(Also known as “Crazy Music”.)
There have been quite a few adaptations of Dr. Seuss’ books -good, bad, and head-explodingly horrible. But what’s not so well known is that Dr. Seuss *made* a movie with Stanley Kramer.
“Dr. T.” is the first story Theodore Geisel wrote for the screen. He didn’t have a particularly good experience making the movie, and it flopped badly upon it’s release. Therefore, it’s Dr. Seuss’ only feature-length film (he’d have better luck with shorts such as “Gerald McBoingboing” and the Chuck Jones “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”)
Looking at “Dr. T.” today, it certainly has the “Cat in the Hat” movie beat. In fact, it’s just the kind of kids’ film I like and that we need more of: the one that has no pretense of teaching the kids anything at all but which is nonetheless enriching because it’s so aggressively crazy and imaginative. Call it “Brazil Jr.” It’s a darned fun weirdo art movie, and if you ever find it give it a look!
The Best Parts:
3 minutes in – Release the wind socks!!!
7 minutes in – Hooray for overdubbing.
11 minutes in – Well, Dr. T. is, by far, the single most ambitious fairy tale villain EVER. He is bringing 500 kids to his castle to… make them play a song on a giant piano.
19 minutes in – I can think of a whole list of reasons why you wouldn’t want that beard…
26 minutes in – Right, this movie is a little slow moving. But it’s still a lot easier to follow than “Seussical”.
30 minutes in – Add this scene under Queen Evilian’s sword dance and Sol and Luna’s fire dance on my list of Best Ridiculous Dance Sequence Ever.
32 minutes in – What would the Clerks say?
35 minutes in – That room is awesome! (Though Satine’s elephant house in “Moulin Rouge” might still win.)
38 minutes in – Where’s Porky when you need him?
40 minutes in – Aww…
44 minutes in – Dr. Seuss is AWESOME!!!
44 minutes in – Not the most well-tuned instrument in the band, are we, Bart?
50 minutes in – iPods?
54 minutes in – I’m speechless…
58 minutes in – Evidence of a more innocent time.
1 hour, 5 minutes in – They’ve been at this for five hours!
1 hour, 8 minutes in – Yet another fine choice for Karaoke Night.
1 hour, 10 minutes in – Well, that wrapped up neatly didn’t it? And I like that one kid who obviously has just refused to play along with being in the movie.
Classic Lines of Dialogue:
“Dr. Terwilliger. He’s got her buffaloed!” – Bart (WTF?)
Things I Learned from this Movie/Book/Whatever:
* – Plucky young heroes have the ability to make *anything* work if they really need to.
* – Monkeys have feathers.
* – There is nothing a pocket knife can’t do.
* – Bad musicians should be sent to a dungeon.
* – Pickle juice = liquid courage.
* – If you have a twin, and you both have long, long beards, do not entwine your beards with each other. It does look really cool, but think of the logistical nightmares.
Things That Can Save Any Movie:
Cool Creatures? Yes.
Good Soundtrack? Dr. Seuss songs!
Hot Guys? No.
Pretty Scenery? And how.
Nifty Animation/Special Effects/Illustrations? Yes. It really does look like a Dr. Seuss illustration, which at the time must have taken a metric buttload of time and effort to do
Drinking Game Potential? Drink when you see or hear something right out of your favorite Dr. Seuss story.
Head Movie Potential? And how.
Donnie in a silly candy-striped hat.
A Columbia Pictures Film made in 1953. Written by Theodore Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss), directed by Roy Rowland, and produced by Stanley Kramer.
Tommy Rettig, Hans Conried, Peter Lind Hayes, and Mary Healy.
Onion AV Club review