‘Dr. Seuss's Deluxe Edition: Green Eggs and Ham and Other Stories'
More than 20 years after his death, Dr. Seuss's vividly iconic children's stories continue to resonate with new generations.
The blockbuster success this year of the new feature-length adaptation of “The Lorax” — it made $212 million domestically, ranking it just behind “The Avengers” and “The Hunger Games” as the top-grossing films of 2012 so far — has motivated Warner Bros. to remaster and rerelease some of the old shorts based on the good doctor's renowned rhyming books.
The latest cartoon to get the Blu-ray treatment is 1973's “Dr. Seuss on the Loose,” which has been renamed “Dr. Seuss's Deluxe Edition: Green Eggs and Ham and Other Stories” and will be released June 26.
The short takes three of the innovative author/illustrator's early-reader stories — “Green Eggs and Ham,” “The Zax” and my all-time favorite “The Sneetches” — and links them with snippets featuring the Cat in the Hat (voice of Allan Sherman).
Seuss (AKA Ted Geisel) produced the cartoon with Looney Tunes veteran Friz Freleng, who also helped him adapt “The Lorax” as a 1972 TV special. The peppy songs along with the tales' timeless themes hold up remarkably well, even if it's odd to hear Tigger's familiar laugh come out of the protagonist of “Green Eggs and Ham” (Paul Winchell voiced both characters).
With the high-definition makeover, Geisel's stunning illustrations get an extra dose of pizazz, particularly the candy-pink beaches of “The Sneetches,” the bright yellow grassland where “The Zax” stubbornly meet and the eye-poppingly hued title dish of the finale.
While $20 is a pretty steep price for a 24-minute short, the package at least comes with DVD and Blu-ray copies. Both discs include four interactive jigsaw puzzles that preschoolers and kindergartners can solve with the remote control and will enjoy at least a few times.
— Brandy McDonnell