The Cat in the Hat

Directed by Bo Welch

> > Mar 2004

The Cat in the Hat - Directed by Bo Welch
By Lorraine CarpenterI feel sorry for everyone involved in this production. The grinding panties-in-a-twist that afflicted and enraged boomer critics everywhere was awesome in its cruelty. Of course the movie sucked, but there's no point issuing a fatwa, for fuck's sake. God, it's like someone went back in time and raped all their teddy bears. Dr. Seuss and The Cat in the Hat were part of my childhood too, and the tone of this movie is completely off, but you can't demand 100 percent authenticity from live action. The larger issue is the troubling trend of reviving classic cartoons and animation — The Flintstones, Rocky & Bullwinkle, The Grinch, Scooby Doo? Everyone hated these films! I say, confine furry animal suits to Disney World, baseball games, kids' ski slopes and porn so I don't have to see them. I did see The Cat in the Hat, however, and its short attention span theatre of DVD featurettes (all two-and-a-half minutes long). To its credit, Alec Baldwin is a nice'n'sleazy villain and the kids are alright, but there are two major problems: the shiny, happy digital aesthetic that blankets everything in bright lights, slick FX and grotesquely saturated colours, from the retro-futurist town — as in Edward Scissorhands, which Welch worked on as production designer, minus all the warmth — to the wardrobe to "fun" land to intangible creatures like the Fish and the Things. The other issue is the usually likeable Mike Myers, who, for some reason, chose to play the Cat as a schlocky Catskills comedian. Really, if I want "fun" from an ageing New York Jewish comedian — and that's the plot, Cat delivers "fun" to unhappy kids by destroying their house, revealing valuable lessons in the process — I'd rather watch Woody Allen flagellate himself with morbid self-analysis. Again. Plus: commentary, deleted scenes, more. (Universal)
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