The Cat in the Hat (or Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat) is a 2003 American fantasy slapstick comedy film directed by Bo Welch. A live action adaptation of the 1957 Dr. Seuss book The Cat in the Hat, 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), is in this version named Conrad and portrayed by Spencer Breslin. The Cat in the Hat is the second feature-length Dr. Seuss adaptation after the 2000 holiday film How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

The idea was originally conceived in 2002, when Tim Allen was 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 Mike 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 quite different from those of the original story, similar to the feature film adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

The Cat in the Hat was released on November 21, 2002, and received extremely negative reviews from critics, who panned its suggestive humor and mature content. Since the release and heavy criticism from fans and critics, Dr. Seuss's widow Audrey Geisel (who owns the rights to his work) decided not to allow any further live-action adaptations of Seuss' work. After this, a planned sequel, based on The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, was cancelled.


Conrad and Sally Walden live in the city of Anville with their single mother, Joan. 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. Larry Quinn is Joan's boyfriend, 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".

Once their mother leaves, Sally and Conrad discover 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. Cat ruins Joan's best dress and jumps on the living room's couch. He bakes cupcakes that explode and he even releases two trouble-making things, Thing 1 and Thing 2, from a crate that he explains is actually a portal from their world to his world. He tells Conrad that he only has one rule: never open the crate. Despite the Cat's warning, Conrad foolishly picks the lock anyway. When the crate's lock attaches itself to the collar of the family dog, Cat and the kids must go find it. They drive a super-powered car in search of the dog and use Cat's magic hat to their advantage, but face an obstacle when he loses it at one point. Larry 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.

By the time the kids and the Cat return back to the house with the lock, all hell has broken loose, with "the mother of all messes" emitting from the unlocked crate and entering the house. They manage to 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. He also admits he never really lost his magic hat. The kids angrily tell the Cat to leave the house. When all seems lost, the Cat happily returns to clean up his mess with a great cleaning contraption. Larry arrives when all is restored, thinking he has busted the kids, but when Joan sees the clean house, she doesn't believe Larry, and asks him to leave. When her party is successful, Joan and her kids play in the living room by jumping on the couch and having fun.

The film ends as the Cat and Thing 1 and Thing 2 walk into the sunset.


  • Mike Myers as the Cat in the Hat, a giant, anthropomorphic, wise-cracking cat with a Brooklyn accent. His hat has many magical abilities: a CD player, a voice-changer, an airbag, a periscope, a box of tennis balls, and even a box to put the crate into when it shrinks. He likes to balance things while he is on a ball. He often mistakes Conrad's name as Conrack, Condor, Convex, Klondike, Kojak, Concrete, Corn Dog and Cromwell.
  • Alec Baldwin as Lawrence "Larry" Quinn, the Waldens' pompous, lazy, unemployed next-door neighbor. He serves as the main antagonist of the film. He is allergic to cats, and is determined to both marry Joan for her wealth and send Conrad to military school to straighten up his behavior. Larry sending Conrad to military school was cancelled after Joan asked him to leave.
  • Kelly Preston as Joan Walden, Conrad and Sally's mother, and real-estate agent
  • Dakota Fanning as Sarah "Sally" Walden, Joan's dull, well-behaved, and rule-obeying 8-year-old daughter.
  • Spencer Breslin as Conrad Walden, Joan's destructive and misbehaved 12-year-old son. As a running gag, the Cat constantly calls him names other than Conrad.
  • Amy Hill as Mrs. Kwan, an elderly Asian woman with a thick Japanese accent that 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. Humberfloob, Joan's employer, and the voice of the Fish.
  • Danielle Chuchran and Taylor Rice as Thing One, and Brittany Oaks and Talia-Lynn Prairie as Thing Two; two gibbering creatures the Cat brings 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 Announcer
  • Clint Howard as Kate the Caterer; makes brownies, cakes, and pies for parties, weddings, funerals, and graduations.
  • Paige Hurd as Denise
  • Stephen Hibbert as Jim McFinnigan. Touching Humberfloob's hand, Jim gave him a handshake which results in being fired.
  • 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.


DreamWorks acquired rights to the original book in 1997.[1] However, production did not originally start until after the 2000 Christmas/Comedy film How the Grinch Stole Christmas's, based on another Dr. Seuss book of the same name, commercial and critical success. Brian Grazer, who was the producer of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, 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."[2] Grazer contacted Bo Welch over the phone with the offer to direct the film, and he accepted.[3]

When production began, songs written by Randy Newman were dropped because they were deemed inferior. Although Welch and a publicist for Myers denied it, several people said Myers had considerable input into the film's directing, telling some of the cast (the film co-stars Alec Baldwin and Kelly Preston) how to perform their scenes.[4]

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."[5] 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),[6] so there was no way the film would 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.[7] Due to a scheduling conflict with The Santa Clause 2,[8] he dropped out his role.[9]

In March 2002, the role of the Cat was given to Mike Myers,[10] even though he had an argument with Grazer about starring in a cancelled Saturday Night Live skit named Dieter.[11] 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.[12]

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.[13]

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.[14]

Before filming began, giant props for the film were stolen from the set. Local police found the props vandalised 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.[15] The film was mainly shot in California[16] from October 2002 until January 2003.[17]

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.[18] 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.[13]


Box officeEdit

The film only managed to recoup $101,149,243 of its $109 million budget domestically at the box office; an additional $32,811,298 from foreign countries brought the film's total box office revenue to $133,960,541.[19]

Critical reactionEdit

The Cat in the Hat was universally panned by film critics, commonly criticizing the film's mature content.[20] Review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 10% of critics gave the film a positive review out of 149 reviews, with the consensus statement being: "Filled with double entendres and potty humor, this Cat falls flat."[21] It also received an average grade of D+ from critics in the interpretation of Yahoo's film website.[22] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 19/100 based on 37 reviews, indicating "overwhelming dislike".[23]

Peter Travers of the 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 enjoyed the production design, he criticized the "CGI and prosthetics, with no room for lightness and joy".[24] Roger Ebert and 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.[25]

Actor Alec Baldwin addressed complaints the film received because of its dissimilarity to the source material. He expressed a belief that a movie 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.[26]

Despite receiving negative feedback, The Cat in the Hat has received a moderate cult following, particularly through older audience members who understand and accept the adult humour presented in this film.

Awards and nominationsEdit

Award Subject Nominee Result
BMI Film Awards Best Music David Newman Won
DFWFCA Awards Worst Film Won
Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Actor Mike Myers Nominated
Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Actor of the Decade Nominated
Worst Actor Nominated
Worst Supporting Actor Alec Baldwin Nominated
Worst Supporting Actress Kelly Preston Nominated
Worst Picture Nominated
Worst Director Bo Welch Nominated
Worst Screenplay Alec Berg, David Mandel and Jeff Schaffer, based on the book by Dr. Seuss Nominated
Worst Screen Couple Mike Myers and either Thing One or Thing Two Nominated
Worst Excuse for an Actual Movie (All Concept/No Content) Won
Worst "Comedy" of Our First 25 Years Nominated
Stinkers Bad Movie Awards[27] Worst Picture Won
Worst Director Bo Welch Nominated
Worst Screenplay for a Film Grossing More Than $100 Million Worldwide Alec Berg, David Mandel and Jeff Schaffer, based on the book by Dr. Seuss Won
Worst Actor Mike Meyers Nominated
Worst Fake Accent - Male Nominated
Worst Supporting Actor Alec Baldwin Nominated
Most Painfully Unfunny Comedy Nominated
Worst Song "Fun, Fun, Fun"; music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman Nominated
Most Annoying Non-Human Character Cat in the Hat Won
Thing One and Thing Two (voices by Dan Castellaneta) Nominated
The Spencer Breslin Award (Worst Performance by a Child Actor) Spencer Breslin Won
Dakota Fanning Nominated

Cancelled sequel and planned CGI remakeEdit

Mike Myers stated in an interview (on the day the film was released) that he expected there to be a sequel, since there was a sequel to the book. It was rumored that a sequel based on The Cat in the Hat Comes Back was planned, a little more than a month before the film's release.[28] However, Dr. Seuss's widow Audrey Geisel was unimpressed with the film, saying that Myers "was not fit to play the lanky “puddy cat” who is prone to suavely twirl his tail." As a result, she decided not to allow any further live-action adaptations of her husband's works (following the poor reviews of the Cat in the Hat and also because of the film's mature content),[29] and the sequel was cancelled as a result.

On March 15, 2012, a CGI-animated remake of the film was announced, following the success of The Lorax.[30][31][32][33][34][35][36] Development of the film has yet to begin, and there has been no announcement of its release date.


The Cat in the Hat
David Newman
Released November 18, 2002
Recorded 2002
Genre Orchestral
Length 48:55
Label Decca/UMG Soundtracks

The soundtrack was released on November 18, 2003 (three days before the film itself was released). It includes David Newman's score, plus a song by Smash Mouth ("Getting Better") that makes it the third film in a row playing a song in a 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.

No. TitleWriter(s)Producer(s) Length
1. "Main Title - the Kids" (Composed by David Newman)   8:07
2. "Getting Better" (Performed by Smash Mouth)   2:24
3. "The Cat" (Composed by David Newman)   3:50
4. "Two Things - Couch Jumping - Lea..." (Composed by David Newman)   5:16
5. "Military Academy Seduction" (Composed by David Newman)   3:02
6. Untitled (Composed by David Newman)   2:12
7. "Surfer Cat - the Phunometer" (Composed by David Newman)   2:23
8. "Fun, Fun, Fun" (Performed by Mike Myers)   2:38
9. "The Contract" (Composed by David Newman)   1:53
10. "Oven Explodes - "Clean Up This Mess!"" (Composed by David Newman)   1:36
11. "Things Wreck the House" (Composed by David Newman)   2:52
12. "Larry the Slob" (Composed by David Newman)   3:10
13. "Birthday Party" (Composed by David Newman)   2:11
14. "S.L.O.W. Drive" (Composed by David Newman)   2:32
15. "Rescuing Nevins" (Composed by David Newman)   4:27
16. "Clean Up" (Composed by David Newman)   0:22
Total length:

Home mediaEdit

The Cat in the Hat was released for DVD on March 16, 2004.[37] 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.[38] On February 7, 2012 the film was released for Blu-ray.[39]

Video game Edit

Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat
Platform(s) PlayStation 2
Microsoft Windows
Game Boy Advance
Release date(s)
  • NA November, 2003

A video game based on The Cat in the Hat film was released for PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC and Game Boy Advance in November 2003. There was a commercial of the game where it's available for the Nintendo GameCube but the GameCube release of the game got canceled. The plot of the game is completely different from the movie; instead of Conrad unlocking the Cat's Crate, Larry Quinn unlocks it and steals the Lock to it. Playing as the Cat, the player must go through thirteen levels through the transformed house and chase down Larry, who is collecting the released magic from the Crate for himself, and defeat him to get back the Lock (called the "Crablock" in-game) and re-lock the Crate before the children's mother returns home.[40] The game received critically mixed reviews[41][42][43] (except for the PC version, which received negative reviews.)[44] The video game was banned in Brazil, due to copyright issues.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. Linder, Brian (March 13, 2001). "Grazer Talks Cat in the Hat". IGN. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  2. "THE CAT IN THE HAT - Production Notes". p. 1. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  3. Welch, Bo. (2004). Commentary for The Cat in the Hat [DVD]. Universal Pictures.
  4. Horn, John (November 19, 2003). "A 'Cat' with some bite". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  5. Keck, William (November 24, 2000). "Scary 'Cat'". Entertainment Weekly.,,20268225,00.html. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  6. Stax (February 26, 2001). "New Cats Hired for Live-Action Hat". IGN. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  7. Susman, Gary (April 26, 2001). "The strike: a film-goer's guide". The Guardian. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  8. Keck, William (March 8, 2002). "'The Cat' Came Back". Entertainment Weekly.,,214706,00.html. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  9. "Meow Nix". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc.. 2001-11-16.,,183729,00.html. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  10. "Myers to play The Cat in the Hat". The Guardian. March 7, 2002. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  11. Keck, William (March 15, 2002). "Hello Kitty". Entertainment Weekly.,,251417,00.html. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  12. Murray, Rebecca. "Dr. Seuss Fan Mike Myers Talks About "The Cat in the Hat"". Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat (2002) - Trivia". IMDb. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  14. "THE CAT IN THE HAT - Production Notes". p. 3. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  15. "Stolen 'Cat in the Hat' Props Found". WENN. IMDb. October 16, 2002. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  16. "Filming locations for Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat". IMDb. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  17. "Box office / business for Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat". IMDb. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  18. "THE CAT IN THE HAT - Production Notes". p. 5. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  19. "The Cat in the Hat". BOXOFFICE.COM. Retrieved October 24, 2012. 
  20. Minow, Nell The Cat in the Hat - Movie Review. Common Sense Media.
  21. Dr. Seuss - The Cat in the Hat - Rotten Tomatoes
  22. The Yahoo film website gives a compendium of reviewer and public reaction to the 2002 film, as well as its box-office history
  23. The Cat in the Hat - Metacritic
  24. Ebert, Roger (November 21, 2002). "Dr. Seuss' The Cat in The Hat". The Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  25. "Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat review at Haro Online". Haro Online. Retrieved May 20, 3013. 
  26. Baldwin, Alec. (2004). Commentary for The Cat in the Hat [DVD]. Universal Pictures.
  27. "2003 26th Hastings Bad Cinema Society Stinker Awards". Stinkers Bad Movie Awards. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  28. Kirschillng, Gregory (October 3, 2003). "The Deal Report". Entertainment Weekly.,,490238,00.html. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  29. Seussentenial: 100 years of Dr. Seuss, MSNBC. 2/26/2004. Accessed September 2010.:"Geisel says she will never again allow Hollywood to portray Seuss characters in live action."
  30. Fleming, Mike (March 15, 2012). "Dr. Seuss’ ‘The Cat In The Hat’ Get Another Life At Chris Meledandri’s Illumination". Deadline. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  31. "Dr. Seuss' 'The Cat in the Hat' coming to the big screen again". Hit Fix. March 15, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  32. Elsenberg, Eric (March 15, 2012). "The Cat In The Hat To Get A Second Go At The Big Screen". Cinema Blend. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  33. Arruda, Cameron (March 16, 2012). "Dr. Seuss’ ‘The Cat in The Hat’ Will Be Remade As Animated Film". Durance Magazine. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  34. Lee, Mike (March 16, 2012). "Universal Reboots THE CAT IN THE HAT Into 3D CGI Animated Feature". Cinema Blend. Fushed Film. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  35. Makarechi, Kia (March 16, 2012). "'Cat In The Hat' Movie: Universal Hopes To Follow 'The Lorax' With Another Dr. Seuss Box Office Win". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  36. Dean Schmitz, Greg (March 16, 2012). "Weekly Ketchup: The Cat in the Hat Gets A CGI Remake". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  37. "Dr. Seuss' The Cat In The Hat (Widescreen Edition) (2003)". Amazon. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  38. Telsch, Rafe. "The Cat in the Hat DVD Review". Cinema Blend. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  39. "Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat [Blu-ray (2003)"]. Amazon. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  40. "Dr Seuss: The Cat in the Hat". Amazon. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  41. "Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat (PlayStation 2)". Gamerankings. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  42. "Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat (Game Boy Advance)". Gamerankings. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  43. "Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat (Xbox)". Gamerankings. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  44. "Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat (PC)". Gamerankings. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 

External linksEdit

Template:Dr. Seuss Template:The Cat in the Hat Template:Brian Grazer

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