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Characters / The Lorax

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From the animated film:

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    The Once-ler
Voiced by: Ed Helms

The Once-ler is an old man who recounts to Ted Wiggins how his discovery of the Truffula Forest as a young adult led to its depletion. Therefore, he could be considered a (former) secondary antagonist as well as the story's main protagonist.

  • Adaptational Nice Guy: In the original story, The Once-ler's motivation was nothing but pure greed from start until he cuts down the last Truffula tree. In the movie, he starts out as a fairly decent guy who just wants to impress his family and even agrees not to cut down any more Truffula trees until his family shows up.
  • Adorkable: A clumsy, thin guy who loves to sing.
  • Affably Evil: Although the "affable" and "evil" sides of him are not simultaneous. While genuinely nice before his factory is built, after the several years that pass during How Bad Can I Be, he's about as ill-disposed towards the Lorax as it gets.
  • Affectionate Nickname: The Lorax endearingly refers to him as "beanpole" a few times.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: He was the constant target of his family's emotional abuse.
  • Ambiguously Gay: He likes to knit, sing and cook, and likes pink. He seems pretty into fashion, and his dance moves consist of a lot of hip/butt shaking. If he isn't Camp Gay, then he's certainly Camp Straight.
  • Ambiguously Human: In the book, as his face isn't seen and his limbs are green, but it isn't clear if it is clothing or his body (in the movie, it is the former).
  • Ambition Is Evil: His ambition to create a successful business and earn the approval of his family, especially his mother is what leads to him becoming a villain.
  • Anti-Villain: He never had any malicious intent towards the forest.
  • The Atoner: He spent all of his life saving/developing a seed that would help help re-create the forests.
  • An Axe to Grind: Has both a regular one to cut down trees, and a Visual Pun version- an electric guitar.
  • Big Eater: Implied. In one particular scene, he cheerfully whips up a ninth serving of pancakes and offers them to the animals, many of whom are moaning and clutching their stomachs. It's assumed that he's eaten roughly the same amount they have, and yet he suffers no ill effects from it. He can also easily put away a bag of marshmallows.
  • Byronic Hero: A bizarre example; considering he's a character from an adaptation of a Dr. Seuss book. Nonetheless, he qualifies - he's handsome, morally conflicted, desperate to prove himself, and makes a huge mistake that leads to him becoming bitter until he's finally able to do something to fix it.
  • Classic Villain: Vice: Greed. His Villain Song is about greed. What do you think "biggering" means?
  • Conspicuous Gloves: Wears elbow-length green gloves from his Villain Song onward. He also puts on green work gloves when he cuts down the first tree.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Temporarily, but badly.
  • Deadpan Snarker: More so in his old age.
  • Deuteragonist: Technically this, although his story gets more focus than Ted's.
  • Drunk with Power: His successful company led him to make very bad choices.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The scene where he is digging through his cart and throwing his things willy-nilly. He comes within a hair's-breadth of harming several forest creatures on accident. It helps to establish his character as a well-meaning instigator of environmental doom.
  • Evil Costume Switch: The green suit. Even after his Heel–Face Turn, he continues to wear it.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Breaks his promise with the Lorax in favor of his business and family, and heads down the slippery slope from there.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: And back to nobody again.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: He invents the Thneed, the Super-Axe-Hacker, and the various mobile contraptions around his house.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: He is largely hidden behind a boarded-up window while telling his story to Ted. In the book, his face isn't seen at all, showing only his arms and legs.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After witnessing the animals and the Lorax leave, the Once-ler spends his entire life regretting it.
  • The Hermit: Becomes this after the trees are gone and his business goes under, the animals leave in order to survive and his family outright abandons him.
  • Hipster: Trendiness is a large part of his character, and defines the Thneed as a fad item that no one actually needs. This becomes significant when he ultimately ends up alone, forgotten and out of touch with society.
  • I Gave My Word: Subverted. His promise to the Lorax to not cut down trees does not last. And no amount of peer pressure is enough to make the Lorax forget it.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: He just wanted to become successful in order to finally win the love and respect of his family, especially his mother's.
  • Jerk Justifications: His Face–Heel Turn consists almost entirely of these, both Types 1 and 3, and several more besides.
  • Kick the Dog: Despite being an Anti-Villain, some of his actions during "How Bad Can I Be" are undeniably cruel.
  • Knight Templar: He goes so far as to tell the Lorax "My conscience is clear."
  • Large Ham: Can be quite dramatic.
  • Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair!: Basically the whole premise of his character.
  • Meaningful Name: Though he has a somewhat different motivation than the original, he still ends up using resources "once".
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: The elderly Once-Ler.
  • Mr. Fanservice: His ass got a lot of screen time, and he seemed to like to show it off. He also strips down at one point, and later crawls across a table toward the audience.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: His reaction when he sees the landscape after the last tree goes down.
  • Nice Hat: He wears a fedora, and later a top hat.
  • Noodle People: The second type. The Lorax doesn't call him "Beanpole" for nothing.
  • Not Good with People: He ironically seems to be more comfortable around the animals than other people.
  • Only One Name: He's known only as the Once-ler.
  • Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: Although that still doesn't say much for his integrity.
  • Pet the Dog: His rescue of Pipsqueak.
  • Predecessor Villain: He is this to O'Hare.
  • Pretty Boy: Young, slender and not exactly the most masculine man with big blue eyes and a baby face.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: "There's nothing unmanly about knitting."
  • Selective Obliviousness: He ends up ignoring what is blindingly obvious to the audience, because he has achieved his goal of success.
  • Slasher Smile: Has one at the end of his Villain Song, driving the point home that this is no longer the nice, innocent young salesman who began the song.
  • The Social Darwinist: Invokes this during "How Bad Can I Be" (and also in Biggering) in terms of business vs. nature.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": The Once-ler.
  • Tempting Fate: He rants to the Lorax "I have my rights, and I intend to keep on biggering and biggering and turning more Truffula trees into thneeds! And NOTHING IS GOING TO STOP ME!" Cue a zoom to an Ax-Hacker approaching the last tree...
  • Token Good Teammate: The only one in his family with something resembling a working conscience.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: The Once-ler undergoes a jarring change in temperament (As part of a Face–Heel Turn in a Descent into Darkness Song) when his Thneed business becomes a success, turning from a mostly good-natured guy into a greedy, arrogant Corrupt Corporate Executive, carelessly abusing and exploiting the forest creatures he'd previously befriended.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: He then spent the rest of his life trying to fix his mistake and rebuild the forest.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Marshmallows.
  • The Unfavorite: He only became the favorite when his mother realized he could make a fortune.
  • Villain Protagonist: See Face–Heel Turn section.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He only wanted his family's affection (initially, anyway), especially his mother's.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He basically unleashes his personal issues on the world and gets high on his own power and success, realizing the harm he's done after the fact and regretting it.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Invoked. At one point, the Lorax is about to fight the Once-ler's Aunt Grizelda, and the Once-ler exclaims, "You wouldn't hit a woman, would you?"

    The Lorax
Voiced by: Danny DeVito

Lorax is the Guardian of the Forest. He speaks for the trees.

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the book, his fur was tan. But in the movie, it was orange.
  • Badass Moustache: Quite a nifty looking one.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Whenever it comes to the Once-ler.
  • Demoted to Extra: Even though the movie's named after him, it's more about Ted and the Once-ler.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He wanted to get rid of Once-ler but he doesn't want to kill him. In the river bed scene The Lorax was horrified that Once-ler was unconscious and limped after he landed on the ground with Pipsqueak and did everything he can to wake Once-ler up.
  • Fights Like a Normal: Though it's made clear that he is magical, when asked by the Once-ler why he doesn't use his powers to stop him destroying the forest if he cares about it so much, the Lorax simply replies "That's not how it works."
  • Friend to All Living Things: He's friends with the forest animals and "speaks for the trees".
  • Morality Chain: To the Once-ler. Played straight at first, but ultimately averted as he cannot compete with the Once-ler's desire to succeed.
  • Nature Hero: "I speak for the trees".
  • Nature Spirit: He was summoned after the Once-ler cut down a tree.
  • Non-Dubbed Grunts: Subverted with Danny DeVito, since he re-recorded his lines as the Lorax in Spanish (both Latin American and European), Italian, German and Russian.
  • Power Floats: When he lifts himself away. And then un-lifts himself many years later.
  • Secondary Character Title: The movie's named after him, but isn't the protagonist.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: He has orange fur (except for his yellow beard) and green eyes.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With the Once-ler for a while. It looks like they might become this again at the end.


Voiced by: Zac Efron

Theodore "Ted" Wiggins is the deuteragonist of The Lorax. He is an idealistic 12-year old boy who wants to get a real tree for Audrey in order to impress her.

  • Adorkable: Whenever it comes to his crush, Audrey.
  • Ascended Extra: Compared to the book and the animated special.
  • Badass Biker: Can do some neat tricks on his bike.
  • Brainy Brunette: One of the most sane and resourceful characters in the story.
  • Determinator: Girl you like wants to see a tree? Venture out into the wastelands. Town won't listen to you? Knock down the walls.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: He's madly in love with the redheaded Audrey.
  • Hero of Another Story: Ted is the one who helps bring back the trees.
  • Identical Stranger: To the Once-ler when he was young.
  • Named by the Adaptation: His name was never revealed in the book or the 1972 adaptation.
  • Nice Guy: Summed by his willingness to find Audrey a real tree, even if it meant going into unknown, possibly dangerous territory.
  • Precocious Crush: Has a crush on Audrey, who is in High School.
  • Red Is Heroic: He's the hero of the story with a red and orange striped shirt, red bike, and red bike helmet.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: The Tiny Guy to Audrey's Huge Girl. Justified given their (slight) age difference.
  • Tuckerization: Ted is the actual name of Dr. Seuss.
  • Vocal Dissonance: His voice actor is twice his age. Averted in the 1972 adaptation.

Voiced by: Taylor Swift

Audrey is a kind hearted, good and nature loving girl who dreamed of one day being able to see a real tree. Thought we are not sure how she knew about it, it might have been a source like Grammy Norma who told her. The red head seems to be a good friend of Ted, and she seems to like him being around her.

  • Author Avatar: To producer (and widow of Dr. Seuss) Audrey Geisel.
  • Canon Foreigner: She never made an appearance in the original short or the book.
  • Fiery Redhead: She's passionate but more laid back than other examples of this trope.
  • Flat Character: She solely exists to be Ted's love interest and is merely a plot device to move his motivation along.
  • Friend to All Living Things: She is loving and caring of all living things.
  • Granola Girl: A Downplayed example. She'd rather have the trees back than have to constantly buy air from O'Hare, but then again, it makes perfect sense to want to be able to get a resource from a free natural source than from an expensive corporation. Also, given the Crapsaccharine nature of the world; wanting nature to come back isn't an unreasonable request.
  • Nature Lover: Loves the idea of trees. Shown symbolically through her green eyes.
  • Nice Girl: Audrey is a sweet, laid back teenager.
  • Redhead In Green: In Ted's fantasy where he presents her with a tree as a gift, she dons a green dress.
  • Smooch of Victory: Gives one to Ted for helping plant a real tree.

Voiced by: Rob Riggle

Aloysius O'Hare is the main antagonist. He is the mayor of Thneedville and the founder of O'Hare Air, a company for bottled air. He had the city walled off to hide the fact that air is available elsewhere for free.

  • Big Bad: For Ted's story.
  • Canon Foreigner: Never appeared in the original book or the ‘72 short.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: He doesn't have a problem threatening a boy.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: His entire life is built on greed, so he's not only caught off-guard, but doesn't seem to understand what's happening when one of his employees chooses to risk his job (indeed, his entire industry) so all of Thneedville will have a chance to live in a better world.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He speaks to Ted in a smarmy, chummy tone that barely masks his paranoia and greed.
  • Flat Character: He basically exists to give Ted's story some dramatic tension.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: In the Onceler's flashback, he's seen as a janitor. When his coworker asks what "the next big thing" will be, before coughing on the smog, that's when his vision began.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Invoked, then immediately defied. See below.
  • Ignored Epiphany: In the "Let It Grow" sequence, O'Hare looks like he's with the others, before he tries (and fails) to convince them to kill the seed.
  • Mister Big: Owns a big company.
  • The Napoleon: The shortest character in the film.
  • Properly Paranoid: Knows full well that the return of trees would sink his business, so he does everything he can to keep people from even being aware of their existence.
  • Tuckerization: O'Hare was named after Illumination's story artist Mark O'Hare.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: At the beginning.

    Ted's family
Voiced by: Jenny Slate (Ted's mother), Betty White (Granny Norma)

Ted's family consist of his mother (Mrs. Wiggins) and grandmother (Grammy Norma).

  • Action Mom: Both Ted's mom and grandma know how to get rough when it gets serious.
  • Canon Foreigner: They weren't from the original story or the 1972 adaptation.
  • Cool Old Lady: Ted's grandma. Convinces Ted to go find the Once-ler, evades O'Hare to protect the seed when he comes looking for it, and snowboards like a pro! Lampshaded in the latter scene.
    Audrey: (To Ted) Seriously? How cool is your grandma?!
  • Disappeared Dad: Ted's father was never seen.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: A downplayed instance; when O'Hare comes to visit and Ted is reluctant to speak to him, Ted's mom refers to Ted as Theodore Wiggins when she tells him to come meet O'Hare immediately.
  • Jewish Mother: Ted's mom is quite nagging.
  • Mama Bear: Ted's mom acted very nervous when O'Hare came to visit Ted. But the moment O'Hare and his goons mess with Ted, she drops all formalities and orders them to leave.

    Cy the O'Hare Delivery Guy 
Voiced by: Fletcher Sheridan

The delivery guy of Thneedville who delivers air to customers.

  • Acrofatic: Has a large belly yet is fit enough to survive falling into a manhole then keep on dancing and even pull off the splits while doing a high note.
  • Affably Evil: Not exactly evil, but he is working for the Big Bad of the film and appears to have a little bit of personal greed considering how he sniffs the money given to him by a client. Besides that is a genuinely pleasant and cool guy who is friendly towards everyone.
  • Badass Moustache: His moustache rivals the Lorax and the Once-Ler's.
  • Heel–Face Turn: He is the first person to turn against O'Hare and encourages everyone else to do the same.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Calls O'Hare a 'greedy dirtbag' for wanting to kill the seed, yet earlier in the movie can be seen taking a 100 dollar note off a client and smelling it. Granted, this was before his Heel–Face Turn.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives a short but amazing one to O'Hare after he fails to convince everyone to turn on Ted and the others.
    (Singing) You greedy dirtbag!
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Can pull off high notes and upbeat lyrics like a young fella despite being middle-aged.
  • The Singing Mute: Subverted. He's not mute, but he only speaks through singing, even when chewing O'Hare for his greedy nature.
  • Unstoppable Mailman: Gives off this impression. He's a cool upbeat delivery guy who likes to sing and isn't even fazed from falling down a manhole or doing the splits despite being overweight.
  • Vocal Dissonance: He has a fairly youthful and rhythmic despite being a middle-aged man.

    Citizens of Thneedville

The kooky citizens of Thneedville who while are aware of their home's environmental problems, still love it.

    The Once-ler's family
Voiced by: Nasim Pedrad (Once-ler's mother), Stephen Tobolowsky (Uncle Ubb), Elmarie Wendel (Aunt Grizelda), Danny Cooksey (Brett and Chet)

The Once-ler's abusive family.

  • Abusive Parents: Of the emotional variety.
  • Big Brother Bully: Brett and Chet abuse and tease their younger brother.
  • Deep South: The mother has a deep Southern accent.
  • Everyone Has Standards: After the Once-ler's business fails, Brett and Chett are shown to have looks of regret when their mother disowns their younger brother.
  • Evil Redhead: Aunt Grizelda is the only one with red hair and is also a Fat Bitch.
  • Fair Weather Friend: They're the picture of sweetness once the Once-ler's business starts to take off, only to abandon him when things go bad.
  • Fat Bitch: Aunt Grizelda is a big, mean woman.
  • Fur and Loathing: Once-ler's mother, much to the Lorax's horror.
  • Gold Digger: They only start being nice to Once-ler after his idea became a success.
  • Hair Decorations: Once-ler's mother has a red bow in her hair.
  • Hate Sink: Their screentime is so the audience could hate them and feel sorry for the Once-ler.
  • Jerkass: Not one of them is a likable person.
  • Karma Houdini: As far as we know, they never suffered the consequences of their actions, did they even survive the smog?
  • Kick the Dog: Repeatedly to the Once-ler.
  • Never My Fault: They don't think they did anything wrong when it comes to how they treat Once-ler.
  • Nice Hat: Everyone of them (sans Once-ler's mother) wears a head piece.
  • Parental Favoritism: Once-ler's mother dubs her most successful child as her "favorite child", meaning the title can change people.

    The Forest Critters

The animals that reside in the forests and friend of the Lorax, and later, the Once-ler.


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