minutia press.
Cat in the Hat is not All That

I have posted before about writers who continue to publish after they have died. I admire such people for their fortitude.

Ted Geisel (a/k/a Dr. Seuss) is one such author, having published Daisy Head Maizy posthumorously [sic].

Yesterday the entire fam' went to see the movie "Cat in the Hat". I went expecting the subtle, lyrical Seuss poetry and an over-the-top Cat played by Mike Myers.

As I understand it, Ted Geisel while alive refused to commercialize the Cat. He had many offers for the Cat to sell life insurance, cars, trips to DisneyWorld, but he staunchly refused to sell out the Cat. His wife Audrey wanted him to commercialize his characters, but he kept the Cat above all that. There was one short cartoon made about the Cat that was written by Dr. Seuss. It's very good, and features the voice of Allan Sherman as the Cat.

Since Ted's death, we have seen works published that probably never should have seen the light of day, and now we have the Cat movie that frankly is an insult to the memory and works of Ted Geisel.

My kids liked the movie for its antics and effects, and offered no commentary on Dr. Seuss at all. Myers comes off sounding more like the cowardly lion from "Wizard of Oz" than a Seuss Cat. The kids are nothing like what they are the book, neither in character nor in appearance. They find by the end of the movie that they love each other, a typical Disney touch, and a theme totally absent and unnecessary in the book.

There were some gratuitous songs, but the lyrics lacked that Seuss touch. By far, the best characters were Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Don't go see this movie. Don't put more money into Audrey Geisel's purse to encourage more of this kind of thing. Instead, go buy the book, stand in front of the theater, and offer the book to anyone who would otherwise buy a ticket and see this movie.


"a typical Disney touch" -- for shame! Disney had nothing to do with this, place the blame where blame is due--Universal and DreamWorks.

Posted by: Joe at November 24, 2003 1:38 PM

Your review echos almost all the sentiments in slate's review (http://slate.msn.com/id/2091472). You even share the comparison of Mike Myers as the Cat in the Hat to the Cowardly Lion. Perhaps you should take up professional moview reviewing?

Posted by: david at November 24, 2003 4:18 PM

Short and sweet, I saw a one word review of The Cat In The Hat movie: "Heinous."

Posted by: Chris2 at November 24, 2003 4:47 PM

My apologies Disney, you would never mess up a good story by putting in gratuitous sentimentality.

Posted by: rkc at November 25, 2003 6:13 AM

If you like people who publish posthumously, then you should see the new Tupac movie. (Although I might not bring the whole family to see it). Incidentally, Elvis is still the richest dead celebrity of all time, beating out Charles Schultz. Dr. Seuss is 5.

Posted by: Ari E-B at December 2, 2003 2:12 AM