Theodore "Ted" Wiggins, an idealistic 12-year-old boy, lives in "Thneedville", a walled city that, aside from the citizens, is completely artificial: everything is made of plastic, metal, or synthetics. Ted sets out to find a real tree for his friend Audrey. His energetic grandmother suggests he speak with the Once-ler about this, and he discovers that their city has been closed off from the outside world, which is a contaminated and empty wasteland. The Once-ler agrees to tell Ted about the trees if he listens to his story over multiple visits. Ted agrees, even after the mayor of Thneedville, Aloysius O'Hare, who is also the greedy proprietor of a bottled oxygen company, confronts the boy and pressures him to stay in town. Over the course of the movie, Ted, with the encouragement of his grandmother, continues to sneak out of O'Hare's sight and learns more of the history of the trees.
Over the visits, the Once-ler recounts the story of how he departed his family to make his fortune. In a lush Truffula Tree forest, he met the Lorax. He is a grumpy yet charming orange creature who served as guardian of the land. At first, the Once-ler had a plan to chop down the trees. Eventually, he promised not to chop another tree down. The young businessman's Thneed invention soon became a major success and the Once-ler's family arrived to participate in the business. Keeping his promise at first, the Once-ler continued Thneed production by harvesting the tufts themselves in a sustainable manner. Unfortunately, his greedy and lazy relatives convinced him to resume logging as a more efficient gathering method. Breaking his promise, the Once-ler's deforestation spiraled into a mass overproduction. Flush with wealth, the Once-lerrationalized his short sighted needs into arrogant self-righteousness and the helpless protests of the Lorax could not stop him. The Once-ler polluted the sky, river and landscape, until finally the last Truffula Tree fell... [continues]
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