December 2 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 52  

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Cat in the Hat scores high on "Phunometer"

The Cat in the Hat
Starring: Mike Myers, Kelly Preston, Amy Hill
Directed by: Bo Welch

By Paolo Zinatelli
Gazette Staff

Gazette file photo
ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY. Mike Myers steals the screen as the fun-loving Cat in the big-screen adaptation of a Dr. Seuss classic.

While most children’s movies are usually crap, filled with overly sentimental hugging and kissing and one big happy family, occasionally there are some breakout gems.

The Cat in the Hat is one of those gems. Mike Myers, playing the title role of the Cat, shows up at the home of Conrad (Spencer Breslin) and his little sister Sally (Dakota Fanning). The two are home on a rainy day with nothing to do. They have been ordered by their mother (Preston) to not mess up the house, as she is having a party for her co-workers later that evening.

At the last minute she is called away to the office, leaving the kids in the hands of their constantly sleeping babysitter, Mrs. Kwan (Hill). While Mrs. Kwan sleeps, along comes the Cat, who after measuring the amount of fun Conrad and Sally have with his “Phunometer,” decides they are severely lacking.

So the adventures begin. The Cat brings a magic box into the house which acts as the portal between the real world and his world. Conrad, the troublemaker he is, picks the lock and opens the portal. The house is then transformed into a mix of the two worlds.

It is up to the kids to save the day, along with the help of the Cat — and this being a children’s movie, you can predict what happens.

The movie is carried by Myers’ performance. He IS the Cat in the Hat. There could not have been a better actor to portray the role. His comedic timing and facial expressions (even with all the make up and fake fur) are right on.

The supporting cast includes Alec Baldwin as the slimy neighbour/mother’s boyfriend and Sean Hayes from TV’s Will and Grace as both the talking fish and the mother’s boss Mr. Humberfloob.

The sets could have been ripped from the pages of the Dr. Seuss book, they are full of wild colours with furniture and houses built on a larger-than-average scale. As well, there is a narrator doing a voice-over reading of the original children’s tale. The story stays true to the book, including such classic characters as Thing 1 and Thing 2.

When you go to the theatre to see the movie, you will most likely be surrounded by little kids. But there are enough jokes for both age groups to keep everyone happy. The movie is produced by Brian Grazer, the same guy who did the Jim Carrey version of The Grinch.

If you liked that movie, you will definitely enjoy this one. It’s a great way to spend an hour and a half, and it will take you back to the days when you were a kid reading Dr. Seuss books before bed.



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