‘Dr. Seuss' Deluxe Edition The Cat in the Hat' Blu-ray + DVD
The impishly clever and stylishly dressed feline that became Theodor Geisel's signature character makes his jaunty Blu-ray bow with “Dr. Seuss' Deluxe Edition The Cat in the Hat.”
To be clear, I'm not talking about the kitty-litter stink bomb that Mike Myers and director Bo Welch dropped with their 2003 live-action feature that allegedly adapted the good doctor's ingeniously written reading primer. That travesty of a movie was about as much fun as hacking up a hairball, so even though it is available in Blu-ray — in case you want to watch your childhood be shamefully defiled in crystalline high-definition — I'm not counting it and you can't make me.
Fortunately, I'm referring to Warner Bros' new two-disc Blu-ray and DVD repackaging of the 1971 “The Cat in the Hat” animated TV special.
The tuneful retelling of Seuss' buoyant children's story is the latest vintage television cartoon based on Geisel's books to get a high-definition debut in the wake of the blockbuster success of the animated feature films “Horton Hears a Who” and “The Lorax.”
Seuss actually penned the teleplay to “The Cat in the Hat” TV special and produced it along with Chuck Jones, best known for his contributions to the Looney Tunes canon. The 25-minute short has an unbridled zaniness that Bugs Bunny would appreciate, as Seuss' famously slim tale of a charismatic, 6-foot-tall, top hat-wearing cat who brings a bit of chaos and magic to two children's rainy afternoon turns into a musical search for a bizarrely named family heirloom.
In the cartoon, young Dick and Sally (voices of Tony Frazier and Pamelyn Ferdin) are left at home while their mother runs errands on a damp day. The siblings get shaken out of their bored stupor when the titular feline (Allan Sherman) saunters in hunting for his missing “moss-covered three-handled family gredunza.” The children, the cat and his energetic pals Thing 1 and Thing 2 (Thurl Ravenscroft and Lewis Morford) make quite a mess in their quest, to the consternation of fussy goldfish Mr. Krinklebein (Dawes Butler).
The fully remastered short looks fabulous in high-def, and the combo pack also comes with a new singalong option that highlights the fantastically bouncy original songs Seuss penned with composer Dean Elliott. Plus, the set includes the Emmy-nominated Seussian shorts “Daisy-Head Mayzie” (1995) and “The Hoober-Bloob Highway” (1975).
— Brandy McDonnell