Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.


Dr. Seuss' The Lorax


Watch This Review

We hope you enjoyed this content. Be sure to share it with family and friends you think will enjoy it as well.

Movie Review

"I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees!"
So says this movie that's rated PG's.
It's based on a book from this guy Dr. Seuss,
Not Homer, not Grimm Brothers, not old Mother Goose.
It follows the story reasonably well,
Or at least so they say, and so I can tell.
It's about a young lad who lives in a place
Without trees or shrubs (a dismal disgrace)
And goes out to look for a real live tree
To give to a girl he'd much like to see.
But the trees are all gone, or so says the Once-ler,
He cut them all down, just like a dunce-ler.
The Lorax warned him through his bushy mustache,
But would Once-ler listen? No. He liked the cash.
The Lorax shows the world at its worst,
And it could be a favorite of the folks at Earth First!
But here at Plugged In we'll address other things,
The bravery, the violence, the dents and the dings.
Read on if you'd like, read on if you will,
We'll talk of The Lorax 'til you've had your full fill.
We'll watch for immodesty and make note of the fights,
And then we'll stop writing and bid you good night's.


Positive Elements

The Lorax has already generated a bit of controversy, with Fox Business commentator Lou Dobbs taking it (and The Secret of Arrietty) to task for trying to "indoctrinate our children." And there's no question that The Lorax offers viewers an unmistakable (and at times even heavy-handed) environmental message.

But while some older viewers may find The Lorax to be the vanguard of an environmentalist "Occupy Kiddie Theater" movement, the kiddies themselves—particularly the little ones—will probably not be inspired to picket the local widget factory. The explicit message of the film is that trees are kinda cool. And if a man were to cut every last one down, well, then he would be quite a fool.

Now I'm no expert, but I think most folks from across the political spectrum would say that a world without trees would be a sadder, emptier place—and not just because we'd all keel over and die from asphyxiation.

Viewers also get other nuggets of wisdom sprinkled around the roots. When the Once-ler drops the last Truffula tree seed into Ted's hands, he says, "It's not what it is. It's about what it can become." It's a nice reminder that we're all works in progress—growing all the time. That's particularly true of kids, who need care and nourishment, just like the seed. And the film tells us that we can all affect positive change if we work at it hard enough.

Spiritual Content

The Lorax (called the "guardian of the forest") might be taken as some sort of divine messenger—rising from a stump in a storm of cloud and lightning, and leaving the depleted forest by floating into the clouds. The planting of a tree is accompanied by a gospel-sounding tune that includes the refrain, "Let's celebrate the world's rebirth."

Sexual Content

Animated characters wear bikinis. Ted dreams of kissing Audrey—but never quite pulls it off.

Violent Content

Truffula trees suffer the worst abuse in The Lorax, and the sight of such extreme deforestation (paired with dramatic music) may disturb the youngest of moviegoers. But the film's assortment of fauna don't get off scot-free, either—though while we're supposed to feel sorry for the trees, the violence perpetrated upon humans and animals is presented as merely animated slapstick.

Ted is repeatedly roughed up—even by his friends. Audrey flips the kid down on the ground, and when Ted tries to make contact with the Once-ler, he's kicked with a mechanical boot and repeatedly lifted with (and dropped by) a set of very Seussian pincers. To get to the Once-ler's house, he must dodge a gauntlet of wrecked machinery loaded with dangerous blades, and he's eventually forced to escape his walled hometown (Thneedville) using perilous means. He falls down a hill and is threatened and chased by Mr. O'Hare, a tycoon who sells the city's air—now also in bottles!

The Lorax punches Once-ler in the nose (accidentally) and sends his bed down the river (on purpose, but without any real malicious intent). The Lorax and a bevy of woodland creatures are forced to rescue Once-ler and a stowaway Bar-ba-Loot bear when the bed takes a turn toward a waterfall. (The Once-ler saves the bear, but he himself needs to be revived with a shock of static electricity.) A donkey occasionally kicks people. Other animals make threatening moves toward the Once-ler (one slapping a bat-like stick in its hand) before they're distracted by … marshmallows. Once-ler drops an ax on a bear (trying to convince the Lorax that the bear chopped down a Truffula tree). Bears are thrown like footballs and run into trees. While mistaking the Once-ler's Aunt Grizelda for a man, the Lorax and she almost come to blows.

The head of a statue gets sliced off. Cars crash.

Crude or Profane Language

There's an unfinished "what the ...?" and a use or two each of "gosh" and "darn." Name-calling includes "weirdo," "idiot," "loser," "dirt bag," "beanpole," "furry meatloaf" and "crazy baby man."

Drug and Alcohol Content

None, though commercials for Mr. O'Hare's bottled air mimic (and mock) the over-the-top glamour we sometimes see in real-world ads for beer.

Other Negative Elements

Once-ler appears to not have had a very good upbringing. His mother and other relatives openly mock him. Then, when he becomes a big success, his mother embraces him—telling him that she always believed in him. Her doubt, she says, was simply her way of trying to motivate him. But when harvesting Truffula tufts begins feeling a little tedious to the family (now the Once-ler's employees), Once-ler's mother tells her boy that he needs to start cutting down whole trees. "You have to do what's good for the company!" She says. "And your mamma!" And finally, when all the trees are gone (thus eliminating Once-ler's business), the whole clan packs up and leaves—with Once-ler's mother telling him that she's very disappointed in him.

Once-ler breaks a promise to the Lorax and the rest of his woodland friends. A bird lays an egg in one of Once-ler's bowls (grossing him out). Folks hurl tomatoes at Once-ler; someone breaks his guitar. The Lorax brushes his teeth with Once-ler's toothbrush. We witness incredibly poor eating habits. Ted dashes through a bathroom, disrupting a guy's shower. (We hear a yelp and see a head poking out of the curtain.)


So, just why did Once-ler need to cut down the Truffula trees? To make thneeds, of course. And what is a thneed? Why, according to Dr. Seuss:

"A Thneed's a Fine-Something-That-All-People-Need!
It's a shirt. It's a sock. It's a glove. It's a hat.
But it has OTHER uses. Yes, far beyond that.
You can use it for carpets. For pillows! For sheets!
Or curtains! Or covers for bicycle seats!"

When paired with Seuss' illustration, of course—which makes the thneed look like a combination scarf/sweater gone horribly wrong—the author is really saying that the thneed is not particularly useful at all. In the book and the film, it looks about as indispensible as a pet rock.

The Lorax, then, is in some respects a real thneed of a film. Does anyone need to watch it? No. Would someone's life be markedly better if he did? Of course not. This is not Up. This is not How to Train Your Dragon. The Lorax is competent but not particularly moving or incisive or even hilarious. It's a movie that—unless you really love or loathe its environmental message—doesn't do much more than distract the kiddos for 94 minutes.

That sounds overly disparaging for a Dr. Seuss story, I realize, so let me get to the flip side: For families really in need of those 94 minutes of distraction—and aren't put off by the environmental preachiness—The Lorax is a solid choice. It's a film that perhaps snags its PG rating only because of the wanton violence we see perpetrated against lumber. It's mildly funny. It's cute. It's got some toe-tapping tunes.

And, of course, no Truffula trees were harmed in its making.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews




Readability Age Range


Comedy, Kids, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Musical, Animation



Voices of Danny DeVito as The Lorax; Ed Helms as The Once-ler; Zac Efron as Ted; Taylor Swift as Audrey; Betty White as Grammy Norma; Rob Riggle as Mr. O'Hare; Jenny Slate as Ted's Mom


Chris Renaud (Despicable Me) and Kyle Balda


Universal Pictures



Record Label



In Theaters

March 3, 2012

On Video

August 7, 2012

Year Published



Paul Asay

We hope you enjoyed this content. Be sure to share it with family and friends you think will enjoy it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!