IHAO on ... Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat

/\// tOrtUrE-jEssEl-A-thOn \\/\

Rotten Tomatoes - Critics 10% ; Audience 30%
Flickchart - 21936 of 28311 i.e. in the bottom quarter
IMDB - 3.7 rating
Metacritic - 19
Amazon.com - 3.2 stars

Dr. Seuss just doesn't translate to film, so it seems.  I mean, for some reason, people want to tear at the seams and take the good stuff and rip it apart, really twist it and break it and tear out its heart until it becomes some new somethingmajigger, thinking it has to be DIFFERENT and BIGGER.  The Lorax and Horton, the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, all of it garbage and they just ask forgiveness for ruining all our beloved Seuss books with environmentalism, consumerism, some new age plot hooks.  I don't want to be mad, I don't want to be upset; I'm just tired of really crap movies made for how much money they'll get.

The Cat in the Hat *cough cough* sorry, something took me over.  This movie, the Cat in the Hat, is awful.  Plain and simple.  It fails in every regard.  It is poorly made in every regard.  The worst stuff ... ok, I'm gonna save the worst stuff.  Let's talk about plot.  Of the movie, to be clear, not the book.

A woman has one absolutely terrible son and a pretty good, if bossy, daughter.  She doesn't discipline them well ... because their father is dead? Gone? Nonexistent? Doesn't matter, the movie never ever brings it up, not a single time.  She is a dating a terrible person, who is truly dreadful, but it doesn't matter because his evil plan is to send the terrible son to military school, which he 100% SHOULD be sent to.  Anyway, woman tells the kids "do not go in the living room."  Then the Cat shows up, and ruins everything all to make some half-assed point about "responsible fun" ... kinda ... and destroys the house, and then they stop the boyfriend from telling the mom that YES IN FACT the kids had destroyed the house, which they did with the Cat ... and then they get everything cleaned without any true difficulty and the bad boyfriend, who was totally in the right the whole movie despite his evilness, and no one suffers any consequences for their actions at all, and no one learns any real lessons, just some half-assed "loosen up sometimes, but also don't be too loose, and have fun" garbage.

That's just the PLOT.  And characterizations.  And that is just the tip of the iceberg.  There are terrible sound effects all the time, way more than are necessary, and mostly are confusing and out of place.  The editing is really bad, especially in a spacial reasoning way.  People will look out windows and see things that they just logically cannot.  People park their cars, then the car disappears as we get an insert of them walking.  The house's size and shape constantly alters its shape and layout.  Fast things look slow, slow things look fast.  And they do the terrible terrible "speed things up because that makes it more funny" thing that Lenny the Wonder Dog did ... but Lenny the Wonder Dog had the courtesy to at least amp it up and be obvious about it, instead of kinda of pretending to not do it.

And the jokes.  Oh god, the jokes.  And Mike Myers!  OH GOD, MIKE MYERS!  Mike Myers is incredibly miscast in this film.  This film wants to treat the Cat in the Hat as a Robin Williams Genie-styled character.  And Myers' skill set and acting range is just not that vast.  That is not what he is good at.  But Shrek was doing well, and he's played multiple characters before, so sure, let's try it.  And it is just so so awful.  He is constantly making jokes that no kid would understand or care about, and even worse, laugh at EVER. SINGLE. JOKE. HE. SAYS.  The movie straight up laughs at its own jokes CONSTANTLY.  It tries to force you to laugh along with it.  Look, I actually went and learned how to make gifs using the internet to do it easily with no difficulty to make a gif of this movie.  This gif sums up the entire film in one two second clip repeated over and over again for all eternity.


This movie is painful.  I was constantly pausing and yelling and getting up my nerve to go back and keep watching.  Even the production design, which is semi-interesting, is hollow and missing that charm of a Seuss book.  This movie doesn't CARE about being a Seuss book.  It cares about trying to bank on your memories and on an intellectual cash cow of a property.  You know what the plot of the original Cat in the Hat is?  Here, I'll tell you:

Two kids are bored at home because it is raining.  A magical cat shows up, offering to do some tricks, but ends up making a big mess.  Eventually he pulls in Thing 1 and Thing 2, and they make a bigger mess.  But he cleans it all up just in time for the mother to get home, where she asks the kids what they did, and we are prompted to wonder "What would you tell your mother in this situation?" Basically.

Yeah, I know, it is just whimsy and fun and a simple concept of being responsible when bored and trying to find something to do.  The Cat represents the kids imagination of doing something, ANYTHING, and their fish represents the "angel" on their shoulder, reminding them to be responsible.  And when everything is fine just as their mom gets home, we have to wonder if it is worth telling her "we messed everything up, but we cleaned it up before you got here" or not.  That is something simple, but surprisingly deep, and something that is profoundly kid-oriented.  But ... this ... GOD AWFUL ... TERRIBLE ... CURSE WORD SPEWING OUT OF MY MOUTH THOUGH I AM NOT TYPING THEM MOVIE ... it loses ALL of that in an attempt to make it about ... evil boyfriends and military school and trusting your kids? and not having to own up to any mistakes? and being conradictory to force others to fix things for you? and playing with creepy men that just show up in your house?! and signing contracts for NO REASON IT IS ABSOLUTELY MIND-NUMBINGLY RANCOROUS VILE EXCRIMENT OF CREATIVITY TO MAKE THIS WHOLE TERRIBLE MOVIE!

This hits the bottom of my barrel.  So far, very few films have made me feel the way this one does.  And most people disagree with me on those.  So for some, this might be the absolute bottom.  For me ... I'm not sure I can rank the bottom movies well enough for me to be comfortable saying it.  But I can say that the surprise review at the end of this torturous Torture-Jessel-A-Thon makes me as mad as this movie, and has just as many technical problems and miscasting problems and god awful terrible EVERYTHINGS makes me rip off my clothes and cover myself in ash as I scream to the heavens in anger, frustration, and sadness.  Stay tuned.

Grade: F---

  • June 3rd – Gigli (from Rachel Runion)  Grade: C
  • June 4th – Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (from Joel Gould)  Grade: D--
  • June 5th – Lenny the Wonder Dog (from Jason Schmidt)  Grade: F+
  • June 6th – The Cat in the Hat (from Josh Hendricks)  Grade: F---
  • June 7th – The Cat from Outer Space (from Nicole Clockel)
  • June 8th – Popeye (from Drew Turner)


  1. Replies
    1. Heh, no, it would seem I did not.

  2. Note: I bet you don't hate hate Popeye.

    1. I suppose we will find out on Sunday. :)