The Cat in the Hat is a 2003 film based on the book of the same name by Dr. Seuss (creator of Grinch), an author known in the USA for his famous children’s stories.
The film premiered in the U.S. on November 21, 2003, and featured the direction of Bo Welch, with Mike Myers and Dakota Fanning starring in the adaptation. The film received mostly negative reviews in all territories because there were adult content and black humor, which led to it being nominated at 8 Golden Raspberry.
The film tells the story of two normal children, Sally (Dakota Fanning) and Conrad (Spencer Breslin), who on an alleged ordinary day find a huge talking cat (Mike Myers), who wears a red and white top hat. The Cat, along with the also talking pet fish and the agitated feline assistants, Thing 1 and Thing 2, show the kids how they can have a day with lots of fun and games. But the dog Nevins ends up running away and they will live great adventures trying to get it back.
The film received many negative reviews. The largest online review portal, Rotten Tomatoes; had the approval of about 12%, with a D+ rating evaluated by critics. At the box office, the film managed to recover the budget amount, estimated at $109 million, with worldwide revenue of $139 million. In the Common Sense Media review, Nell Minow gave two stars and criticized the film’s subplot. Minow said it was a “dubious” choice for ages 5 to 7 because the film was too mature for children and fans who read the book due to subliminal messages, violence, language, double-meaning jokes, and drug references. At IGN, Steve Head gave two stars and said: “Universal spat out an immense ball of hair”.
After the film’s release, Audrey Geisel, Dr. Seuss’s widow, did not allow any more live-action films based on a husband’s book to be produced, canceling the sequel. Since then, only three animations have been produced, Horton and the World of Whom in 2008, Lorax – In Buffalo of The Lost Trout and The Grinch (2018).