Dr. Seuss: The Lorax

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Dr. Seuss: The Lorax Movie Poster Image
Parents recommend
Outstanding 1970s parable about protecting nature.
  • NR
  • 1972
  • 25 minutes

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 7 reviews

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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 & Representations

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

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
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byroshanb March 20, 2016

The worst one ever!

Adult Written byGingerirish September 19, 2021

Lots of cigar smoking

This is a great movie except for the fact that one of the main characters, the Onceler, smokes cigars in basically every scene. Would not fly today as a kid’s m... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byClorox bleach May 21, 2021

Dr. Seuss: The Lorax

This was boring and forgettable and I don’t recommend it.
Teen, 16 years old Written byHorseLoverSpirit August 10, 2018
A great message about saving trees.

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 this Dr. Seuss story 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.

Talk to your kids 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 in The Lorax?

  • 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?

  • How does The Lorax demonstrate courage and integrity? Why are those important character strengths?

Movie details

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