Dr Seuss

These 20, alongside hundreds of others, redefine what it means to be a movie veteran.

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How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Since there’s not already a brilliantly-crafted, beloved animated version of Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and since there’s not already a modernized, trying-too-hard-to-be-hip version of the story either, Universal is setting out to bring the green menace to the big screen with Illumination Entertainment. Illumination chief Christopher Meledandri is no stranger to the wubbulous world of Seuss. He acted as EP for Horton Hears a Who! and produced The Lorax, and with the success of the live-action, Jim Carrey-led version of Grinch that I pretended doesn’t exist in the introduction, Universal secured a strong business partnership with the Seuss estate. So now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, we’re getting this. Cynicism aside, Illumination does have a knack for crafting heartfelt stories with enjoyable characters, and since this version will be animated, it negates any risk of seeing some nightmare-inducing make-up work. Plus, Peter Candeland (a descendant of the Django villain?) is directing, so there’s a strong sense of craftsmanship at the helm even if he’s never directed a major feature-length project before. All the same, it does feel more than a bit like digging back into the same well – especially when Seuss has so many stories that could be mined for movies. Where’s Oh the Places You’ll Go? or Scrambled Eggs Super? Should we just expect a new Grinch every 13 years or so at this point? How long until he joins The Avengers?

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Junkfood Cinema - Large

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; the only thing we shamelessly rip-off is the wrapper from our Arby’s Big Beef ‘n Cheddar. This is the weekly Internet movie column that shatters the crystalline standards of good taste. We lambast a bad movie and scatter the shards of its dignity across the floor. Then, like a senile geriatric rodeo clown, we scream yippee-ki-yay Mister Tucker and run barefoot over those shards, a testament to our troubling affinity for said bad movies, an affinity that does not die with ease. Have you ever noticed how good Die Hard is? If your answer is anything other than “indubitably” or “shit yeah it is,” please give me your address so I can mail you one hundred dollars…that will probably look and feel like face punches but I promise are totally dollars. If you are among those whose faces are  not currently in danger of postal pummeling, then you recognize the sheer awesomeness of John McTiernan’s violent ode to both Hitchcock’s wrong man theme and receding hairlines. For those of you who haven’t seen it, welcome to our planet and please give my regards to Lord Zoonax. It’s the story of a sweaty, tender-footed cop who goes to visit his estranged wife during a party in the tallest building in all of Die Hard. This unfortunately timed reunion occurs just before evil crime boss Severus Snape invades the party with an veritable food court of international terrorists. John McCop must sneak through air vents, eat Twinkies, […]

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr grabs his camcorder and tries to find the biggest all-night party in Pasadena, filled with slutty, dancing high school girls who looks amazingly like they’re in their early twenties. Of course, he never finds that because this sort of 15-year-old wet dream fantasy doesn’t exist. So he sets his sights on finding something far more realistic than any of the events that take place in Project X: the short, hairy peanut with a mustache and Danny DeVito’s voice known as The Lorax.

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Everyone involved in Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, from co-directors Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda to the Universal Pictures marketing division, has been faced with a tricky balancing act. On one hand, there’s the need to remain true to the spirit of Seuss’ anti-consumerist work, his most earnestly activist effort. On the other, there’s the requisite allegiance to 3D animated family movie standards and the obligatory corporate tie-ins that come with promoting such an effort. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve seen Seuss’ mystical mustachioed creation across the advertisement spectrum lately, in everything from IHOP ads to printer spots and Mazda car commercials. Sure, Universal has made a point of pursuing advertising partners with “green” tie-ins/messages, or so they claim, but the Lorax’s ubiquitous commercial presence leaves the sort of rotten taste that only comes with the betrayal of a sacrosanct legacy. Fortunately, the film itself fares better. It’s a pleasant, minor-key affair that gives appropriate attention and weight to the important environmentalist message. The picture asks that its young viewers sit up and take notice of the world around them; it demands that they put down the video games, learn to care about nature and seek to preserve it.

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It was the summer of 2009 when the filmmakers behind Horton Hears A Who! announced they would be making green eggs and ham of Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax.” Since then we’ve gotten updates on casting – with Zac Efron playing the young man and Danny DeVito voicing the title tree-hugger – and even some imagery. Today, EW has even more pictures, and two of them reveal The Once-ler (the crotchety pair of arms that tells young Efron about the lush, beautiful world of the past that was destroyed by his greed). Check them out for yourself:

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Frequent fright wig-wearing actor Johnny Depp is teaming up with Infinitum Nihil and Illumination Entertainment to produce a live-action look at the life of author Theodor Geisel. He was an eccentric type, given to talking in rhymes and working under pen names. Geisel started his career drawing advertisements and comic strips, he then later published legendary children’s books like “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “The Cat in the Hat.” He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts and attended college at Dartmouth. Yikes, that doesn’t sound like a very exciting movie, even if the guy ends up going by a crazy name like Dr. Seuss. The concept gets a little bit more interesting though, with word that Depp is very likely to star in the film, along with his duties producing the project. He already has experience playing real life writers Hunter S. Thompson and J.M. Barrie, so it seems like the role would be right in his wheelhouse. And if scenes of him creating his most famous works are included in the film, complete with trippy visualizations of the things he’s writing about, then who better than Depp to put on ridiculous outfits and bring characters like The Grinch and The Cat in the Hat to life? And don’t say Jim Carrey and Mike Myers. Bad memories, man. [THR]

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Why Watch? Because Dr. Seuss wants to tell you how to behave now that the war is over. Dr. Seuss and Frank Capra teamed up for this educational film shown to military personnel stationed in Germany after the war was won. As they point out, it’s a delicate peace. There can be a comedic quality to the way this film is presented (especially in light of its treatment of German history), but it’s also important to see this in the context of when and why it was created. It was a film specifically meant to keep its audience on its guard long after they finished watching it. It was also a serious flick made by two men with strong senses of humor. Sadly, unlike Seuss’s other work, none of it rhymes. What does it cost? Just 12 minutes of your time. Check out Your Job in Germany for yourself:

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We reported last October that Danny DeVito would be suiting up to voice The Lorax in what has the chance to be the first 3D adaptation of a beloved children’s character that doesn’t creep everyone on the planet out. Now, the rest of the cast is filling out (according to a remarkably well-punctuated press release) with Ed Helms voicing the Once-ler who needs to cut down the forest to make an amazing product everyone needs; Zac Efron voicing Ted, the young man who befriends the Lorax; and Taylor Swift voicing Audrey, the girl of Ted’s dreams. Betty White and comedian Rob Riggle are also rounding out what looks like a solid cast. This flick could turn out being really fun with the names involved. So fun that Rob Hunter even got a Lorax tattoo in anticipation of the release. Just ask him.

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Around here, every single writer (except everyone who isn’t Rob Hunter) has been clamoring for more details about The Lorax. “Who do you think will play him? What do you think the story will be like? Will the character design look like he’s fondling Boo Boo the Bear?” All of these are valid questions, and some of them can be answered right this very minute. In fact, you’ve probably already answered the third one for yourself already after looking to the right. More importantly, it’s been announced that Danny DeVito will put a shirt on, and hopefully drive straight from the set of It’s Always Sunny to go do the voice work for the main tree lobbyist.

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In WWII, Dr. Seuss worked for the War Department creating educational cartoons for troops. They just happened to include some fantastic racial stereotypes, bare-breasted ladies, and dirty double entendre.

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On this day in history, in the year 1904, Theodor Geisel, best known to the world as Dr. Seuss, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. It is hard to know at the time if he knew how he felt about green eggs and ham, but we can safely assume that he wouldn’t have liked them, Sam I am. And to celebrate, here’s a rap video you might enjoy.

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Horton Hears a Who

Is nothing sacred anymore?

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Things are very different today than they were when we were kids… or at least when I was a kid.

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