DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com
.
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main
WARNER

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Hawley Pratt
Cast:
Allan Sherman, Daws Butler, Pamelyn Ferdin, Tony Frazier, Gloria Camacho, Thurl Ravenscroft, Gene Morford
Writing Credits:
Dr. Seuss

Synopsis:
It's a rainy day at home and siblings Dick and Sally have nothing to do, but all of that changes when The Cat and his messy sidekicks, Thing One and Thing Two, burst onto the scene, bringing with them adventure and chaos much to the dismay of a worried pet goldfish. Come join the escapades in the remastered Deluxe Edition of the classic TV special, Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat ... Then, The Cat in the Hat narrates the story of Daisy-Head Mayzie, a girl who mistakenly thinks that the flower blooming on her head will only bring trouble, but eventually propels her to fame and fortune ... And finally, blast off to The Hoober-Bloob Highway, where every road from a space laboratory leads to Earth... and eventually to gratitude. It's Dr. Seuss-times-three in this fun and whimsical collection that's sure to be cherished by fans of all ages.

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audio:
English Monaural
Latin Spanish Monaural
Subtitles:
English
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
Latin Spanish

Runtime: 25 min.
Price: $24.98
Release Date: 8/7/2012

Bonus:
• Sing-A-Long Mode
• “Daisy-Head Mayzie” Animated Story
• “The Hoober-Blood Highway” Animated Story
• Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Dr. Seuss's The Cat In The Hat [Blu-Ray] (1971)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 1, 2012)

While arguably Dr. Seuss’s most read/beloved book, I suspect The Cat In the Hat lags behind other TV adaptations in terms of viewership. How the Grinch Stole Christmas will likely always be Seuss’s most adored TV special, and I think Horton Hears a Who also has attracted more attention/viewers over the years.

Perhaps I’m wrong and my belief stems from the 817 DVD releases of those two programs over the years. I’m not sure how many times we’ve seen DVDs of 1971’s Cat in the Hat, but for some reason, it never crossed my TV until this 2012 Blu-ray. Better late than never!

On one rainy day, youngsters Dick (Tony Frazier) and Sally (Pamelyn Ferdin) find themselves home alone and totally bored. Into this setting bursts the Cat in the Hat (Allan Sherman), a wild interloper who threatens to unsettle the entire household.

Family fish Karlos K. Krinklebein (Daws Butler) protests this intrusion and briefly gets the Cat evicted. However, when the Cat claims that someone stole his “three-handled family gradunza”, he interjects himself into the home again – and causes havoc along the way.

While other animated adaptations of Seuss works came with songs, I can’t think of others as tune-heavy as Cat. This is a legitimate musical, as few parts of the show pass without production numbers to accompany the story.

I suspect that’s to help pad the narrative to half-hour TV length. After all, there’s not much to the tale: the cat comes, he creates a ruckus, and he leaves. Of course, it comes with a lesson, I guess, as it’s kind of tough to pin down what – if anything – Seuss wanted kids to take away from Cat. I suppose one can see a theme of personal responsibility, as it’s okay that the kids party as long as they clean up after themselves at the end.

The presence of the unwanted guest creates confusion, though. One could see him as a cautionary tale: “don’t let strangers in the house”. However, the Cat ends up as a wholly benign figure. While he causes trouble in the short-term, he makes amends by the end, so the kids are no worse for wear. If the show intends to warn kids to keep strangers out of their homes, it does a crummy job of it; if anything, it seems likely to encourage such interactions.

Given that Seuss interjected morals/lessons into virtually all his work, it’s hard not to search for one here, but it’s possible none exists. A little research shows that he wrote Cat partly to give young readers something more interesting than the usual boring primers, and he also worked with an intentionally limited vocabulary; based on that, I suspect a theme/moral might not have been heavy on his mind.

Whether or not one chooses to analyze Cat for any potential lessons, it offers a likable TV special. Given that I’m not normally a fan of musicals, I should probably feel turned off by this adaptation, but it has such fun with its songs that I find it hard to resist. These don’t move along the plot, partly because the show barely offers a narrative; the songs/situations exist as entertainment unto themselves.

But the songs add pep to the proceedings. Add to that lively vocal performances from all involved – especially the deft, varied work of Sherman – and Cat turns into a high-quality TV special. It moves at a nice pace and creates good family entertainment.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio C+/ Bonus C

The Cat in the Hat appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.33:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The show looked very good throughout this nice transfer.

Sharpness was solid. The show offered good definition and delineation, with only minor signs of softness. Moiré effects and jagged edges did not present concerns, and I noticed no edge enhancement. Source flaws were a non-factor in this clean presentation.

Colors fared well. The show’s primary hues looked lively and full throughout the program. At times, the tones really popped, as the transfer reproduced the basic colors nicely. Black levels also looked deep and rich, and shadow detail was just fine. Overall, this was a strong image.

I also felt pleased with the monaural audio of Cat in the Hat. Dialogue appeared clear and acceptably crisp, without edginess or other issues. Music showed decent range, with a bit of bass along the way. Though the score and songs lacked great dimensionality, they offered acceptable dynamics. Effects weren’t a major factor here, but they seemed fine; those elements demonstrated acceptable clarity. This was a positive track for an old TV program.

A few extras fill out the set. We can watch Cat in Sing-A-Long Mode. This simply adds subtitles for the songs when they appear. These light up as they go, though, so they’re helpful if you do indeed choose to sing along with the show.

The disc includes two “animated stories”. We get 1995’s Daisy-Head Maizie (23:45) and 1975’s The Hoober-Bloob Highway (24:34). In Maizie, a flower suddenly grows out of the head of a young girl named Maizie (Fran McGrew); this sets off a ruckus. With “Highway”, we learn where babies come from – and how they select their destinations.

Of the two, “Highway” easily fares the best. It creates an unusual tale but mixes peppy songs and quirky humor to be a winning piece. “Maizie” seems less enchanting, mostly because it lacks much comedic bite; it’s painless but somewhat soggy.

The disc opens with ads for Tom and Jerry: Robin Hood and His Merry Mouse and Big Top Scooby Doo. Under Trailers, we also find promos for Tom and Jerry: Around the World, The Looney Tunes Show, Adventure Time and “More Scooby-Doo Titles”. No ad for Cat pops up here.

A second disc provides a DVD Copy of Cat in the Hat. It offers a retail DVD of the program, which means it comes with all the same extras as the Blu-ray.

Arguably Dr. Seuss’s best-known book, The Cat in the Hat emerges as an entertaining TV adaptation. It features good acting, fun songs and a brisk pace to make it a winning experience. The Blu-ray provides excellent visuals, adequate audio and a couple of bonus programs. The Blu-ray’s list price makes it a little expensive for what the package includes, but I think fans will be happy with this release.

Viewer Film Ratings: 5 Stars Number of Votes: 4
45:
04:
0 3:
02:
01:
View Averages for all rated titles.

.
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main