The Cat in the Hat
fun for all ages
Are you or your friends fans of The Cat in the Hat? Here's some information about this quirky and unusual feline. Ready for a touch of cat humor and whimsy? Read here all about one of the most beloved children books in America and around the world.
This wonderful story was written by Theodor Seuss Geisel (best known as Dr. Seuss), a well-known American writer and cartoonist. The Cat in the Hat - first published in 1957- has become one of America’s best known children books. In fact, it's one of the best selling children's books of all time. Dr. Seuss wrote the story because he believed that the beginner’s reading material for children should be amusing and entertaining, instead of dry and boring.
On a rainy day, while alone in their house, Sally and her older brother (who is also the narrator) are unexpectedly visited by The Cat in the Hat- a strange and quirky character who causes chaos in their house. The intentions of this exotic cat (according to him) are to show the kids how to have more fun, despite the bad weather. He means no harm, or so he implies. Their mother won’t mind his antics, or so he says. Indeed, he shows them all sorts of tricks, which end up in a complete mess.
The kids’ pet, a very talkative and sensible fish, warns the children that the cat should not be in the house and that he will only get them in trouble. The fish reminds Sally and her brother that they should not allow strangers in the house when their mother is out.
The Cat brings along Thing One and Thing Two and they all manage to create pandemonium. Finally, the fish looks through the window and says that the children’s mother is coming and that The Cat and his friends should leave immediately. The Cat is forlorn when he realizes the kids are not happy with his tricks. He leaves sad and cheerless.
But The Cat returns. He has one last trick up his sleeve: he cleans up all the mess!
When the mother returns, she asks the children if they had any fun when she was away. The children are speechless, they don’t know what to say.
As I mentioned before, this is one of the best-selling childrens books of all time. Indeed, the book has been successful since its publication in 1957. The Cat in the Hat has also been translated into Spanish (El Gato en el Sombrero), Latin and Yiddish.
The Cat also appears in the following books authored by Dr. Seuss:
- The Cat in the Hat Comes Back
- The Cat in the Hat Song Book
- The Cat's Quizzer
- I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!
- Daisy - Head Mayzie.
This exotic cat also inspired other works in several media formats, such as film, television and video games. This beloved character also made it to Broadway and even inspired a ride at a famous theme park. See below for additional information.
I also believe that this beloved book has a touch of unconventional cat humor. So if you are looking for unique books for children or are just a fan of this unusual cat, this tome makes a great choice.
The Television Special
In 1971, The Cat in the Hat made its television debut in an animated musical television special. Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones (both of Looney Tunes fame), Dr. Seuss, and David DePatie produced it.
This special follows the original story to a certain extent, while adding new material. For instance, in this version the fish is named Karlos K. Krinklebein.
One of the most memorable moments of the special happens when the Cat sings his name in several languages, including Spanish, German and French.
The Cat went on to appear in several television specials, including:
- Dr. Seuss on the Loose (1973)
- The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat (1982)
- Daisy – Head Mayzie (1995)
- The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss (live-action/puppets) (1996)
A DVD of any of the TV specials makes a great gift. You can also find DVD collections.
The Cat in the Hat first appeared on the big screen in the 2003 live-action film Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat (produced by Universal Studios, DreamWorks Pictures, and Imagine Entertainment). Mike Myers plays the role of the Cat, Dakota Fanning plays Sally, and Spencer Breslin plays Conrad- Sally’s brother (curiously, he is not named in the book version). The film was directed by Bo Welch and produced by Brian Grazer.
The plot of the movie is largely based on the book; however, new material was added to accommodate the length of the film. Some subplots and characters that were introduced in this version include: Mom’s job as a real estate agent, her relationship with Lawrence Quinn, and his dislike of Conrad. Interestingly, in the movie version the children are not alone. They have a babysitter, Mrs. Kwan. She falls asleep just before the visit of this mischievous cat.
Cast of Characters:
Mike Myers --- The Cat
Kelly Preston ---- Mom (Joan Walden)
Alec Baldwin --- Lawrence Quinn
Dakota Fanning --- Sally
Spencer Breslin --- Conrad
Amy Hill --- Mrs. Kwan
Sean Hayes --- The Fish
Taylor Rice --- Thing One
Brittany Oaks --- Thing Two
Seussical The Musical, a show based on Dr. Seuss’ most famous books, made its debut on Broadway in 2000. The Cat plays the role of the observer and narrator. In a few situations he jumps into the play, meddling with the other characters and creating conflict.
The Cat was originally played by David Shiner. Rosie O’Donnell and Cathy Rigby also played the Cat in the Hat.
The original production closed after 198 performances. Even though the original production was not very successful on Broadway, it went on to experience success in theaters in other parts of the country.
The Video Games
If you and your friends love both video games and this colorful character, you can find a wide selection of video games featuring this naughty feline. Here’s a partial list:
- Cat in the Hat- by Vivendi Universal (Playstation2)
- Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat- for Xbox- by Vivendi Universal Games (Xbox)
- Dr. Seuss' Cat In The Hat- by Encore (Windows 2000 / Vista / XP)
- Dr. Seuss' The Cat In The Hat- by Software MacKiev (Macintosh)
- Dr. Seuss' Kindergarten Learning System (Win/Mac)- by Encore
The Cat-in-the-Hat-Ride is one of the attractions of Seuss Landing, a children-oriented area located at Islands of Adventure (Universal Orlando Resort). Other Seuss-inspired attractions include: Caro-Seuss-el, The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride, If I Ran the Zoo, and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. These rides (with the exception of the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride) are great for young children.
As you can see, you can find a number of gifts inspired by this beloved Dr. Seuss’ character. Books, video games, and DVDs are some of the gifts you might consider. You can also find toys, key chains, mugs, stuffed animals, and t-shirts. There are also cat-in-the-hat-inspired home decor items such as wall clocks, lamps, picture frames, and cookie jars.
If you are looking for an out-of-the-ordinary children book, consider this colorful cat.
For more information about The-Cat-in-the-Hat and other books by Dr. Seuss visit seussville.com.
To learn more about Dr. Seuss visit catinthehat.org.
Note: All the copyrighted characters mentioned here are trademarks of their owners.
More literary felines
The Cheshire Cat - That grinning feline
Warrior Cats - The Novel Series
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Garfield - That fat orange lovable cat
Felix the Cat -The wonderful cat
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