Judge Bryan Pope was once caught red-handed with his neighbor's moss covered, three handled family gredunza.
"Now Morton, just because we don't like what he says doesn't mean he doesn't have a right to say it."—The Snoozer
Like most of my generation, the works of Dr. Seuss go back as far as I can remember. My first exposure to his crazy world was Cat in the Hat, a story that was as anarchic as it was orderly, featuring a creation that was as polite and well-meaning as he was naughty. The first book I read on my own was Seuss's A Great Day for Up!. And what did I receive for my high school graduation? Naturally, Oh the Places You'll Go.
Years later, Places is gathering dust in my closet, and my memories of that impish cat have been replaced by countless, softer takes on the character, including the one that stars in the first segment of The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss: The Cat's Family and Friends. How sad to see the cat transformed into a parental figure. One of the joys of Theodore Geisel's original work is that no grownups were allowed. It was up to the children to empower themselves and seize control of a situation that was quickly spiraling out of control. Yet here we are, watching a cat who has been, dare I say, neutered of his ability to shock and surprise.
But that's my sole complaint about this otherwise winning DVD compilation. This collection of episodes from the Brian Henson-produced television series is as colorful, eye-popping, and brain-teasing as Dr. Seuss's original works. Aided by the charming puppet magic of Jim Henson Home Entertainment, The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss: The Cat's Family and Friends will have no trouble delighting your preschoolers and kindergarteners. They share Geisel's fascination with language, and the characters and production design are as true to his vision as a puppet show could be. The characters are perhaps sweeter than we're used to seeing from his work—not surprisingly, they often have more in common with characters from Sesame Street—but they are safe, wholesome critters you can feel good about leaving your children with.
In "Talkin' With the Cat," we visit the Cat in the Hat's playhouse to await the arrival of Little Cat Fleep and learn about the many different ways of communicating. In "The Snooze," cranky Yertle the Turtle becomes the prime suspect when a beloved statue goes missing. "The Road to Ka-Larry" sends Sue Snue on a mission to deliver a box of gifts to Regina, the Queen of Ka-Larry.
The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss: The Cat's Family and Friends is presented in its original full-frame format with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound. Colors are bold and bright, and the transfer very clean. No subtitles. The only extras included are previews for Open Season and It's a Big, Big World.
The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss: The Cat's Family and Friends is a fun, lively celebration not only of color and words, but of diversity and ideas. The good Dr. would approve.
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