InFurNation Rotating Header Image

Dr. Seuss

Would You? Could You?

Some things you just don’t expect… and some things, you don’t know what to make of when you find out about them. This could be both. From Animation World Network: “Netflix has just announced that their new series, Green Eggs and Ham, from Warner Bros. Animation, will debut November 8. Adapted from the classic Dr. Seuss children’s book, the 13-episode series stars Adam Devine, Michael Douglas, Ilana Glazer, Diane Keaton, Keegan-Michael Key, Eddie Izzard, Jeffrey Wright, Jillian Bell, John Turturro, Tracy Morgan, and Daveed Diggs.” Amazing cast. Okay, check try to follow along: “The story of Green Eggs and Ham is like a postmodern Planes, Trains and Automobiles through the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss. Sam rescues the rare Chickeraffe from the Glurfsburg Zoo, hides it in a briefcase, and attempts to make his way to Meepville where he can charter a cold air balloon to take the Chickeraffe to his island home. Guy just flopped his last big chance at being a world-famous inventor for the industrial Snerz Co. He packs up his invention in a briefcase and resigns to give up on his dreams and become a paint watcher. A chance meeting at a diner with Sam, and a switch up with the briefcases results in these two unlikely souls getting mixed up on an adventure that takes them on a journey of self-discovery.” You heard it here. And there. And soon everywhere.

image c. 2019 Netflix

The Lorax

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 its hopeful yet rather bleak ending. You can decide for yourself when the film comes out, or by visiting Unversal’s Lorax Movie Site.

image c. 2012 Universal Studios

 

The Lost Dr. Seuss — Found!

“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). In an introduction to the collection, Cohen traces the history of these stories, which demonstrate an intentional and significant change that led to the writing style we associate with Dr. Seuss today. Cohen also explores these stories’ themes that recur in better-known Seuss stories (like the importance of the imagination, or the perils of greed). With a color palette that has been enhanced beyond the limitations of the original magazines in which they appeared, this is a collection of stories that no Seuss fan (whether scholar or second-grader) will want to miss!” It’s also available as an audio book CD with stories being read by the likes of Neil Patrick Harris, Anjelica Houston, Jason Lee, Joan Cusack, and more.

image c. 2011 Random House

A First Look at Upcoming Films

The International Licensing Expo, held every year in Las Vegas, is a great change to get a first look at cool upcoming new movies as various merchandise companies compete to get a chance to serve the movie studios with new character-themed lunchboxes, t-shirts, cel phone app’s and more. The folks at ComingSoon.net and Cartoon Brew recently presented a report on this year’s expo, with the latter of course mostly looking at animated films of note. Among them are two from Dreamworks, Madagasgar 3 and Rise of the Guardians, and one from Illumination, the Lorax. In Madagasgar 3, hitting theaters next June, Alex the Lion and his friends join a traveling circus in hopes of getting back to New York City. Rise of the Guardians (formerly The Guardians of Childhood) is based on an upcoming book by William Joyce (creator of Rolie Polie Olie and Meet the Robinsons). It tells the story of four childhood heroes — Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Jack Frost — who join forces to prevent The Boogeyman from sending the world into eternal darkness.  It’s scheduled for release in November of 2012. And of course The Lorax is based on the popular (and shamelessly controversial) children’s book by Dr. Seuss, telling the story of a forest spirit who attempts to save his home from destruction by industry. It’s coming to theaters next March from Universal Pictures.