Flashback Review: The Cat In The Hat

How do we adapt a film based on a children’s book? We look back at a specific book to study the lore/mythos by collaborating with a team of several writers and producers to see what needs to be added to extend the story in order to properly construct a Three Act Structure required for a full length featured film.

Children’s books like Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, The Wizard Of Oz, Mary Poppins, and The Polar Express went on to become film adaptations of the same name. The public audience and critics considered these adaptations instant classics. One movie in particular I’ve chosen for today’s “Flashback Review,” is none other than “The Cat In The Hat.”

After the commercial success of the live action version of Jim Carey’s The Grinch. Producer Brian Graiser known for his production company “Imagine Entertainment,” decided to adapt another beloved Dr. Seuss story featuring a humanoid talking cat who visits two kids seeking for fun & games. Which is pretty much the whole plot of the book.

Released in 2003, The Cat In The Hat became a modest box office success, however it received an incredible amount of negative feedback from the audience and critics. It also nearly damaged Mike Myers’ career until The Love Guru fatally imploded his reputation. Let’s see what the damage is all about from this epic disaster.

WARNING: This review contains huge SPOILERS. If you haven’t seen it, read at your own risk!

Terrific: The opening credits at first, felt appropriate to start the movie.

The set pieces like the local town, the neighborhood, and The House mixed with The Cat’s magical crate look spot on like one of those amusement parks where you see the environment coming to life.

The format is more cleaner than the dirty rusted filter used in The Grinch.

Two pause worthy moments including The Cat’s birth certificate showing his birthday which is Mike Myers’ actual birthday. There’s a reference to the dog from Men In Black with a doghouse name Frank and a Pug is in it for a few seconds. Pugs are my favorite type of dog breed.

Smash Mouth did a cover version of The Beatles song “Getting Better.” Its not the first time Smash Mouth was involved in a Mike Myers film. Also another Shout Out to Dakota Fanning in I Am Sam, because her character’s father is a huge fan of the band.

I only laughed at two jokes such as The Cat repeating the word “anything,” and Alec Baldwin’s character Larry Quinn shouting the line “Get out of my way you hippie freak!”

Kitty Litter: The Cat never rhymes throughout the film. The producers completely forgot the rhyming because it’s one of Dr. Seuss’ iconic trademarks.

Mrs. Kwan, the baby sitter hired by the kids mom, does nothing but sleep until the very end.

The Cat often teleports offscreen without any explanation. Did he get lessons from Goku (main protagonist off of Dragon Ball Z) by using the “Instant Transmisson” technique?

Mike Myers who is known for creating unique voices for his characters, didn’t quite create an original voice for the title character, but instead he shifts between voices like Austin Powers, Dr. Evil, Wayne Campbell, and Shrek or the Scottish fat guy. For example when The Cat laughs he’s channeling Austin Powers.

The jokes weren’t funny. How did the film manage to get away with this kind of “Frat Boy Humor?” It’s as if this movie was written by a bunch of college students. Gonna have to triple down a few points for ruining a childhood memory.

The Cat farts in front of the kids.

Thing 1 & Thing 2’s appearances look hideous.

When The Cat is hit like by a couple of children like  a piñata, there’s a random sequence of him dressed as a little girl riding on a swing with a unicorn in background.

The chase sequence shows The Cat chasing Quinn. How come the extras never bat an eye on The Cat? In real life they would’ve gone bat-poop crazy on him. This broke my suspension of disbelief.

I swear to God I’m not making this up. For the love of cinema, Paris Hilton has a cameo. If Dr. Seuss were alive to see this picture, he would’ve suffered a massive heart attack!

During a rollar coaster like sequence, The Cat literally broke the fourth wall by holding a Universal Studios brochure. That scene indicates the movie studio is taken over by a self promoting meatbag!

The C.G.I. looks horrendously bad! Weta Digital can make better special effects than this!

The whole movie is just an hour and a half SNL sketch. I expect Alec Baldwin or Mike Myers looking at the camera by saying “Live from New York, its Saturday night!”

The Final Verdict: An ultra F as in FAKER!

This movie doesn’t deserve to exist! I would describe it as Satan’s kidney stone. If the devil was watching this movie, he would’ve had one heck of a painful experience. Everyone from around the world, grab your shovels and bury this evil monstrosity next to the Atari E.T. video game.

What the heck man! It nearly destroyed Mike Myers’ career (until Love Guru) along with Dakota Fanning’s before she signed up for The Twilight series! Thank goodness Alec Baldwin survived it. (plus Thomas The Tank Engine) He now has a bunch of Emmy’s from his work on 30 Rock.

One more thing. Benedict Cumberbatch has signed on to star in the animated version of The Grinch, let’s hope that Hollywood doesn’t make another screw up. All we can do is cross our fingers and we must remain vigilant as movie goers.

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