Appearing in the book when it was first published in 1971,the movie is told in flashback, and begins with a boy who lives in the dour, polluted world who goes in search of the aged Once-ler to find out how things went so wrong. (Zac Efron voices the kid in the film, named Ted after Dr. Seuss’ real name — Theodore Geisel.)
But the Once-ler goes from bad to good when he eventually prepares to chop down his first truffula tuft — which is used to make a garment called a Thneed. And if you’ve never read “The Lorax”, a thneed looks like a bizarre pair of longjohns and serves as a shirt, sock, glove, hat, pillow case, and bicycle-seat-cover. (Seuss explained that a Thneed was simply “a Fine-Something-That-All-People-Need.”)
As the Once-ler’s need for Thneeds grows, more and more of the forest disappears beneath his Super-Axe-Hacker machine.
Head on over to EW to check out more about The Once-ler and see comparison shots from the film and the book and click on the thumbs below to see full-sized images of the characters.
“The Lorax” will hit theaters on March 2, 2012.