So begins Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat, one of the most beloved children’s books of all time. Published in 1957, The Cat in the Hat has gone through countless reprints and been a staple of children’s literature ever since. So what took so long for this classic to come to the big screen? After all, the film version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas arrived in theaters a couple of years ago. Was that story more cinematic than The Cat? Whatever the reason, any holdups have clearly been surmounted, because we are about to be treated to the cinematic Cat.
The question is: Are we ready for Mike Myers’ interpretation of The Cat as a sort of lounge entertainer? Are we ready for the kids to have parents (played by Kelly Preston and Alec Baldwin), plus a bunch of other things that were not in the book, such as a dog, a babysitter, back story and gizmos like a “phunometer” and a “Super Luxurious Omnidirectional Whatchamajigger” (S.L.O.W. for short) – in other words, a wacky car?
The answer is, while parents may not be ready for the liberties taken with the book, our kids probably will be, as the recent success of Stuart Little (The Movie) demonstrates. No one seemed troubled by the license that film took with its source. Still, a devoted fan of the book version of The Cat in the Hat can’t help but wonder upon seeing Mike Myers in the trailer playing dual roles under tons of makeup: Is Dr. Evil lurking in the wings or, heaven help us, Austin Powers!?
The film was still being completed by first-time director Bo Welch at press time, so I wasn’t able to preview it for you, but I can say that The Fish looks great and Thing One and Thing Two do, too. So perhaps these fears are unfounded.
The movie is rated PG for “mild crude humor and some double entendres,” but it will probably be fine for most kids ages 6 and up.