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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss: The Cat's Adventures (1998)

"Come on along, get up and let's shout hooray now!"
- The Cat in the Hat, from his sprightly theme song

Review By: David Krauss  
Published: April 05, 2004

Stars: Anthony Asbury, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, John Kennedy, Bruce Lanoil, Kathryn Mullen
Director: David Gumpel, Kathryn Mullen

Manufacturer: DVSS
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:12m:00s
Release Date: April 06, 2004
UPC: 043396051232
Genre: family


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B B-B+B D

DVD Review

Who among us hasn't cut our literary teeth on the writings of Dr. Seuss? The clever rhymes, outrageous illustrations, and timeless themes enchant both children and adults, instilling in us a love of language and books that remains constant throughout our lives. And although kids respond equally well to live action Seussian adaptations, their parents will never believe the numerous movies and TV shows spawned from Theodore Geisel's works will ever compare to their printed counterparts.

The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss: The Cat's Adventures is no exception, but this Jim Henson Home Entertainment production possesses enough warmth and wit to charm most kids in the seven-and-under age group. Reminiscent of Bear in the Big Blue House with its plush puppet characters, simple stories, and bouncy songs, this edition of the Wubbulous World series is interchangeable with any number of other children's programs—a fact that, in the long run, works against it. After all, transforming such a beloved and identifiable franchise as Dr. Seuss into homogenous kidvid effectively destroys its individuality.

Strangely, the flagship syntax, rhythm, and inspired rhyming of Dr. Seuss are, for the most part, absent here. Instead, the three stories are told straight, and although the wholesome messages still ring true, little of the goofy fun infuses the telling. The Cat in the Hat's First First-Day encourages kids to conquer their fears and tackle fresh challenges, while The Cat in the Hat's Flower Power shows the fruits of patience and nurturing. The final tale, Oh, the People You'll Meet, possesses the most Seussian flavor of the three, incorporating many rhymes as it follows the same path as Geisel's bestselling book, Oh, the Places You'll Go! Here, Julian Jeremy Jalloo frets over his impending move, but soon discovers the upheaval isn't nearly as traumatic as he imagined.

Adults and older children may find the tone and characters in The Cat's Adventures babyish, but young children—especially those familiar with Seuss characters—will be thoroughly entertained and clamor for repeat viewings. My seven-year-old son can't get enough of this disc—in fact, prying it out of his grasp so I could write this review proved to be a far more arduous task than I anticipated.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: The bright colors are well rendered in this full-screen transfer, which possesses enough vibrancy to keep little eyes focused. No grit or specks mar the presentation, and clarity remains crisp at all times.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: The stereo soundtrack clearly transmits all dialogue, and the songs enjoy slightly heightened fidelity. Not much in the way of channel separation, but how many kids care about that?

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 3 cues and remote access
2 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Berenstain Bears, The Swan Princess Collection
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Just a couple of trailers and that's it.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

Dr. Seuss purists will certainly be disappointed with this collection of stories featuring the beloved Cat in the Hat, but young kids will enjoy diving into Seuss’s Wubbulous World—and they just might learn something along the way.

 


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