The Lorax (TV special)

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This article is about the animated television special. For other uses, see Lorax (disambiguation).
The Lorax (TV special)
Genre Animation
Written by Dr. Seuss
Directed by Hawley Pratt
Voices of Eddie Albert
Bob Holt
Athena Loorde
Matthew Bennison
Harlen Carraher
Thurl Ravenscroft (singing voice, uncredited)
Narrated by Eddie Albert
Composer(s) Dean Elliott
Country of origin  United States
Original language(s) English
Executive producer(s) David H. DePatie
Producer(s) Friz Freleng
Ted Geisel (characters)
Running time 24 mins.
Production company(s) The Cat in The Hat Productions
DePatie-Freleng Enterprises
CBS Productions
Original channel CBS
Original run February 14, 1972 (movie airing on CBS)  – December 16, 2012 (movie airing on ABC)

The Lorax is a 1972 animated musical television special produced by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises. It first aired on CBS on February 14, 1972 based on the book of the same name by Dr. Seuss. It last aired on July 30, 2005, as the airing of ABC.


A young nameless child (representing the children watching) goes outside his home town into the dangerous wilderness or the lack of it to be more specific to meet a ruined industrialist called the Once-ler in a treeless wasteland and hear his tale of what happened to him. His tragic story documents how he began traveling to find amazing trees and upon finding the perfect spot created a popular fashion product called a "Thneed" knitted from the tufts of the "Truffula trees" native to the land. Before long from the first Tree's stump that the Once-ler ever cut down emerges a mysterious thing called the Lorax. The Lorax warns the Once-ler and everyone else of the consequences of their actions. As his business booms, the forest and its inhabitants suffer as he wantonly clearcuts without regard to the warnings of the wise old creature called The Lorax about the dire consequences of his greed. Near the end of the special the entire "Truffula tree" forest has been chopped and the damage drove the Native Creatures off and the Once-ler devoid of a source of income goes bankrupt and the Lorax disappointed lifts up threw a hole in the smog created by the Once-ler's tree-chopping contraptions. The Once-ler then gives the child the last "Truffula tree" seed and tells him to plant a new forest and utters one of the most famous quotes from Dr. Suess: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothings going to get better its not". The special ends leaving the children watching to make the choice to grow a cleaner-better world...

Production notes[edit]

  • The Truffula Trees produce assorted colors of material. About halfway into the special, both the Truffula Trees and the Thneeds we see are pink.
  • This is the first Dr. Seuss CBS television special to feature the short version of the 1971–1975 Cat in the Hat Productions logo with only the "Cat in the Hat doing tricks" sequence. The short version of the logo was also seen on Green Eggs and Ham, The Sneetches and The Hoober-Bloob Highway, thus ending the company. The Cat in the Hat uses the extended version of the 1971–1975 logo instead.
  • This is also the first Dr. Seuss CBS television special to use the Cat in the Hat Productions logo at the end since Horton Hears a Who!. The Cat in the Hat does not use this logo at the end. It was last used as an animated closing variant at the end of The Hoober-Bloob Highway causing the last TV special produced by Cat in the Hat Productions.
  • This is the last Dr. Seuss television special until Halloween Is Grinch Night to feature Thurl Ravenscroft.
  • In honor to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the special and the release of film The Lorax, Warner Home Video released the special on a deluxe edition DVD and Blu-ray on February 14, 2012.[1]

Differences from the book[edit]

  • The kid does not have to pay the Once-ler for his time. In the book, he has to pay the Once-ler "15 cents, a nail, and the shell of a great, great, great grandfather snail." In the 2012 feature film, this bit of information was added.
  • The Once-ler told the kid the story through a “whisper-maphone,” but this was not shown in the cartoon. It was again used in the 2012 feature film.
  • No mention is made of “the crummies,” a gastrointestinal disease with which starvation afflicted the Brown Bar-ba-loots, although there is a scene in the special where a Brown Bar-ba-loot has to be carried because he is too sick to walk.
  • The Lorax sends the Brown Bar-ba-loots off to find a more hospitable habitat after the sky becomes smoggy. In the book, they leave while the sky is still clear.
  • There is a more in-depth look at the problems. At one point, the Once-ler argues with himself about what he is doing, ultimately justifying his actions by claiming that someone else would do them if he did not, and he points out to the Lorax that shutting down his factory would put hundreds of people out of work, as it eventually does; the Lorax admits that the Once-ler does have a point, and also that he himself would not know the answer.
  • The Once-ler shows remorse for the wildlife leaving, even going so far as to curse his own factory. Suddenly, his secretary informs him that stock in his company had seen a large gain on the stock market. This, not the constant chastisement from the Lorax, is what finally sets off his tirade at the Lorax.
  • In the book the Once-ler mentions that his factory fell apart after being derelict for so long. In the movie, it is not mentioned.
  • In the book, after the kid asks the Once-ler what the "unless" message means, the Once-ler replies that he did not realize what it meant till the kid asked him about it--that unless someone cares, nothing will change or improve. It is as a reward for helping him realize this that the Once-ler gives the kid the last Truffula seed.


  1. ^ Lorax, The: Deluxe Edition DVD - Warner Bros.: - The Official Online Store of Warner Bros. Studios

External links[edit]