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I believe this movie was made before the recent glut of biography shows and
movies went into full swing. It was made in that time not too long ago when
seeing someone's life story being played out on TV was interesting, not
repetitive. This movie is one of the most unusual, but one of the best,
biopics I've ever seen.
Who didn't love Dr. Seuss as a kid? I still have yet to meet someone who didn't. This movie is done in the spirit of a Dr. Seuss book; there are some serious points, but mostly light-hearted humor. The celebrities providing the voices and faces of Dr. Seuss's world were absolutely wonderful. I especially liked Billy Crystal as the Voice of America radio station. It was also pretty interesting to see clips of cartoons that had been made from the books. I had never known that cartoons had been made from "The Sneeches" and "The Lorax". The songs, with lyrics taken from Seuss's books, were nice and upbeat, and the narrative itself remained interesting up to the very end, showing how Seuss's books tied in with his own life. I don't think I've ever heard that much information about Dr. Seuss's life anywhere else, even though some may think that information is presented in a goofy way. You'll have to agree that it is rather thorough for a family presentation and brings up many things we have never before heard about Seuss and his books.
Before I watched the movie, all I knew about Seuss was that his books are funny. After I watched it, however, I was enlightened by the mind-numbing amount of information about the "Good Doctor", from his early years to the present. The movie is well written (though the background design are rather cheesy and the film looks like it's colored in "Technicolor"), performed and directed. Whether you're a bookworm, Dr. Seuss fan, a college student doing a research on Dr. Seuss, or just plain couch potato, this movie's one you cannot miss! I give it 2 thumbs up!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'd never caught this on TNT when it was on. On impulse, when I was at
Seuss Landing at Universal Islands of Adventure, I picked up a copy of
the DVD. (Since, y'know, I hadn't spent NEARLY enough money after four
days on Disney parks and two on Universal parks ;-).)
I was charmed beyond belief! First of all, there's Matt Frewer, who I've liked since the eighties and "Max Headroom." He just projects that aura of likability...and, with much more understatement and ten pounds less facial makeup, projected a more endearing Cat in the Hat than Mike Myers ever did or could. (Sorry, Mike...you fell flat in that one.)
It's quite impressive how much this covers, for a "light-hearted" kid-friendly documentary. It covers Theodore Geisel's war work, with clips from a newsreel he made. (A Private Snafu cartoon is a DVD extra.) It does gloss over a few things...it mentions that Geisel's first wife died, but leaves out the fact that she committed suicide. Which is understandable enough...younger kids won't understand it, and older kids can always see the A & E Biography or some such for further detail.
There's a strong emphasis on Geisel's desires to effect social change, focusing on the endings of "The Lorax" and "The Butter Battle Book." Good ways to lead kids into the books, and open discussions.
The supporting actors are all excellent, from Kathy Najimy as the reporter who goes "in search of Dr. Seuss," to Patrick Stewart with a humorous Irish accent as "Mulberry Street"'s Sgt. Mulvaney (but he could read the telephone book and I'd hang on every word), to Robin Williams as a dad who reads "The Cat In The Hat" to his kids. (Not to belabor the point, but Robin's simple reading of the story conveys it ten times better than the full-length movie with all its trimmings!) Most importantly of all...everyone involved seems to be having such a good time...a major plus!
Interspersed throughout are clips from many animated specials based on Seuss books. Most interesting of all are bits from a stop-motion animated cartoon based on "And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street!" Unfortunately, all we get are clips. I wish they'd have included the whole cartoon as a DVD extra as they did with the Snafu short.
The songs are quite catchy, especially the title song and the Kathy/Cat duet "Oh, The Places You'll Go!"
But the most heart-melting moment comes at the end. This being a documentary, we must come to the moment of Dr. Seuss's death. The Cat shows Kathy a poem that Dr. Seuss wrote in his later years, "How Did It Get So Late So Soon?" She reads it...
"How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon. December's here before it's June, My goodness, how the time has...floon! How did it get so late so soon...?"
And the sadness that flickers across Matt Frewer's face as he recites the last line along with Kathy is so genuine, you wonder if it's coming from Matt-as-Cat or from Matt-as-Matt. After all, Matt must have grown up with the Seuss books and read them to his own kid. It's how everyone who'd grown up with Dr. Seuss felt when we learned of the great man's passing.
This funny, sweet documentary is a superb way to introduce kids to the remarkable life of Theodore Seuss Geisel...and adults will enjoy it just as much!
"From far to near, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!"
I think I saw just a bit of this made-for-TV movie on TV when I was
around eight years old (around the time it was released, or shortly
after), but didn't know it was called "In Search of Dr. Seuss". I
remember so many Dr. Seuss stories from my childhood, both books and
animated cartoons, but don't recall seeing much of this biography film.
After fifteen years or so, I've finally seen the entire film on DVD. By
the time that happened, I knew the lead character was played by Kathy
Najimy, and knew her as the voice of Peggy Hill in "King of the Hill",
and the role of Beverly "Bev" Pear in "Rat Race". I was also familiar
with several other cast members. If I had seen the entire film as a
kid, it probably would have been more entertaining, but it was still
Kathy Lane is a news reporter who comes to the home of the late Theodor Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss) to get as much information as possible for a report on the famous children's author, information she couldn't find anywhere else. The first character she meets turns out to be the Cat in the Hat, one of Seuss's famous characters! She then sees a book entitled, "Open a book, open your imagination," and opens it, which takes her on a magical adventure through the world of Seuss, full of surprises, with the Cat as her tour guide! Many of the author's famous stories are included on this adventure, and Kathy finds herself taking part in them! She also gradually learns about his life, career, the inspiration for some of his stories, etc. She gets some information from the Cat in the Hat, and some from other characters she meets in different places on her adventure.
There's lots of humour in this film, but it certainly didn't make me laugh much. With Christopher Lloyd, Andrea Martin, and Robin Williams all in the cast, it could have been so much funnier than it is, at least for adults. There are parts I found mildly amusing, but not many. This was the most disappointing aspect for me. For the most part, the humour is very kiddish, and it might not just be the humour, as the sets often look like they're from a low-budget kids' show, though I'm sure that was intentional. However, it is an interesting biography on Dr. Seuss, focusing on different parts of his life and sometimes showing documentary footage. There are also some pretty good presentations of Dr. Seuss stories, sometimes with edited versions of animated cartoons, and it's also good that the morals of these stories are mentioned. The author was well known for those. The film is informative in a way I've never seen before.
I don't know if I should be rating this film 8/10, and I'm definitely not doing so because of how entertaining I personally found it. I would usually have to find a movie more entertaining than this to even give it a 7. I don't think I could exactly say I found most of "In Search of Dr. Seuss" that entertaining, especially with the lack of laughs. Still, it's an interesting way of telling viewers about the life of Dr. Seuss, and to me, there is something charming about it. I'm sure many kids would like it a lot, and I'm sure the humour would probably be more appealing to them, though I don't recall liking the part of the film I saw as a kid. Also, if you're an adult who grew up with Dr. Seuss, then this is probably worth watching for information on the influential author (though you may wish it were presented in a different manner), and you could find more entertainment value than I did.
This is a great biography movie. I learned a lot about Dr. Seuss watching this movie and still think this is a great movie. I like to watch it again & again. I would recommend it for kids aged 6 and up. Even adults might like this movie. This is probably the best TV movie ever. A reporter (Kathy Najimby, Sister Act) wants to find out more about Dr. Seuss so she goes to his house who finds a strange man who turns out the be the Cat in the Hat (Matt Frewer, Honey I shrunk the kids). Now the reporter is on for the ride of a lifetime learning about Dr. Seuss, reading some of his stories & singing some songs. Special Appearances by Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), Howie Mandel (Later to be known as the Host of Deal or No Deal) & David Payner. This is a really great movie an I highly recommend it.
This is by far the best movie anyone will ever see. When i first saw it
about 8 years ago I watched it so much that every member of my family
knew every word, and every song, even though they had never seen it
themselves. Dr. Seuss is a genius, the best writer there will ever be.
No movie even compares to how much fun this movie is. With a great
The Lorax is such a powerful sad story, makes you want to keep your environment safe
Grinch teaches to be nice to everyone, don't judge looks, never leave anyone out
The Sneeches teaches not to be competitive and be happy with what you have, and if someone's got more than you it doesn't matter
How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon.. December's here before it's June.. How did it get so late so soon?
The Best, Amazing, Superb, um..Fantastic! movie..
You're missing out if you haven't seen it..:)
When I think Seus, I think of witty rhyming stories with bursts of color and humor. I think of a world that he created which boasts many inhabitants including the Cat in the hat, The Grinch, Horton the Elephant, The Sneetches, to name a few. Where did all these important symbols of our time come from? Well, this is what In Search of Dr Seuss shows us, the man himself. T Giesel. Without destroying the colorful world which is Seus we are shown his childhood, the dramas he went through being an outsider which formed his own opinions which he voiced through his witty drawings against racism and Hittler. We learn about his marriages,his opinions of war, what inspired him, where the name Seus came from and ultimately his death. Through out this documentary we the audience get a rare glimpse into the true nature of some of these stories we might not have thought too deeply into since first hearing them as children. That said this documentary celebrates his life and I would suggest it appropriate for children. Maybe that is what we need more of today for our kids, the simplistic and innocent stories which can teach so us, even today, so much.
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