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Audrey Geisel speaks for  Dr. Seuss fans

Audrey Geisel widow Dr. Seuss creator Theodor Geisel poses her home LJollareSan Diego Feb. 4 2004. | Lenny Ignelzi~ AP

Audrey Geisel, widow of Dr. Seuss creator Theodor Geisel, poses at her home in the La Jolla area of San Diego Feb. 4, 2004. | Lenny Ignelzi~ AP

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Updated: April 4, 2012 8:04AM

As anyone who knows his Dr. Seuss lore will tell you, the Lorax is a wee, orange-hued fellow with an oversized walrus mustache who acts as the feisty guardian of the forest.

Or, as he says in the slim volume that bears his name: “I speak for the trees.”

And, as anyone who knows Audrey Geisel will tell you, the 90-year-old widow of Dr. Seuss is the feisty guardian in charge of the 50 or so storybooks left behind by her husband — aka Theodor Geisel — who died in 1991.

She speaks for the fans.

So when Hollywood honchos come a-calling, wanting to make a movie out of one of the classics, they have to deal with her.

As she told USA TODAY, “I’m not one to go commercial very easily. I like my little creatures kept in their little circle.”

She selected the eco-themed “The Lorax,” her husband’s favorite among his titles, as the basis of the second feature-length ’toon translation of his work, following the success of the animated “Horton Hears a Who!” in 2008.

Chris Meledandri — the former head of 20th Century Fox’s animation that brought Horton to life — is behind “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.” He is one of the few interpreters to earn Geisel’s trust.

“We have worked on two films and each time his work has surpassed my expectations,” says Geisel of her partnership with Meledandri. “Chris takes the time to know our stories, our characters, our Seussian world. Chris’ careful consideration of ‘What would Ted think?’ is evident in the final product.”

Gannett News Service

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