Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat proved a critical and commercial disappointment for Universal back in 2003 — so much so that Audrey Stone Geisel declared she’d never let Hollywood make a live-action adaptation of her late husband’s work again. But now, emboldened by the box office dominance of its Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax over the past couple of weeks, the studio is getting the pieces together to revisit the classic children’s tale in 3D, CG-animated form. Rob Lieber, who previously adapted the upcoming Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, is set to write the script. Hit the jump for more details.

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Villanous Once-ler from ‘The Lorax’ Revealed [Gallery]

Anyone who read Dr. SeussThe Lorax as a kid is undoubtedly familiar with the title character, the mustachioed orange grump who speaks for the trees. The villainous Once-ler, on the other hand, has always remained more of a mystery. Seuss’ books showed only a pair of long, spindly arms, leaving readers to guess at the rest of his appearance.

We’ll never know exactly how Seuss pictured him, as the writer and illustrator passed away in 1991. But Universal has unveiled its take on the character in a new image from the upcoming animated adaptation of Seuss’ tale. Directed by Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda and produced by Christopher Meledandri (Horton Hears a Who), The Lorax features the voices of Danny DeVito as the eponymous creature and Ed Helms as the Once-ler. Take a look at the Once-ler, and a couple of other images, after the jump.

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Despicable Me

Last week, I journeyed to Santa Monica to visit the offices of Illumination Entertainment. Started by Christopher Meledandri, the producer behind Opportunity Knocks and Cool Runnings, who helped acquire and oversee Blue Sky Studios, the computer animation studio which produced the Ice Age series and Robots. Meledandri produced Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who, The Simpsons Movie and The Fantastic Mr. Fox before jumping ship to form a new company, Illumination Entertainment. You probably haven’t heard of them yet, as they have yet to release a film, but they are hard at work developing projects for computer animated, live-action and they even claim to have a stop-motion animated project that is on the verge of being announced. The plan is to do an average of two films a year for Universal, over the next five years. Their first film to hit the big screen will be Despicable Me, which is the reason for my visit.

A small group of press, including myself, were invited to Illumination Entertainment to talk to Meledandri about this new company, his upcoming projects (which include another Seuss adaptation The Lorax as well as the Russell Brand Easter-themed family comedy I Hop), and to visit the editing bay of Despicable Me to see some early footage from the film put together.

After the jump you can read my report, or watch the video blog which I recorded with Steve from Collider.com immediately following the visit. Most of which I’m going to say below is in the video blog, but I should also point out that I’ve included a transcript of our roundtable conversation with Meledandri below as well. Anyone interested in reading more about this emerging new animation company will want to check that out. I really do think that Illumination will be a company to watch in the coming years.

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