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:: The Cat In The Hat

Conrad (Spencer Breslin) and his sister Sally (Dakota Fanning) have been left at home with a sleeping babysitter while their mother (Kelly Preston) is at work. They have been instructed to keep the house clean in lieu of an important work related party their mother is having that evening. Bored witless, the two children sit and stare out the window watching the rain fall. Altogether it looks like a super boring day with no fun to be had at all. A six-foot tall talking feline wearing a red and white striped stovepipe hat appears, with an insatiable appetite for fun. Enter the Cat in the Hat!

Mike Myers playing The Cat In The Hat in the film of the same name should have been a wonderful thing. What transpires over the 82 minutes running time is frenetic and somewhat disjointed. The script is episodic and is self-consciously tailored to much of Mike Myers previous work. Fans of Myers will recognise a lot of the Cat’s nuances and mannerisms from his previous characters created for Saturday Night Live and the two Wayne’s World films.
It becomes apparent that the full magic of Theodor S. Geisel’s book of the same name is in the rhyming words – not so much in what can be conjured visually. There are elements of Geisel’s original story within the script (the fish’s dialogue is straight from the book) but half the film has had to be created from scratch. To be fair, the work of the hundred-strong visual effects crew is imaginative and visually spectacular. The use of set design and colour make the film great to look at. The art direction in terms of available technology is a little incongruous (no computers in Mom’s office, no microwave in the family’s kitchen, but Sally has a palm pilot).

The children are jaded, cynical and generally unlikeable. They lighten up a bit when the Cat appears but they are still difficult to warm to. Kelly Preston is good as the slightly ditzy technicolour Mom and Alec Baldwin seems to have fun as her smarmy boyfriend, Quinn. The Cat’s sidekicks, Thing One and Thing Two brighten up the film with their shenanigans and acrobatics. In keeping with the spirit of Dr. Seuss, a younger audience should find this film perfectly acceptable.