The Cat in the Hat (film)


The Cat in the Hat (film)
The Cat in the Hat

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Bo Welch
Produced by Brian Grazer
Screenplay by Alec Berg
David Mandel
Jeff Schaffer
Based on The Cat in the Hat by
Dr. Seuss
Narrated by Victor Brandt
Starring Mike Myers
Alec Baldwin
Spencer Breslin
Dakota Fanning
Kelly Preston
Amy Hill
Sean Hayes
Music by David Newman
Cinematography Emmanuel Lubezki
Editing by Don Zimmerman
Studio Imagine Entertainment
Distributed by Universal Pictures
DreamWorks
Release date(s) November 21, 2003 (2003-11-21)
Running time 82 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $109 million
Box office $133,960,541

The Cat in the Hat is a 2003 American slapstick comedy film loosely based on the 1957 book of the same name by Dr. Seuss. It was produced by Brian Grazer and directed by Bo Welch, and stars Mike Myers in the title role of the Cat in the Hat, and Dakota Fanning as Sally. Sally's brother, who is not named in the book, is in this version named "Conrad" and played by Spencer Breslin.

While the basic plot of the live-action adaptation of The Cat in the Hat revolves around that of the book, the film filled out its 82 minutes by adding new subplots and characters quite different from those of the original story, similar to How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Reviews were critically negative, criticizing the film's serious crude humor and mature content.

Mike Myers stated in an interview (on the day the film was released) that he expected there to be a sequel to the film (since after all, there was a sequel to the book, The Cat in the Hat Comes Back). However, it's unlikely this will ever happen, as Audrey Geisel (Dr. Seuss's widow) decided there would be no further live-action adaptations of Dr. Seuss' books following the bad reviews of the film, with confirmed legal threats if another live-action Seuss adaptation is produced.

Contents

Plot

When Joan Walden (Kelly Preston) is called back to work, she gets a babysitter to baby-sit her kids, Conrad (Spencer Breslin) and Sally (Dakota Fanning). Conrad, a twelve-year-old boy, has two problems: he is constantly doing the exact opposite of what he is supposed to do and causing trouble, and Sally, Conrad's eight-year-old little sister, tries to stop his trouble making and is being rather bossy and perfect. Their next door neighbor, Lawrence "Larry" Quinn (Alec Baldwin) dreams of marrying Joan and sending Conrad away to a military school to straighten up his behavior. When Joan leaves, their baby-sitter, Mrs. Kwan (Amy Hill), falls asleep. Not long after, it starts to rain outside and the children get bored. But then there is a thud somewhere in the house, and as the children go investigate, the Cat in the Hat (Mike Myers) appears. Once the cat introduces what he is there to do the Fish starts talking, arguing about him being here. The Cat ignores the Fish and then starts balancing on a ball with other things. After this, he convinces Conrad and Sally to sign a contract which will allow them to have all the fun they want, and will stop anything bad happening.

When they make cupcakes out of everything in the kitchen, the cupcakes explode causing a large, purple gooey mess. The Cat tries to clean up the mess with Joan's dress, much to the horror of Conrad and Sally. The Cat then brings in a large red crate, opens it, and releases Thing 1 and Thing 2 (voiced by Dan Castellaneta). Conrad is eager to open the crate again, but the Cat explains that the crate is a transport to his own world, and warns him not to open it. He then locks the crate. Conrad goes against the Cat's rules and sneakily opens the crate. The lock ends up on the collar of his dog, Nevins. Thing 1 and Thing 2 then throw Nevins out the window. Sally fusses over the state of the house, but The Cat warns them that they have more important things to worry about: if they do not put the lock back on the crate, they will be in the middle of "the mother of all messes". The trio puts the humorously heavy babysitter on the crate to buy some time, and chase after Nevins.

Meanwhile, Larry is revealed to be a rude, disgusting, unemployed slob who is too lazy to work for a living, and the only reason he wishes to marry Joan is for her money. He sees Nevins running through the street and seizes the opportunity to try to frame Conrad for being unable to take care of Nevins, just as the TV he is watching is being repossessed by a trio of Repo Men. Larry grabs Nevins and heads for Joan's office. Conrad, Sally, and the Cat catch up to Larry with a vehicle called the Super Luxurious Omnidirectional Whatchamajigger (SLOW) which ends up being destroyed in a crash. They then trick Larry into handing over Nevins and the crab lock by making him sign a petition about an acid-spitting Zumzizaroo with a large, over-sized pen that requires two hands. While The Things distract Joan and Larry, the trio get back home, unaware that the babysitter has fallen off the crate to answer a phone call from Joan and that all terror is breaking loose as the crate erupts. An obsessed Larry decides to run to the house and tells Joan to meet him there.

When Larry catches the kids at the doorway and takes them to the house, the Cat reappears. Larry stumbles backwards while sneezing (due to being allergic to cats), only to fall from a high cliff into the Cat's world. The kids are surprised at what has become of the house, being the "mother of all messes", just as the Cat had warned before.

They finally find the crate after passing through the Cat's world. They successfully close it, and the house returns to normal, but then suddenly collapses. The kids berate the Cat for not fixing things, despite the fact that he was not responsible for the mess. He admits that he planned the entire day, so the kids order him to leave. Much to their surprise, he comes back with Thing 1 and Thing 2 and a cleaning machine called the Dynamic Industrial Renovating Tractormajigger (DIRT). He explains that, when Conrad opened the crate, the contract was rendered null and void, thus explaining why bad things happened contrary to prior agreement. However, he then explains that "if Sally and Conrad learn from their mistakes the contract shall be reinstated". They clean up the mess, and the house is clean and put back together, much to the kids' relief. The Cat and the Things then leave the house, just in time for Joan to come home. Mrs. Kwan wakes up and tells Joan that the children were "angels" - she doesn't know anything about what happened because she was sound asleep the whole time. But then Larry barges in, covered from head to toe in purple slime and starts telling Joan about the mess and the Cat's world. Not believing Larry (as the house has already been cleaned), Joan declines his proposal of marriage and instead sends him away, much to Larry's sadness and horror and Conrad and Sally's delight. The party goes as scheduled; Joan carries a tray of purple cupcakes, and Sally tells her, "You can make cupcakes out of anything." The film ends with a shot of the Cat and the Things walking away on the street in the sunset.

Cast

  • Mike Myers as The Cat in the Hat, a giant, anthropomorphic, wise-cracking cat. His hat has many magical abilities: a CD player, a voice-changer, an airbag, a periscope, a box of tennis balls, and even a box to put the crate into when it shrinks.
  • Alec Baldwin as Lawrence "Larry" Quinn, the Walden's pompous next-door neighbor who is allergic to cats. He is determined to both: Marry Joan for her wealth and send Conrad to military school to straighten up his behavior.
  • Kelly Preston as Joan Walden, real-estate agent/Conrad and Sally's mother.
  • Spencer Breslin as Conrad Walden, Joan's destructive and misbehaved son.
  • Dakota Fanning as Sally Walden, Joan's dull and well-behaved daughter although she doesn't have the right to boss people about.
  • Sean Hayes as Mr. Hank Humberfloob, Joan's germophobic boss/the voice of The Fish, The Waldens' pet fish.
  • Amy Hill as Mrs. Kwan, an elderly lady who's hired to watch the kids, though she sleeps through her job. Her weight and sleep serves as a running gag.
  • Dan Castellaneta as the voices of Thing One and Two, two gibbering creatures the Cat brings with him.
  • Steven Anthony Lawrence as Schweitzer
  • Paris Hilton as Female Club-Goer
  • Frank Welker as the voice of Nevins, The Walden's pet dog. Nevins is three years old.
  • Candace Brown as a Secretary who works for Humberfloob Real Estate.
  • Victor Brandt as the Narrator, who tells the story. Revealed to be the Cat using a fake voice at the end.
  • Daran Norris as Announcer
  • Clint Howard as Kate the Caterer. Kate makes brownies, cakes, and pies for parties, weddings, funerals, and graduations.

Tim Allen was originally planned to play the role of the Cat, but dropped out at the last minute, since he was filming for The Santa Clause 2.[1] Coincidentally, Spencer Breslin appeared in both The Cat in the Hat and The Santa Clause 2.

Differences from the book and the film

  • At start of the book, it is rainy outside. In the film, it is sunny at first, then it is rainy.
  • In the book, all the things fall onto the floor. In the movie, The Cat catches the things when they fall.
  • In the book, Mother's dress is referred to as her gown. But, in the movie, it is referred to as her dress, most notably when Conrad and Sally say it's hers when the Cat gets the purple frosting off the wall with it.
  • The Cat and the children make cupcakes in the film. However, this scene is not included in the original story.
  • The Things help the Cat clean up in the movie. They did not do this in the book.

Reception

Critical response

The Cat in the Hat received disastrously negative reviews from critics. Review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 11% of critics gave the film a positive review out of 149 reviews, with the consensus statement being: "Filled with double entendres and potty humor, this Cat falls flat."[2] A characteristic evaluation was that of Ty Burr, writing in the Boston Globe: "The big-screen Cat represents everything corrupt, bloated, and wrong with mainstream Hollywood movies." However, the film did receive sixteen positive reviews, one of them on The Washington Post.

It also received an average grade of D+ from critics in the interpretation of Yahoo's film website.[3] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 19/100 based on 37 reviews.[4]

In its review on Common Sense Media, Nell Minow gave the film two stars and criticized the film's subplot. Minow said that it was an "iffy" choice for ages 5-7, as it was too mature for children who read Dr. Seuss' books due to its use of violence, language, double entendres, Dr. Seuss tie-ins, and drug references.[5] In its review on IGN, Steve Head gave the film two stars and stated, "Universal coughs up a swell-looking hairball."[6] Audrey Geisel (Dr. Seuss's widow, who holds the rights to his work) decided not to allow any further live-action adaptations of Seuss' work following the poor reviews of The Cat in the Hat, and also because of the film's mature content.[7]

Box office

The film only managed to recoup $101 million of its $109 million budget domestically at the box office; however, an additional $32 million from foreign countries brought the film's total box office revenue to $133 million.[8]

Awards

The Cat in the Hat was nominated for eight Razzie Awards, including Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Mike Myers), Worst Supporting Actor (Alec Baldwin), Worst Supporting Actress (Kelly Preston), Worst Director, Worst Screenplay and Worst Screen Couple (Myers and either Thing One or Thing Two), winning one for Worst Excuse for an Actual Movie (All Concept/No Content).

Soundtrack

The Cat in the Hat
Soundtrack album by David Newman
Released November 18, 2003
Recorded 2002
Genre Soundtrack
Length 48:55
Label Universal Classics

The soundtrack for the movie was released on November 18, 2003 (three days before the movie itself was released). It includes David Newman's score, plus a song by Smash Mouth ("Getting Better") and a couple songs performed by Mike Myers (the role of the Cat).

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Main Title - the Kids" (Composed by David Newman)     8:07
2. "Getting Better" (Performed by Smash Mouth)     2:24
3. "The Cat" (Composed by David Newman)     3:50
4. "Two Things - Couch Jumping - Lea..." (Composed by David Newman)     5:16
5. "Military Academy Seduction" (Composed by David Newman)     3:02
6. Untitled (Composed by David Newman)     2:12
7. "Surfer Cat - the Phunometer" (Composed by David Newman)     2:23
8. "Fun, Fun, Fun" (Performed by Mike Myers)     2:38
9. "The Contract" (Composed by David Newman)     1:53
10. "Oven Explodes - "Clean Up This Mess!"" (Composed by David Newman)     1:36
11. "Things Wreck the House" (Composed by David Newman)     2:52
12. "Larry the Slob" (Composed by David Newman)     3:10
13. "Birthday Party" (Composed by David Newman)     2:11
14. "S.L.O.W. Drive" (Composed by David Newman)     2:32
15. "Rescuing Nevens" (Composed by David Newman)     4:27
16. "Clean Up" (Composed by David Newman)     0:22
Total length:
48:55

See also

  • List of films based on Dr. Seuss books

References

  1. ^ "Meow Nix". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc.. 2001-11-16. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,183729,00.html. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  2. ^ Dr. Seuss - The Cat in the Hat - Rotten Tomatoes
  3. ^ The Yahoo film website gives a compendium of reviewer and public reaction to the 2003 film, as well as its box-office history
  4. ^ The Cat in the Hat - Metacritic
  5. ^ Minow, Nell Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat - Movie Review. Common Sense Media.
  6. ^ Head, Steve Universal coughs up a swell-looking hairball.. IGN Review. Retrieved November 20, 2003.
  7. ^ Seussentenial: 100 years of Dr. Seuss, MSNBC. 2/26/2004. Accessed September 2010.:"Geisel says she will never again allow Hollywood to portray Seuss characters in live action."
  8. ^ "The Cat in the Hat". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=catinthehat.htm. Retrieved February 20, 2010. 

External links


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