The deeper meaning behind « The Lorax »

The Lorax was released by Universal Pictures on March 2, 2012 and was based on Dr. Seuss’ children’s book which was written in 1971. I think we all remember that fury orange creature with the comically large moustache right? It was one of my personal favourite movies growing up. Everything from the plot to the animation was mesmerizing. That being said, I was a little too young to truly understand the deeper meaning behind it all. Looking back at it now, it’s truly fascinating how realistically The Lorax portrays modern environmental issues.

Edelstein, David. The Badness of the Lorax Is a Shock. 2 Mar. 2012, 

To briefly summarize the film, Ted, a 12-year-old boy, tries to escape from Thneedville, an artificial world where all vegetation has disappeared, to go in search of a living tree. This is all to conquer the heart of his pretty neighbour Audrey. Ted meets the Once-ler, who knows what happened to all the real trees. Ted also discovers the legend of the Lorax, who lives in the magnificent Truffala valley and speaks for the trees and fights ardently for the protection of nature. With the help of his grandmother, Mamie Norma, Ted overcomes O’Hare, the mayor of Thneedville, and his henchmen to bring back to Audrey the last living tree seed in the world. Without knowing it, the young boy transforms the destiny of Thneedville and the vanished world of Lorax.

Pihlman, Mike. “‘Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax’ Movie Review.” ForCarol, 4 Mar. 2012, 

In the middle of the film, is the back story of the Once-ler. The man who was responsible for the extermination of the trees. He was an industrialist who exploited the truffula trees for the foliage they produced. This was to create “Thneeds”, a very versatile object which had different purposes, but its default form was a sweater. The Lorax tried warning him time and time again but the Once-ler said he is only « meeting consumer demand » and that « if I didn’t, someone else would. ».  He kept increasing production and continued cutting down trees and polluting the environment until nothing was left. It was only then the Once-ler realized what he had done. Unfortunately, by then it was too late

“The Lorax Timeline.” Timetoast, 1 Sept. 2012,–3. 

The Lorax ilustrates the impacts that the company had on the environment. As shown in the film, citizens have to drink a bottle of air due to the lack of oxygen in the air. In addition to the trees, the smoke from the factory was so bad that the Swomee-Swans could no longer sing. The by-products of the mill were also polluting the pond and were harming the Humming-Fish. 

As you can see, the movie seems to be a very realistic future if corporations keep taking advantage of natural resources and polluting the environment. The Oncer-ler was too focused on the profit to see he was destroying the environment which is sadly what is happening in our world as well. No matter what we say, the economy still comes first to many. The Lorax portrays exactly where our reality is headed and it’s extremely dark. Even though I’ve watched countless environmental documentaries, I find The Lorax, a children’s movie, has given me the deepest understanding of what industrialism is doing to our planet.

“Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.” Amazon, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, 2012, 

The Lorax illustrates how unrestricted greed can destroy the environment. It also gives us a reality check and shows us humans where we’re headed if we keep taking advantage of natural resources. I think we can learn from this movie and change our ways before it’s too late. We need to live in harmony with nature, not see it as a product nor a money maker.


“The Lorax (Film).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 7 Mar. 2021, 

6 réflexions au sujet de “The deeper meaning behind « The Lorax »”

  1. Overall this was really good, I really liked your choice of a movie except that the prompt suggested that you pick a movie that doesn’t have a direct tie to the environment but I think the contents of this makeup for it. I really appreciate the brief summary of each part cause it’s been ages since I’ve seen this movie also your translation of the message conveyed by the movie.

    1. Thanks for the comment Parker. I’m glad I brought back some forgotten memories. As I was writing the blog, I came to the realisation that The Lorax’s environmental message is a nowhere near subtle. That being said, I can certainly say that what we took away from the movie as kids wasn’t about the environment at all. For that reason, I deemed it as usable for the topic.

  2. Hey William.
    I think the Lorax was a favourite growing up for the most of us and the deeper meaning behind it really did go over our heads growing up. I really like how you described the resemblances between the Once-ler from the movie and major corporations of our world, and the danger laying ahead of us if we keep goign down this path. I also really like the way you wrote the blog since it fit the actual story since it resembled Dr. Seuss’ writing style.

  3. Hey William,

    -I absolutely loved this blog! I’ve always loved this movie and was extremely happy to see that someone wrote about it. I really liked the way you organized everything and really explained things as we went more and more in depth into the story. I actually forgot about the part where the citizens had to “drink” a bottle of air due to the lack of oxygen, so thank you for reminding me of that awful memory (who am I kidding, many parts of that movie were traumatizing). I do like how you compared the movie to our world, and what is currently happening with industrialism and deforestation. I especially agree with you, when you talked about how humans care more about profit/money, compared to anything else and could care less about polluting the environment and essentially destroying it in the end. Overall, this was a great blog but I do have to agree with Parker and say that this movie doesn’t have a subtle environmental message but more of an explicit one, although I’m really glad you talked about it and do agree that we should stop exploiting our ressources as much as we do and be more grateful for them . Thank you so much!

    Shania Grasse

  4. Hi William, I really enjoyed reading your blog about the environmental links with The Lorax movie. I personally never watched The Lorax and after having read your description of the movie, I regret not doing so. Based on your descriptions and the links you made during your blog, I felt as if this movie was subtly trying to inform children if the dangers of constant deforestation and pollution leading to the consumption of bottled air just to avoid Carbon Dioxide poisoning. Overall, i really enjoyed your blog.
    Great Job!

  5. Hey William. I remember watching The Lorax as a young boy. While I don’t remember too much about the movie since it came out almost a decade ago, I do remember that a huge theme from this movie was conserving the environment and the effects of not doing so. I would’ve never seen the resemblance between the Once-ler and industries. As others have noted, this movie is pretty blunt with their environmental message, while the prompt was about movies that have themes that are comparable to the environment. Overall, I really enjoyed your blog. I’m tempted to rewatch this movie, it seems much more intricate than I remembered.

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