear sign this character was something other than human, we would have abided by that. But okay, he's wearing gloves. You're not going to put gloves on a monster."
"The minute you make the Once-ler a monster, you allow the audience to interpret that the problem is caused by somebody who is different from me, and it ceases to be a story that is about all of us," he added. "Then it's a story about, 'Oh I see, the person who led us into the predicament is not a person. It's somebody very, very different.' And so it takes you off the hook."
Meanwhile, Ed Helms who voices Once-ler explained that he was a fan of Dr. Seuss when he was a kid, and that was why he was very excited to get a part in the movie. "They offered the Once-ler and I was totally floored. If you are a fan of Dr. Seuss, it is one of those mysteries, and to his credit it was a beautiful mystery he left," so he said.
Helms additionally noted that he and the filmmakers decided not to give an outrageous voice for the character. "That was a conscious decision to just be me, be an average person," the actor explained. "I felt that was the best representation for the young Once-ler."
"The Lorax" will follow the lead character Ted who searches for a way to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it, he must discover the story of the Lorax, a grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.
Universal Pictures will release the animated movie in theaters across the U.S. on March 2, 2012. The voice cast also includes Zac Efron as Ted and Danny DeVito as Lorax. Taylor Swift, Rob Riggle, Sherry Lynn and Betty White also support the film.