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The Lorax was a cartoon based on Dr. Seuss' The Lorax.
A young boy goes to meet a ruined industrialist called the Once-ler in a tireless wasteland and hear his tale of what happened to him. His tragic story is about how he began a thriving business with a useless but versatile fashion product derived from the trees of a forest. As his business booms, the forest and its inhabitants suffer as he wantonly clearcuts without regard to the warnings of a wise old creature called The Lorax about the dire consequences of his greed.
- Eddie Albert - Narrator
- Bob Holt - The Lorax, Mr. Once-Ler
- Athena Lorde - Ms. Funce-ler, Ms. O'Schmunsler
- Harlen Carraher - Boy
- Scatman Crothers, Thurl Ravenscroft, Vivian Vance - Singer
The Lorax was initially released on VHS in 1985 by Playhouse Video, in a double feature with The Hoober-Bloob Highway. This VHS was later released individually by said distributor in 1989. It was then released on VHS in 1994 as part of a CBS Video four-tape package called "Dr. Seuss Sing-Along Classics".
In 2003, Universal Studios Family Productions got the rights to the original 1972 TV special, and Universal released The Lorax on DVD under its home video label, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
To tie-in with 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, with fully-remastered picture and sound.
- The Truffula Trees produce assorted colors of material. About halfway into the special, both the Truffula Trees and the Thneeds we see are pink.
- When the original mastertape of the special deteriorated over the years, the opening and closing credits' dark blue background became brown, but were restored to their original dark blue color in the 2012 remaster.
Differences from the book
- 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 back in.
- The Once-ler told the kid the story through a “whisper-maphone,” but this was not shown in the cartoon. It was used again however 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.
- A brief snippet of the script of the special, no longer found in the book, mentions real-life Lake Erie, then notoriously polluted, as being even cleaner than the water in the area (the line was removed from the book after two research associates from the Ohio Sea Grant Program wrote to Seuss about the clean-up of Lake Erie in 1985).
- In the book the Once-ler mentions that his factory fell apart after being derelict for so long. In the special, 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. In the special, the Once-ler appears to already know what the message meant, and his reasons for entrusting the seed to the boy are unclear.
- 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.
- Template:Cite news
- Lorax, The: Deluxe Edition DVD – Warner Bros.: WBshop.com – The Official Online Store of Warner Bros. Studios
- "Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel : a biography". Judith & Neil Morgan. Random House. 1995. ISBN 978-0-679-41686-9.