Dr. Seuss: The Lorax



Outstanding 1970s Dr. Seuss parable about protecting nature.
  • Review Date: February 13, 2012
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1972
  • Running Time: 25 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids will learn about the necessity of protecting the environment and could be inspired to read the original book.

Positive messages

The story starts at the end, where the devastating effects of environmental ruin are clearly shown, and the young boy must take responsibility to change things for the better. The message is clearly that each individual has a responsibility to take part in protecting the environment.

Positive role models

Even as he is ignored and mocked, the Lorax never stops speaking for the trees, the fish, and the birds.

Violence & scariness

As the Once-ler destroys the land, he deploys many Seussian contraptions to accomplish this task; among them is a machine with fast-spinning hatchets that come very close to decapitating the Lorax.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The Once-ler is often seen holding a smoking cigar.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is not the 2012 theatrical version of The Lorax -- it's an early 1970s animated version of the Dr. Seuss book that tells a timeless story of humanity's relationship with the land, water, air, and animals that will appeal to kids. There are instances of cartoonish violence as the Truffula Trees are chopped down -- Seussian machines abound -- but the lesson imparted by the Lorax as he speaks for the trees and all of nature should spark positive discussions on what can be done to protect our planet.

What's the story?

THE LORAX (voiced by Bob Holt) speaks for the Truffula Trees, the Brown Bar-ba-loots, the Humming-Fish, and all of nature. But when the Once-ler (also Holt) opens up a factory, the Truffula Trees are chopped down to supply humanity with Thneeds. As the factory grows along with the demand for Thneeds, the Truffula Trees -- along with the Brown Bar-ba-loots and the Humming-Fish -- all start to disappear, no matter how much the Lorax protests. As the Once-ler and the Lorax argue about progress and profits versus preservation and pristine air, land, and water, their world becomes increasingly more polluted, and it seems as if it's almost too late to save the living things the Lorax speaks for.

Is it any good?


Clearly a product of the ecological movements of the early 1970s, the message of The Lorax continues to resonate today. Filled with songs, rhymes, and the distinctive style of Dr. Seuss' animation that has transcended generations, The Lorax is a fast-paced and highly creative parable on the perils of unchecked economic expansion and environmental damage.

Originally a TV special, The Lorax was re-released on DVD to coincide with the 2012 Zac Ephron and Taylor Swift version of the story. For parents, this could present an opportunity to compare and contrast the past and present, in how themes and adaptations of classic children's books are interpreted then and now. Regardless, this version of The Lorax is definitely worth seeing.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the interests of the Lorax and the Once-ler are initially opposed, but eventually the same. Why is that? What lesson did the Once-ler learn?

  • How is the story similar to and different than other kids' movies with strong messages about the importance of protecting the environment?

  • What makes this story stand the test of time?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 14, 1972
DVD release date:February 14, 2012
Cast:Athena Lorde, Bob Holt, Eddie Albert
Director:Hawley Pratt
Studio:Warner Home Video
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Book characters, Great boy role models, Science and nature
Run time:25 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Dr. Seuss: The Lorax was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 5 year old Written byBetyD March 2, 2012

Great Dr. Seuss film for the little ones and adults!

Amazing movie!! I love the positive message it sends to kids and adults that we should be held responsible for our actions and we can always strive to make the world a better place. It is a very beautiful movie and engaging! I highly recommend this film and it's even better if you read the book beforehand!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written bygotairsoft February 17, 2012


the lorax is my fave doctor suess story! and this movie is really good! i have seen the trailer for the new one looks like they added alot in.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 14 years old Written bygilly_boy March 19, 2012

Makes people notice.

I like this mainly because of the book. To me, this is showing that people with greed distroy something beautiful. I think what was happening in the movie is now coming to life. For example, the people in Brazil are destroying the rain forest for farming and wood. The rain forest isn't made for farming. There isn't enough nutrients in the soil for that which makes people cut more trees. In the movie, the villian is cutting trees for their soft leaves but when there is no more. He has a problem; he just learned too late. Hopefully, kids today won't become money grubbers and try to protect the last wild places like where Dr. Seuss created before it was turned into a dirty city.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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