Tripti Joshi

The Cat in the Hat (film)

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Director  Bo Welch
Adapted from  The Cat in the Hat
Country  United States
3.8/10 IMDb


Genre  Adventure, Comedy, Family
Duration  
Language  English
The Cat in the Hat (film) movie poster
Release date  November 21, 2003 (2003-11-21)
Based on  The Cat in the Hat  by Dr. Seuss
Writer  Dr. Seuss (book), Alec Berg (screenplay), David Mandel (screenplay), Jeff Schaffer (screenplay)
Songs  Main Title - The Kids (The Cat In The Hat/Soundtrack Version)
Cast  Mike Myers (The Cat), Alec Baldwin (Quinn), Kelly Preston (Mom), Dakota Fanning (Sally), Spencer Breslin (Conrad), Amy Hill (Mrs. Kwan)
Similar movies  2012, Cloverfield, 28 Weeks Later, Battle: Los Angeles
Tagline  Don't mess with the hat.

Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat is a 2003 American comedy film directed by Bo Welch. It is based on the 1957 Dr. Seuss book of the same name. The film stars Mike Myers in the title role of the Cat in the Hat, and Dakota Fanning as Sally. Sally's brother (who is unnamed in the book and the 1971 TV special), Conrad, is portrayed by Spencer Breslin. The film is the second feature-length Dr. Seuss adaptation after the 2000 holiday film How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Contents

The Cat in the Hat (film) movie scenes

The idea was originally conceived in 2001, with Tim Allen initially cast as the Cat, but he dropped his role due to work on The Santa Clause 2, and the role was later given to Myers. Filming took place in California for three months. While the basic plot parallels that of the book, the film filled out its 82 minutes by adding new subplots and characters significantly different from the original story, similar to the feature film adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

The Cat in the Hat (film) movie scenes

Released on November 21, 2003 in the United States, the film grossed $134 million worldwide. After the film's release, Seuss' widow, Audrey Geisel, decided not to allow any further live-action adaptations of Seuss' works to be produced, and as a result, a planned sequel based on The Cat in the Hat Comes Back was cancelled.

The Cat in the Hat (film) movie scenes

Plot

The Cat in the Hat (film) movie scenes

Conrad and Sally Walden live in the city of Anville with their mother, Joan Walden. Joan works for neat-freak Hank Humberfloob, and is hosting an office party at her house. One day, she is called back to the office, leaving the kids with Mrs. Kwan, a tired babysitter, and forbidding them to enter the living room, which is being kept pristine for the upcoming party. Joan is also dating their next-door neighbor, Larry Quinn, much to Conrad's dismay. Larry is constantly on the lookout for any mischief Conrad may be up to, as he wants nothing more than to send him away to military school, as Conrad has earned the reputation of "trouble-maker", while his sister is characterized as "perfect and well-behaved".

The Cat in the Hat (film) movie scenes

Once their mother leaves, Sally and Conrad meet a humanoid, oversized talking cat in a hat in their house. The cat wants them to learn to have fun, but the children's pet fish doesn't want the cat around when Joan is away. The Cat balances some stuff, ruins Joan's best dress, jumps on the living room's couch, and bakes cupcakes that explode. In the process, he even releases two trouble-making things, Thing 1 and Thing 2, from a crate that he explains is actually a portal to another world. The Cat tells Conrad that he only has one rule: never open the crate, then allows the Things to have fun, but they then release their true colors by making a mess out of the house. Despite the Cat's warning, Conrad picks the lock anyway. When the crate's lock attaches itself to the collar of the family dog, Nevins. Cat and the kids must go find him and the lock. They drive a super-powered car in search of Nevins and use Cat's magic hat, but face an obstacle when he loses it at one point. Conrad realises that the Things always do the opposite to what they're told. and that this can be used to their advantage and has them stall Joan so can they can get home before her.

The Cat in the Hat (film) movie scenes

Meanwhile, Larry is revealed to be a fat, unemployed man with false teeth and is in financial ruin, having been showing off the impression that he's a successful businessman in the hopes of marrying to Joan and sponging off of her. Larry sees Nevins running across the street and soon becomes wise to all of this and tracks down Joan to tell her, but Things 1 and 2 have stalled her on the road, posing as police officers. Larry is fed up about this, so he goes back to the house, telling Joan to meet him there.

The Cat in the Hat (film) movie scenes

By the time the kids and the Cat return to the house with the lock, "the mother of all messes" emits from the unlocked crate and enters the house. They navigate their way through the oversized house and find the crate sucking up things that disappears forever once gone through, after Sally is nearly sucked up but holding onto Conrad, Sally has to put her trust into Conrad that he will catch her when he lets go of her hand and puts the lock back on the crate. The plan works: The house returns to its normal proportions but then immediately falls apart. The Cat then tells the kids that he planned the whole day, including making not opening the crate his one rule, as he knew Conrad could not resist and also admits he never really lost his magic hat. The kids angrily tell the Cat to leave the house. Conrad prepares to face the consequences when Joan comes home, but Sally admits that she will share the blame. The Cat, having overheard this, happily returns to clean up the mess with a great cleaning contraption much to Conrad and Sally's surprise and delight. Afterwards The Cat says good-bye to Conrad and Sally as they plead him not to go but he departs as Joan is arriving. Larry arrives when all is restored, thinking he has busted the kids, but when Joan sees the clean house (and a messy Larry), she does not believe Larry and rejects him. After the successful party, Joan spends time with her children and the Cat.

Cast

The Cat in the Hat (film) movie scenes
  • Mike Myers as the Cat in the Hat, a huge, anthropomorphic, wise-cracking cat with a Brooklyn accent who wears a special hat which reveals many magical abilities.
  • Spencer Breslin as Conrad Walden, Joan's destructive and misbehaved son.
  • Dakota Fanning as Sally Walden, Joan's dull, well-behaved, and rule-obeying daughter.
  • Kelly Preston as Joan Walden, Conrad and Sally's mother, and a workaholic real-estate agent.
  • Alec Baldwin as Larry Quinn, the Waldens' pompous, lazy, unemployed next-door neighbor. He is revealed to be allergic to cats, steals food from the Waldens and gets away with it, and is determined to both marry Joan for her wealth and send Conrad to military school to straighten up his behavior.
  • Amy Hill as Mrs. Kwan, an elderly Taiwanese woman who gets hired to watch the kids, though she sleeps through her job. Her weight and sleep serves as a running gag.
  • Sean Hayes as Mr. Hank Humberfloob, Joan's boss. Hayes is also the voice of the family fish.
  • Danielle Chuchran and Taylor Rice as Thing One, and Brittany Oaks and Talia-Lynn Prairie as Thing Two; two gibbering trouble-making creatures that the Cat brings in with him. Dan Castellaneta provided the voices for both Things.
  • Steven Anthony Lawrence as Dumb Schweitzer
  • Paris Hilton as a female club-goer
  • Bugsy as Nevins, the Waldens' pet dog. Frank Welker provided his voice.
  • Candace Dean Brown as a secretary who works for the Humberfloob Real Estate.
  • Daran Norris as the Astounding Products Announcer
  • Clint Howard as Kate the Caterer
  • Paige Hurd as Denise, who doesn't speak to Sally anymore, not long after she talked back to her. She never invited Sally to her birthday party either since Sally earlier stated that she told Denise not to speak to her anymore.
  • Stephen Hibbert as Jim McFinnigan
  • Roger Morrisey as Mr. Vompatatat
  • Victor Brandt as the Narrator, who tells the story; he is revealed to be the Cat using a voice-changer at the end.
  • Development

    DreamWorks acquired rights to the original book in 1997. However, production did not originally start until after the 2000 Christmas/comedy film How the Grinch Stole Christmas, based on another Dr. Seuss book of the same name, became a commercial success. Brian Grazer, who was the producer of The Grinch, stated, "Because we grew up with these books, and because they have such universal themes and the illustrations ignite such fantasy in your mind as a child — the aggregation of all those feelings — it leaves an indelible, positive memory. And so when I realized I had a chance to convert first The Grinch and then, The Cat in the Hat, into movies, I was willing to do anything to bring them to the screen." Grazer contacted Bo Welch over the phone with the offer to direct the film, and he accepted. When production began, songs written by Randy Newman were dropped because they were deemed inferior. Newman's cousin, David Newman, composed the score for the film. Although Welch and a publicist for Myers denied it, several people said Myers had considerable input into the film's direction, telling some of the cast (co-stars Baldwin and Preston) how to perform their scenes.

    Casting

    Tim Allen was originally planned to play the role of the Cat. The script would be originally based on a story conceived by Allen, who admitted that as a child he was afraid of Seuss' "mischievous feline" babysitter. Allen stated, "My dream is to give it the edge that scared me." However, producers did not commission a screenplay until late February 2001, when Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer, and Dave Mandel (who were also writers on Seinfeld) were hired to write the script (replacing the original draft of the film that was written a few years before), so the film would not be ready to shoot before the deadline. Allen was also committed to shooting Disney's The Santa Clause 2, which was also delayed because Allen wanted a script rewrite. Due to a scheduling conflict with The Santa Clause 2, he dropped out his role. In March 2002, the role of the Cat was given to Mike Myers, even though he had an argument with Grazer about starring in a cancelled Saturday Night Live skit named Dieter. Myers stated in an interview that he was a long-time fan of the original Dr. Seuss book, and that it was the first book he ever read.

    Makeup and visual effects

    Makeup for the character was designed by Steve Johnson. The Cat costume was made of angora and human hair and was fitted with a cooling system. To keep Myers cool during the outdoor shoots, a portable air conditioner was available that connected a hose to the suit between shots. The tail and ears were battery operated. The Fish was considered somewhat of a unique character for Rhythm & Hues (responsible for some of the effects and animation in such films as Cats & Dogs, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and Scooby-Doo), in that the character had no shoulders, hips or legs, so all of the physical performance had to emit from the eyes, head and fin motion. Sean Hayes, who provided the voice for the Fish, found the role significantly different from his usual on-camera jobs; he did not know how the final animation would look, and all of his work took place alone in a sound booth.

    Filming

    Prior to filming, giant props for the film were stolen from the set. Local police found the props vandalized in a mall car park in Pomona, California. The props were covered with graffiti. No arrests had been made, and filming was to start the next week. Principal photography took place mostly in California from October 2002 until January 2003. The neighborhood and the town centre was filmed in a rural valley near Simi Valley, where 24 houses (each 26-feet square and 52-feet tall) were constructed. The downtown area outdoor shots were filmed along a Pomona street where a number of antique and gift shops are located. The community decided not to redecorate after filming ended, so the surreal paint scheme and some of the signage could still be seen as it appears in the film. Because of so much smog in the area, the sky had to be digitally replaced with the cartoon-like sky and colours of the background had to be digitally fixed.

    Music

    The soundtrack was released on November 18, 2003. It includes David Newman's score, plus a song by Smash Mouth ("Getting Better") and ("Hang On") that makes it the third film in a row playing a song in an film starring Mike Myers, after Shrek (2001) and Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002). The soundtrack also includes a couple of songs performed by Mike Myers (the role of the Cat). Newman's score won a BMI Film Music Award.

    Track listing

    All music composed by David Newman, except as noted.

    Home media

    The Cat in the Hat was released for VHS and DVD on March 16, 2004. It features 16 deleted scenes, 20 outtake scenes, almost a dozen featurettes, and a “Dance with the Cat” tutorial to teach kids a Cat in the Hat dance. On February 7, 2012, the film was released on Blu-ray.

    Box office

    The Cat in the Hat opened theatrically on November 21, 2003 and earned $38,329,160 in its opening weekend, ranking first in the North American box office. The film ended its theatrical run on March 18, 2004, having grossed $101,149,285 domestically and $32,811,256 overseas for a worldwide total of $133,960,541.

    Critical response

    Review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 10% approval rating based on reviews from 158 critics. The website's consensus reads: "Filled with double entendres and potty humor, this Cat falls flat." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 19/100 based on 37 reviews, indicating "overwhelming dislike". It also received an average grade of D+ from critics in the interpretation of Yahoo's film website.

    Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film one star, stating, "Cat, another over-blown Hollywood raid on Dr. Seuss, has a draw on Mike Myers, who inexplicably plays the Cat by mimicking Bert Lahr in The Wizard of Oz." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 2 out of 4 stars. Although he praised the production design, he considered the film to be "all effects and stunts and CGI and prosthetics, with no room for lightness and joy". Ebert and co-host Richard Roeper gave the film "Two Thumbs Down". Roeper said of Myers' performance that "Maybe a part of him was realizing as the movie was being made that a live-action version of The Cat in the Hat just wasn't a great idea." Ebert had the same problem with the film that he had with How the Grinch Stole Christmas, in that "If there is one thing I've learned from these two movies is that we don't want to see Jim Carrey as a Grinch, and we don't want to see Mike Myers as a cat. These are talented comedians, let's see them do their stuff, don't bury them under a ton of technology."

    Concerns were also raised over the PG rating of the film with some critics, stating that it should have instead been rated PG-13 in relation to its high amount of adult content.

    Leonard Maltin in his Movie Guide gave it one and a half stars out of four saying that the "Brightly colored adaptation of the beloved rhyming book for young children is a betrayal of everything Dr. Seuss ever stood for, injecting potty humor and adult (wink-wink) jokes into a mixture of heavy-handed slapstick and silliness." Maltin also claimed that the film's official title which included Dr Seuss' The Cat in the Hat was "an official insult." However, Jeffrey Lyons from NBC-TV, enjoyed the film and considered it "enormously funny".

    Baldwin addressed complaints the film received because of its dissimilarity to the source material. He expressed a belief that a film is "an idea about something" and that because Dr. Seuss' work is so unique, making a feature-length film out of one of his stories would entail taking liberties and making broad interpretations.

    Awards and nominations

    The film also received three nominations at the Hollywood Makeup & Hairstylists Guild Awards.

    Cancelled sequel

    On the day of the film's release, Mike Myers stated in an interview that he expected a sequel, since there was a sequel to the book. A sequel based on The Cat in the Hat Comes Back was in development, a little more than a month before the film's release. In February 2004, Dr. Seuss' widow, Audrey Geisel, said she would never allow any further live action adaptations of her husband's works, and the sequel was eventually cancelled.

    Animated reboot

    On March 15, 2012, a computer animated (CGI) reboot of the film was announced by Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment, following the success of The Lorax.

    Video game

    The Cat in the Hat is a 2003 platformer video game released by Vivendi Universal Games and developed by Magenta Software and Digital Eclipse. It is based on the film of the same name. The game was released for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Game Boy Advance on November 5, 2003, and PC on November 9, 2003, shortly before the film's theatrical release. A version for the Nintendo GameCube was planned to be release, but was later cancelled.

    Plot

    The plot of the game is different from the film; instead of Conrad unlocking the Cat's Crate, Larry unlocks it and steals the Lock. Playing as the Cat, the player must go through thirteen levels through the transformed house and chase down Larry, who is collecting the magic released from the Crate for himself, and defeat him to get the Lock (called the "Crablock" in-game) back and re-lock the Crate before the children's mother returns home.

    Differences From The Movie

    The plot of the game is different from the film; instead of Conrad unlocking the Cat's Crate, Larry unlocks it and steals the Lock. Playing as the Cat, the player must go through thirteen levels through the transformed house and chase down Larry, who is collecting the magic released from the Crate for himself, and defeat him to get the Lock (called the "Crablock" in-game) back and re-lock the Crate before the children's mother returns home.

    Video game reviews

    The game received mixed reviews (except for the PC version, which received negative reviews).

    References

    The Cat in the Hat (film) Wikipedia
    The Cat in the Hat (film) IMDbThe Cat in the Hat (film) Rotten TomatoesThe Cat in the Hat (film) MetacriticThe Cat in the Hat (film) themoviedb.org


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