YMMV / The Lorax

The Book and TV Special

  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation:
    • Sustainable logging, rather than no logging whatsoever. Had The Once-Ler planted one new Truffula tree for every tree he cut down (i.e. deforestation plus mass reforestation instead of only deforestation), the environmental impact would have been greatly reduced. If nothing else, the Once-Ler's company wouldn't have run out of trees to cut down.
    • The fate of the town in the TV Special - once the Truffula trees were gone, they picked up and moved to brighter pastures, as any Ghost Town in the Western USnote  can attest to being Truth in Television.
  • Anvilicious: The book is constantly telling you the importance of nature. Although, that is very much the point. To many, this is part of its charm.
  • Fair for Its Day: Others have argued that the message itself is actually subtle when compared to other Green Aesops - or at least it was for the time.
  • Nightmare Fuel: "Good Ol' Onceler", a song in praise of everything the Once-Ler has created which the man himself ends up applauding as "very heartwarming", is... disturbing in its naked dedication to a self-aggrandizing corporate empire.
  • Strawman Has a Point: The Once-ler does make a valid point when he says that closing his factory will mean laying off 100,000 workers and be detrimental to the economy. Even the Lorax concedes that this would be an extreme solution.
  • The Woobie: The titular Lorax REALLY gets put through the wringer, and you'd want to give the poor guy a hug after seeing his home destroyed and his friends cast out of what was once their own home.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Even the Once-Ler is pitiable in the end, left alone in the ruins that he essentially created.

The Film

  • Anvilicious: Just like the book was. Particularly the musical numbers.
    • Many actually consider it to be even worse because it neglects the subtlety and Strawman Has a Point moments from the original.
  • Awesome Music:
  • Critical Dissonance: Critics are split down the middle, and fans of the original book aren't crazy about it, but general audiences mostly seem to like it fine.
  • Crossover Ship: The Once-ler seems to have become the patron saint of this trope. Go to any movie's YMMV page that lists crossover ships, and it will likely list the Once-ler paired with whoever's in the movie.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: It's difficult not to want to be in the Once-ler's shoes during "How Bad Can I Be". Though he's brought back to earth hard in the following scene.
  • Ear Worm:
    • "How Bad Can I Be?" and "Let It Grow (Celebrate The World)".
    • Even a few people who don't like this movie have admitted that "Thneedville" is pretty awesome.
  • Estrogen Brigade: Younger Once-ler attracts A LOT of this. To the point that he has become a fandom of his own.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: For purist Seuss fans, this whole movie is one, from the above-mentioned "hotter" and too-sympathetic Onceler, as well as his Freudian Excuse, to the copious amounts of padding (the actual story from the book only lasts about fifteen minutes!) and gags, especially the ones involving the animals, the kicker being the Hate Sink character Mr. O'Hare, which disobeys Dr. Seuss's standards about comeuppance.
  • Fanon:
    • In the case of Ted's mom, some have christened her as "Helen", named after Dr. Seuss' first wife, as in a similar fashion how Ted and Audrey's names were based off of.
    • The Once-ler's mother's name being Isabella. But the funny thing is, nobody knows how that name came to be or where it even came from but many decided to use it when referring to her in fanfics or in general.
    • How Ted's grandmother came to know the Once-ler in the first place (well, enough to know he's probably on the outskirts of town). Some fashion that they had a romantic relationship throughout his journey into becoming the Corrupt Corporate Executive he turns into in the end.
  • Fix Fic: The amount of time devoted to things that weren't part of the source material, the way a large portion of the original story was abridged into a single song sequence, and the fully resolved happy ending in place of a thought-provoking question-mark ending make it like one to an extent.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: All those cute scenes of the Once-ler interacting with the animals are considerably less heartwarming knowing what he ends up doing to all of them.
  • Harsherin Hindsight: Thneedville's pollution levels being so high that the citizens need to buy contained air to breathe is now a reality in China.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Those Misaimed Marketing deals down below that make the Lorax into a product mascot? The film mirrors this in one scene where the paparazzi takes a photo of the Lorax accidentally holding a Thneed, then posting on an ad now claiming Thneeds are "Lorax approved".
    • That 'Let It Grow' song...does it remind you of anything?
    • Aloysius O'Hare made his fortune by literally selling bottled fresh air to the polluted Thneedville. Well...
  • Just Here for Godzilla: The Onceler, whose fans basically turned into a fandom of their own separate from the general film.
  • Love It or Hate It: Critics are generally split right down the middle when it comes to their opinions on this film.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Dat's a woman??" Helped in no small way to aaaaaaaaaaall the trailers including this line!
  • Misaimed Marketing:
    • Mazda using the Lorax, with all its Green Aesops, to shill their gas-guzzling, pollution-spewing SUVs in this commercial.
    • Also promoting the movie is the typical host of theater paraphernalia... including putting the film's logo on disposable paper popcorn holders. Again, it does not take a genius to ascertain why this runs somewhat counter to the message of The Lorax.
  • Misblamed: A number of viewers and critics accused the Lorax of trying to kill Once-ler by sending him afloat the river on his bed... despite the fact that it was a freak accident from a sleeping Once-ler that put his life in jeopardy (his leg accidentally steers the bed down the wrong stream, toward a waterfall), and the Lorax outright says after he saves Once-ler that he didn't want him dead, just to "harmlessly drift away downstream". If he had really wanted Once-Ler dead, he probably wouldn't have used a pair of bar-ba-loots as a Magical Defibrillator.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Old Man Once-ler when he's first seen peering through the window and reaching out at Ted, but he just gets less scary from there.
    • Also, "How Bad Can I Be" is pretty fun and upbeat for a Villain Song...until the very end, which has a giant Once-ler looming over the entire forest which he is destroying, giving a Slasher Smile after shouting the last lyrics "HOW BAD COULD THIS POSSIBLY BEEEEEE?"
    • At the start of the song, it's phrased like a legitimate question, but by the end, it almost seems like a challenge.
    • If you think that's scary, listen to its Dark Reprise, Biggering (complete with storyboard to tickle your imagination). There was a reason it was cut from the film.
    Once-ler: "Who cares if some thing are DYING? I DON'T WANT TO HEAR YOUR CRYING!"
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Some find the Ted and Audrey subplot as this.
  • The Scrappy: O'Hare to some, both for being an unnecessary addition to the story and for being such a one-dimensional villain. Also, his design falls a bit into the Uncanny Valley. If this film was going to have a villain, couldn't it be one with charisma?
  • Straw Character: All versions of The Lorax have this to some extent, but the 2012 one in particular gives no explanation as to why people run corporations that could hurt the environment other than "they're greedy scumbags". The Once-Ler in the book was at least trying trying to make a fortune and do some good; in the film all he wants to do is to please his (strawman) family, and O'Hare in particular has more than once been compared to a Captain Planet villain.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Its more "lighthearted" moments which are subjected to overly cheerful song and dance numbers are this, most likely in the very beginning and very end. Its bright, colorful visuals don't help either. And completely caramelized when little 3-year old Marie suddenly started singing.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Characters, plural. The Once-Ler's family actually made far more interesting villains than O'Hare being naturally un-supportive, greedy, and manipulative. Wouldn't it have been better for more of the conflict to show them how destroying nature is a bad thing and along the way, maybe reconcile with his family?
  • What an Idiot:
    • Maybe the Once-Ler could have told his greedy family that harvesting Truffula leaves by clearing cutting the forest is as ridiculously self-destructive a business practice as an apple farmer harvesting by chopping down his orchard. Or if he just planted as many seeds as trees he cut down this would have never happened. Or the fact he didn't set his entire business around a single product from a limited resource.
    • The aforementioned Mis-blamed. If the Lorax wanted the Once-ler to float harmlessly down the stream, he should have placed him further down the stream, away from the waterfall turnoff, so there wouldn't be the possibility of him turning down into danger. The turnoff wasn't that far away from where he was placed, and a large roaring waterfall is hard to miss.
  • The Woobie: The Once-ler. His family and the townspeople mock him at first, his greed and years of success are glanced over and he ends up spending the majority of his life as a forgotten, guilt-ridden hermit. Had they shown more of his bad side, his punishment wouldn't seem so unjustifiably extreme.