The Cat In The Hat (2003)

I admit I did not see the Grinch. There weren’t too many movies in 2000 I bothered to see. But I know it had mixed reviews and those that hated it really hated it. I was hoping to see The Cat In The Hat when it was out. I wanted to when I first saw the trailer in the summer. And then of course with all the advertising and commercialism (It’s so shameless you gotta love it.) I was really tempted to see it. I thought it would be funny and interesting. Interesting, yes. Funny, that’s debatable. A good movie, far from it. If I can sum it up in one sentence, I’d say ‘blasphemous to Dr. Seuss’.

All I can say is those that still remember the book will be disappointed. If there’s one thing I give them credit for it’s giving the kids character, as well as the mother, and even adding in a story line. But as for the Cat, I have to say I’m ashamed of Mike Myers. A lot of the jokes ended up coming as either dumb or unfunny. The cat playing the pinata was one dumb scene. Plus that tennis thing near the end was dumb. The one thing of Mike’s I did like was when the Cat does his Carmen Miranda number. Plus the two things acted completely out of whack, like they were on speed.
Above all the worst thing about the humor, or attempt at it, was that it was more adult-oriented, basically jokes only adults can get. Like the cupcake maker being one example, another example being the hippie asking for Quinn’s signature on a petition. Plus a lot of jokes completely not for kids, like the mother’s photo becoming a centerfold or even the ‘dirty hoe’ scene. Plus the cat being hit in the testicles by a baseball bat. Plus that ‘fix it’ guy disguise. I felt like going up to Mike and asking “Did you forget what your core audience is supposed to be?”

Basically I have a stricter-than-average feeling about what’s kid-appropriate stuff and what’s not. Like sex humor, which I like but in more grown-up movies, isn’t appropriate. Being hit any which way in the testicles, which I frankly find unfunny, is another thing I think isn’t really for kids. Bathroom humor even as ‘light’ as fart jokes, which I normally don’t like and try not to like (but don’t start into it or else you’ll get me started in it), is another thing I find not for kids even though I know they think it’s a blast.
Besides it’s not just all the attempted jokes that I was unhappy with. It was also because the Cat was not at all the same character as the cat in the book. Going over the book again just days ago I saw the Cat’s personality as both charming and debonair but sneaky and mischievous. Mike went and made this Cat somewhat scary. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if there were some scared kids in the audience. I know if I was 5 and I sat it, I’d not only soil myself but also be afraid of talking cats for years.
If there are some good things about the movie, it’s that the kids Spencer and Dakota did a good job. It was a good thing they gave the kids personalities in the movie. The mother was good. Also the fish was quite a good scene stealer too. So it wasn’t a complete drag.

But overall I’d have to give this movie only 1 1/4 stars out of four. And it makes me wonder with its success will there be an adaptation of The Cat In The Hat Comes Back? And will Mike return as the cat? Here’s hoping not.

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