VIDEO: The Cat in the Hat (2003)

Joey’s setting the record straight. He doesn’t want you to watch this movie. Here are five good reasons why you should stay away from The Cat in the Hat, the 2003 movie starring Mike Myers, Alec Baldwin, Dakota Fanning, and Spencer Breslin that (unsurprisingly) made Dr. Seuss’ widow pull the plug on all future live-action adaptations.

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  • MephLord

    I call this movie too cluttered and too busy.  Yet also boring (that seems hypocritical I know I just didn’t care what was happening).  I call it the Sweeny Todd Syndrome, if you don’t introduce characters and build them up then why should we care what happens to them?

    • TheCrazyFish

      I wouldn’t say hypocritical so much as contradictory. But no, I can totally see how it’s both too cluttered and also boring.

  • Sofie Liv

    I actually genuinely thought about reviewing this movie at some point. 
    Because of my love for Dr. Seuss, not his illustrations actually, but just his sheer gift in story telling, the morales he put out, the time-less small piece of glory, how he could describe with simple words, the rime. I think Doctor Seuss’s work is beauty, and I love it very much. I love all the small short movies he worked on as well which I think expanded the stories just the way they needed to be expanded for a visual movie.

    So yeah, the treatment of his work in Hollywood hurts me a lot.
    All though the animation department has been a little more careful with their adaptations, I just have to disagree, I don’t believe any movie yet has been living up to the Seuss legacy (which is impossible any-way if you ask me, but do at least try if you are really going to do it.)

    Nice video :)

    • Tedzey71

      Thank you! 

      I’m more accepting that movie adaptations are there own creations. Certain aspects of each medium are unique, and I’m one of the few people that can’t stand when the movie tries to recreate the book. Horton Hears a Who is possibly the best in regards to making it a feature length adaptation of it’s own creation. One aspect is how Blue Sky (the production company) took advantage of expanding Whoville characters and setting. Didn’t bother with the Lorax, though I will check it out on DVD.

      They will never replace the books, which is a staple in children of all ages literacy and creativity :).

    • Mike

      I used to think it was nearly impossible to make an effective feature length adaptation of a Dr. Seuss book because non of them were particully long. Which seemed to almost require adding of lot of backstory of additional characters that were bound to seem like a distraction from the basic story. Until recently, when I thought of Where the Wild Thing Are from 2009. That was one of the most spectacular family movies I’d seen released in recent years. It had been a long time since I’d seen the Maurice Sendak book, but I remembered it well enough to know it had very few words and was heavier on illustrations. Yet the movie stayed centered on the same basic story, was naturalistic with the dialouge rather than trying to sound hip or edgy, and took the time to let the audience get involved with Max and his struggles. Sometimes it didn’t even need dialouge to carry the scenes, having the wild things express themselves mainly through body language.
      So I don’t know, maybe an authentic adaptaion of the Dr. Suess book could to the big screen someday. It might have to come back later to explain how it might work.

  • FullofQuestions1

    Still finding new people on this site!
    I admit, this is the first time I’ve seen your stuff, and I love it! You are quite a funny guy! 

    This movie looks really painful, ugh. I can see why the NC refused to review it, and I commend you for being brave enough. For me, the trailer was enough to make my brain scream, “Avoid this like the plague!” and I’m usually a person who doesn’t pass movies up even if they sound bad.

    By the way, did you do a cameo for Magdalene O’Reilly/Nycea (Silver Screen Reviews) a little while back? Your voice sounds familiar.

    • Tedzey71

      Thank you! A while back I did a cameo for Magdalen. She needed a new Yorker to translate a scene for her. I think the review was for the movie “angels with dirty faces.”

  • TheCrazyFish

    Re: Length. Oh my God, let me tell you about this…I used to watch the animated How The Grinch Stole Christmas on TV every year and it was always about an hour long. One year my mom decided to rent the VHS (remember those, kids?) and watch that…it’s like 15 minutes, which makes sense considering it’s basically just some dude reading the book aloud while a cartoon of what’s happening plays in the background…think about that, though: how many commercials must they have crammed in there to stretch it out over an hour? A LOT.

    • FullofQuestions1

      Lol, when I was little, I once sat down to watch what was advertised as an “hour-long special” of Angelina Ballerina (go ahead, judge me). It turned out to be the length of a standard episode, and since PBS frowns upon most commercials, the rest of the time was devoted to promoting the DVD of the show :(

      • TheCrazyFish

        Well, I would judge you, except I have no idea what Angelina Ballerina is.

  • Olaf_the_Lofty

    Hello, Joey. Thanks for the review. You’ve fixed your sound problems: you’re perfectly audible now.
    Taking a very short story and attempting to turn it into a feature-length production by stuffing it with padding is NEVER a good idea. It is much better to cut details out than make them up, when they show up as inferior to the original.
    I haven’t seen the live-action Grinch, but on the whole I’ve always felt that as the books started out with cartoon-type illustrations, the old cartoon animations were the best way to bring them to life. Dr Seuss was hardly a realistic illustrator (!), and trying to twist human beings into the shapes of his figures is doomed. Mike Myers is much too fat to be the Cat, and the discrepancy between the white-painted human face in the middle and the tufts of artificial fur on either side is horrid.
    Fun fact: my father Disapproved of Dr Seuss for some weird reason, and we were only able to read his books from the library. I only possessed them by the time I was old enough to buy them for myself, by which time I was getting a bit old for them. When my sister had children my mother bought a 14-book boxed set of Dr Seuss and sent them to her so that they shouldn’t be similarly deprived.

    • Tedzey71

      For this review, I actually ditched the microphone and went with the one recording with the camera since I wasn’t concern with picking up audio from the background. I’m glad it worked for the best :)

      The first dr Seuss book I read was “the foot book,” and it’s been with me for the longest time. Possibly Quentin Tarantinos favorite book as well, but I digress ;). When I was a kid, I don’t remember having alot of dr seuss books around the house other than that one. I do clearly remember one year where all my books were photo-copied (pretty ghetto, dad :/). That and my school would always have hardcovers to borrow.

  • Jeff Bradford

    Do you really keep your glasses in your pocket while you sleep?

    • Tedzey71

      You bet! 

  • Arcadiassx

    Nice Review.  I cant stand today’s washed out color scheme in films today, they think that it makes it “edgy”, so i don’t mind if color is splashed all over the place. 

    Is that a nod to Redlettermedia with the countdowns?  But wow, $100m yeah, Cat is a horrible project as it is, sad really. With the right team that idea could have been something special.

    • Tedzey71

      Yep, I was thinking about Plinklett when I recorded the dialogue for the countdown. ;)

      I didn’t mention it in my list, but I think the direction was confused. If you go to Bo Welch’s IMDB page, there isn’t a whole lot of credentials for directing. It’s obvious that he’s a great set designer with a ton of good movies to support it. However I think that his inexperience as a director made it very easy for Mike Myers to inject his raunchy humor and take advantage of him. But it’s just a theory.

    • FullofQuestions1

      While I do agree with the first part to some extent, looking at these clips, there is no movie where the amount of color has hurt my eyes more than this one with the exception of certain black and white films that are colorized (Reefer Madness with colors is pretty fun though).

  • Jeff Bradford

    Oh and Good news! There’s rumor of a remake! A CGI REMAKE!!! Hopefully now they’ll catch the magic that is The Cat in the Hat! Personally I’d love to see a series of short films from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

    • Tedzey71

      I’ve heard as well. I would be more than happy if they have the Cat tell Dr Seuss short stories as opposed to another adaptation of the same book. It might be too early in development to assume that they will make it another direct adaptation. A Daisy Head Maisy film would be awesome, or Gerald McBoing Boing!

  • Frodo Baggins

    Adaptation.

    A… dap… TAAAAAYYYY… shun.

    • Guest

      Consult a dictionary, smart guy. “Adaption” is a perfectly valid word.

      • TheCrazyFish

         I normally don’t mess with dictionaries too much. I figure as long as you know what the person meant who cares what word they used? But just for the heck of it I decided to do a search on dictionary.com … it redirected me to “adaptation” with a side note for “adaption” as “a misspelling of adaptation.”

        That said, Mr. Frodo? No one likes a grammar nazi.

        • Monoceros4

          Speak for yourself, sparky. The repetition of “adaption” was like watching an orator delivering a polished speech only to pick his nose every few minutes.

          • Guest

            Do you normally have that reaction to someone using a word correctly?

          • MichaelANovelli

            Well, you understood what he meant, and since proper communication is generally not defined as “always using the correct words” but “conveying your point in as few words as possible”, even I, a huge grammar Nazi in my own right, give Joey a pass on this one…

          • Tedzey71

            Thanks Mendo! 

          • MichaelANovelli

            No worries…  :-)

          • TheCrazyFish

            The thing is, those polished speeches usually contain typoes too. Go back and read a transcript of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have A Dream” speech or one of John F. Kennedy’s speeches. Amazing public speakers, yet they still made mistakes. Oh, and let’s not forget the famous yet grammatically torturous line “I am become Death…”

            It doesn’t matter. Most people don’t even notice these things unless they’re looking for them. I never noticed the whole “adaption” thing until people brought it up in the comments. Either way, you knew what he meant, so who cares?

            The funniest part of the whole thing is that he’s only wrong technically, if at all. At worst he’s using a colloquial or slang version of the word, at best he’s actually using a real word correctly.

          • TheCrazyFish

             Or, to put it another way…

            http://xkcd.com/326/

        • Cristiona

          …which is why I use the Merriam-Webster site instead of dictionary.com.  M-W lists it as an alternate form of adaptation, dating back to 1704.

      • Frodo Baggins

        Well I’ll be God damned. Don’t tell me “nucular” is a real word too?

    • Tedzey71

      To be fair, I have said adaptions over adaptations for a while now and it really wasn’t that big of a deal. Especially since I wrote my script to Microsoft Word with spellcheck before shooting.

      Basically, if spellcheck is wrong; then the apocalypse is right around the corner!

      • Olaf_the_Lofty

        “adaption” is given in the Oxford English Dictionary, and dates back to 1704, when it was used by Jonathan Swift in “Tale of a Tub”. There is also a reference to Dickens, who used it in 1860. If any of you wishes to say that Dickens or Swift is a “fucking idiot”, I will have to ask him to step outside. :-)

  • This movie is Mike Myers’ performing all his SNL material while wearing a cat suit for an hour and a half…. Just an excuse for kids to see the Cat bounce around for 90 minutes

  • Hey Joey, a good review overall–I agree with all your points.  However, I do cringed every time you used adaption instead of adaptation.  Let me clarify–adaption is indeed a real word.  For example, a species may make an adaption to its environment. Perfectly acceptable. However, when you alter a story from one medium to another, that is an adaptation.  It may be a small thing, but I can I am not the only one who found it irksome.

    • Tedzey71

      It’s a habit I should break out of, and thank you for bringing it to my attention. As I mentioned before, both words are used for each other where I’m from. However, I do take these comments seriously; and otherwise thank you for watching my silly little video :)

    • Olaf_the_Lofty

       Again, I quote the Oxford English Dictionary:
      adaption

      (əˈdæpʃən)

      [f. adapt v. as if formed on a L. ppl. stem; cf. adopt-ion. See -ion1.]

      = adaptation; the action of adapting.
      They consider the two words synonymous.

    • Guest

      When you’re critiquing somebody’s grammar, it helps to not make a couple of huge grammatical errors yourself.

      It also helps to not make up your own definitions for words.

  • Holy crap, Daisy-Head Mayzie! I haven’t seen that Dr. Seuss film in years!

    This film sucks, and it’s no wonder Seuss’ widow forbade any more live action films to be made of his work. Too bad that didn’t extend to CGI, because for every Horton Hears A Who! adaptation, there’s a Lorax adaptation.

  • I dont know what you are talking about this movie was funny. I like mike myers and I think the was playing himself he’s always like that exactly like in austin powers. He’s the only reason I watched this movie as a kid and I thought it was funny enough. Overall I would never watch it twice but you were offended by the hoe joke?! seriously?

    • Tedzey71

      In a Doctor Seuss movie, whose work is highly regarded and a giant influence to literacy for young readers? I can sympathize with adult humor for a family film like Shrek, but there was too much that crossed a line. To answer your question, it did offend me. If you weren’t then more power to you; but I hold Dr. Seuss to a higher degree than this.

  • Wesley Hunt

    I don’t know why I watched this movie so much as a kid, I will never know. But I’m sure I was left developmentally challenged as a result.

  • The word you thinking of is “adaptation”.

    • Joseph Patrick

      And the word that describes your comment is “ignorance.”

  • Henry

    I just want you to know, Joey, that I think you’re disgusting. I don’t care how you feel about this film, you don’t need to rip up the disc for us to see. Violence is never right and that is insensitive to people in poverty. Anyway I don’t agree with you, I saw your review of The Lorax and think it is the wrong way round, The Lorax is the worst and The Cat In The Hat is not very good. You see, at least The Cat In The Hat is less cringe-worthy, cheesey, filled with stupid music and with a bit better set design than The Lorax’s nothing animation. The Cat In The Hat is a poor film but unlike The Lorax has a few redeeming features. I do wonder how old you were when you did this though, maybe you weren’t so mature then. ps adaptation is a better word than adaption and the beginning of your review is creepy.

    • Muthsarah

      “I just want you to know, Joey, that I think you’re disgusting. I don’t care how you feel about this film, you don’t need to rip up the disc forus to see. Violence is never right and that is insensitive to people in poverty.”

      You’re absolutely right, How dare you, Joey! How DARE you!

      You should have donated that DVD to some poor person. More than anyone else, they should be spending their time watching horrible stuff that’ll rot their souls, instead of, y’know, spending that time getting some actual enjoyment out of life. While I’m at it, how dare you throw away your used toothbrushes, or your ripped socks. Or that can of soup that you bought that one time that had a huge dent in the side of it, and which smelled like rotting meat. You should have taken all that stuff, put it in a trash bag (that you conscientiously found on the street – waste not, want not), and given it to the first homeless person you saw, so they know that your heart’s in the right place.

      • Henry

        Muthsarah, I see your point but throwing away your used toothbrush is throwing away something out of use from time, this film may seem out of use, but it doesn’t mean it has expired. Also it would have been more pleasant if he had told us he was going to do it, rather than showing us.

        • Muthsarah

          Someone destroying a rare property, like a cassette of an obscure B-movie from the 1980s that never made the leap to DVD, and which could, potentially, have had nothing more than a very, VERY limited run on VHS (imagine if “The Room”, or “Manos, the Hands of Fate” had been lost), on account of thinking “well, this sucks compared to REAL movies”, I get that. I’ve had a hard time watching certain endings of certain RedLetterMedia Best of the Worsts. Where these snarky guys are mangling a VHS tape of what is clearly a non-professional’s potential years-in-the-making amateurish labour-of-love…yeah, that’s disturbed me a bit. Feels like a bunch of modern-day cynics destroying something that some average-Joes-and-Janes maybe worked very hard on, and maybe something they knew wasn’t good, but it was THEIRS. Feels like spitting on the very idea of a non-professional moviemaker troupe trying their hand at emulating their heroes.

          …And then there’s The Cat in the Hat. A big-budget, mass-produced, wide-released, can-probably-still-find-several-copies-at-any-given-WalMart movie that almost NOBODY liked, and one that even its star had to be pressured into starring in because of a years-long breach-of-contract lawsuit.

          This is not remotely like destroying somebody’s (cinematic) baby. Or showing disrespect to some poor, Z-grade filmmaker who was honestly trying his/her best. This particular disc is a one-OF-a-dozen-million steaming turds on plastic which is only valuable to the world as an example of how even a ton of money cannot guarantee quality entertainment. It’s not a notable failure, it’s a failure we all saw coming a mile away. Something the industry will long remember, even if the rest of us are probably better off repressing. It will never leave us. It will always be there, in digital media too. Anyone (in the First World) alive c. ten years ago will probably always remember it to some extent, even if they didn’t see it. And yet, you can always, ALWAYS buy one – cheap! – if you want one. Because, odds are, no-one else does.

          If one guy wants to break a mass-produced object of negligible-at-the-most-dubiously-best value to show his contempt for something even the industry that spawned it probably acknowledges was bad, even though it really, really shouldn’t have been so, then so what? He bought it (presumably….), and there are millions more like it. He’s not depriving anybody of anything. Where’s the damage done?

          Do you really feel we need trigger warnings for the bending, warping, and snapping of disposable, replaceable, worthless millimeter-thick plastic discs? And, seriously, calling Joey “disgusting”? The idea of breaking a disc (that he, presumably, owns) as “violent” is silly enough (Blockbuster Buster would make you faint, I would advise YOU never to check him out). But “disgusting” is an insulting term. I’m not offended on his behalf, but it’s still an unwarranted remark. You act like he kicked a dog on his show, or maybe showed a live feed of him offering a mouse to a pet snake. All he did was take one piece of plastic, and turn it into two or more pieces of plastic.

          • Joseph Patrick

            Pretty much. I’m a “show, not tell” type of guy. So when I want to convey how much I hate something, biting the bullet and tearing apart a 5 dollar DVD on camera was pretty much what I had in mind.

            There’s a terrorist organization killing innocents in the middle east. Ferguson, Missouri is sending racism back to the 1940s’ and an Ebola outbreak in Africa is devastating thousands. These are things I worry about in life. Not a broken DVD to a shit movie I reviewed years ago.

            Have a good day, Henry!

          • Henry

            Well then I want both of you to know that I don’t care about my opinions being shared because I have my mind and I don’t expect to make people agree with me, the world would not be realistic for everyone to agree anyway. I feel the way I do about it, you two disagree, I’m not bothered. I don’t see why we need to get from this to talking about terrorism, but whatever, I’m not bothered to make the connection because every small thing in the world is important in it’s own right, but whatever. I would feel I wasted my money doing that, but you’re free to do what you want with your own money, or if someone gave it to you with theirs, with their money then. I’ve already seen Blockbuster Buster [thanks for telling me though] and had less to say about his review, which didn’t make me faint at all. ps if people do reviews, people give them feedback, just as people press dislike, I don’t see how that’s insulting. And now I am going to move on from this conversation. Bye bye.

  • Morgan

    I know that this is a flawed film but I can’t believe you don’t mention any of the good things about it, like the villain getting a bad ending, the funniness of the fish saying “Oh my cod,” the way that Humberflood sounds like a name in a Dr Seuss book and that Mike Myers wasn’t the first choice for it, Tim Allen was. You clearly just don’t see it how I do, but I guess your mind is just different in that way to mine, and you don’t see any good in it. Fair enough, your loss, or for you, your satisfaction.

  • Morgan

    Also I noticed that you said “Burn this film” or something like that as a comment on the Blockbuster Buster’s Review for this film and I think that because of what it would look like to see a fire, the idea of setting something on fire is a horrible sight to picture, just like Henry didn’t like you tearing up the disc of this film.