|The Lorax (TV Special)|
|Directed By||Hawley Pratt|
|Release Date||February 14, 1972|
The Lorax is a 1972 animated musical television special produced by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises. It first aired on CBS on February 14, 1972 (Valentine's Day) based on the book of the same name by Dr. Seuss. It last aired on July 30, 2005, as the airing of ABC.
One night, a young boy living in a polluted, grim world wanders down 'the street of the lifted Lorax.' Along the dark street, he comes to the residence of a creature named The Once-ler, a dark green-colored being whose face is never seen. He takes up an audience with the boy, and begins to explain the tale regarding the Lorax.
The land once thrived with truffula trees when the Once-ler first came to the area in a horse-drawn cart. Living among the foliage are the brown Bar-ba-Loots, who eat truffula fruit from the local trees. In the nearby pond live the Humming Fish, and overhead fly the Swomee Swans. The trees amaze the Once-ler with their texture and scent, and he soon builds a small shop in the area. After cutting down a truffula tree, the Lorax pops out of its stump. The Lorax claims to speak for the trees, and demands to know what the Once-ler is doing. The Once-ler explains that he is using the truffula tree's tufts to make something called a Thneed... a fine thing that all people need. The multi-purpose item soon attracts the attention of many customers, and the Once-ler continues to cut down more truffula trees. When it seems that the business is growing too big for just one Once-ler, he calls his relatives to help him with his thriving business.
Soon the once beautiful area becomes choked with pollution and the Lorax sends the fauna away to find more hospitable habitats. (First, the Brown Bar-ba-loots, which fed on Truffula fruits, are nearing starvation. Then the "smogulous smoke" fills the Swomee Swans' throats with smog, preventing them from singing. Finally, the pond that was home to the Humming Fish is filled with toxic waste called "Gluppity-Glupp" and "Schloppity-Schlopp" that clogs their gills.) Confronted by the Lorax, the Once-ler appears to be ready to listen, until his secretary explains that the company's stock report has come in, and 'Thneeds, Inc' is doing exceptionally well. The Once-ler then scoffs at the Lorax, claiming that he will keep on making Thneeds, regardless of the consequences. As he finishes his taunt, the sound of an ax is heard, and the two are witness to the leveling of the last truffula tree. With no more trees, the factory shuts down, and the Once-ler's relatives pack up and leave. The Lorax sadly glances at the Once-ler, before lifting himself by the seat of his pants, and disappearing through a hole in the smog. On the spot where the Lorax last stood, sits a small pile of rocks, with a word carved into one: "Unless."
The tale then switches back to the Once-ler talking to the boy, who is given a truffula seed by the Once-ler, encouraging the boy to help revitalize the long-dead trees, with the possibility that the Lorax and his friends may then come back.