Ted Wiggins, an idealistic 12-year-old boy, lives in “Thneed-Ville”, a walled city that, aside from the citizens, is completely, perfectly, artificial: everything is made of plastic, metal, or synthetics. Ted sets out to find the one thing that will win him the affection of Audrey, the girl of his dreams, who wishes to see a real tree. Ted's energetic grandmother suggests he speak with the Once-ler on the matter, 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 Thneed-Ville, Aloysius O'Hare, who is also the greedy proprietor of a bottled oxygen company, confronts the boy and pressures him to stay in town.
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