IMDb > The Butter Battle Book (1989) (TV)

The Butter Battle Book (1989) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 2 | slideshow)


User Rating:
7.7/10   264 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Dr. Seuss (book)
Dr. Seuss (written for television by)
View company contact information for The Butter Battle Book on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 November 1989 (USA) See more »
A cold war between two lands over a ridiculous dispute leads to a perilous arms race. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
a brilliant, if all-too-brief, collaboration between Bakshi and Dr. Seuss See more (8 total) »


  (in credits order)

Charles Durning ... Grandfather (voice)
Chris Latta ... (voice) (as Christopher Collins)
Miriam Flynn ... (voice)

Clive Revill ... (voice)
Joseph Cousins ... (voice)

Directed by
Ralph Bakshi (supervising director)
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Dr. Seuss  book
Dr. Seuss  written for television by

Produced by
Ralph Bakshi .... producer
Dr. Seuss .... executive producer (as Theodor Geisel)
Original Music by
Glen Daum 
Film Editing by
Brad Gunther 
Production Management
Sherry Gunther .... production supervisor (as Sherry Argaman)
Art Department
Kent Butterworth .... storyboard artist
Dave Marshall .... storyboard artist (as David Marshall)
Tom Minton .... storyboard artist
Jim Reardon .... storyboard artist
Sound Department
Philip Phillipson .... sound reader (as Phil Phillipson)
Animation Department
Marcia Adams .... background color key
Kent Butterworth .... animation director
Kent Holaday .... mouth animation synchronization
Mike Kazaleh .... layout artist
Sandra Kumashiro .... layout checker
Dave Marshall .... animation director (as David Marshall)
Jeff Pidgeon .... models
Chris Reccardi .... layout artist
Linda Redondo .... color modeler
Rose Ann Stire .... color modeler (as Roseanne Stire)
Louise Zingarelli .... layout artist
Music Department
Glen Daum .... composer: original song music
Lee Ann Ledgerwood-Steig .... composer: original song music (as LeeAnn Ledgerwood)
Jeremy Steig .... composer: original song music
John Moses .... musician (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Dr. Seuss' The Butter Battle Book" - USA (complete title)
See more »
30 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »

Did You Know?

Dr. Seuss has credited this 1989 TV special as the most faithful adaptation of his work.See more »
Movie Connections:
Edited into The Best of Dr. Seuss (2000)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
9 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
a brilliant, if all-too-brief, collaboration between Bakshi and Dr. Seuss, 16 April 2007
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

Who would've thought that one of the very best adaptations from book to screen- albeit small screen- in the Dr. Seuss realm would be by underground animated filmmaker Ralph Bakshi. By then, Bakshi had gone on from the more personal work of the 70s, trademarked with rough pencil and inking with wild color combos in unconventional stories, to more sci-fi/fantasy fare like Wizards, Fire and Ice, and even a hit and miss attempt at Lord of the Rings. This short work that he produced and directed, probably as a way to make ends meet as much as an artistic statement, is probably one of his most obscure works, but it might be one of his better works because he keeps his ambitions low and his targets simple enough to accomplish completely. What we have here is a story that has a level of appeal for children and adults, and like the recent Happy Feet it will mean different things for different audiences. For either age group, child or parent (or those who are out to seek any and all works by Bakshi), there's some appeal.

For kids, it's a bright story of what it means to have a job to do, however petty or ridiculous it might seem. The Yooks and the Zooks are two different kinds of, well, Seuss characters, who each have their own way of spreading butter on bread, one side up, the other side down. Soon there are goofy attempts by a hired Grandfather Yook (voiced by Charles Durning) to take on the task of stopping the Zooks from continuing on their bottom-buttered path. There are also some whimsical songs, and even some random moments of strange humor, as can only come out of Seuss. But for the older ones, those who might have any kind of political awareness, Seuss and Bakshi have a simple message to go on, which is the notion of wars being started on the most petty but fastidiously held points of merit. And, as escalating tactics go, pretty soon it's less about the actual butter itself than the point of one side being too different enough- separated by a 'great-wall' kind of wall barrier- to ever have any kind of peace. There's details like how grandfather, however incompetent he might be to swart the Zooks, gets promoted to general, or how intricate a bomb can be made: and how it's just as easy for the other side to get the same power.

It's not only how sharply and aptly Bakshi is in having Seuss's words have their impact, and the wit as scathing as it is poke-in-the-ribs playful and fairly hilarious (I loved the ending, which I won't reveal, but has its suddenness as a point of absurdity and satirical merit), but in fusing in his own methods of style that make this a success. Bakshi, taking a break from rotoscoping, makes the Seuss cartoonish world come to life, and in a manner that presents it not totally smooth and finely tuned but a little scratchy and messy and with the colors usually of the lighter-primary side (the exception, and a great scene at that, is when grandfather ventures down the staircase to the bomb-making lava-pool area). There's something very much alive to how Baskhi gets the Yoots and Zoots moving along, how they use oddball weaponry or machines, and how the timing is less out of Looney Tunes than out of his background as a satirist of culture. He even gets Seuss's songs, which are by turns silly and inane, as entertaining little notes in the story.

If you can find this for your kids, if they happen to be Dr. Seuss fans anyway, it's a sure bet to get them into a lesser known but still worthwhile work. It's smart, vibrant, and almost cheerfully discomforting; second only to Chuck Jones's How the Grinch Stole Christmas as the best animated adaptation of a Seuss work. 8.5/10

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (8 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Butter Battle Book (1989)


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Lemon Tree Four's a Crowd Guns and Butter Avatar Ratatouille
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Animation section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.