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This is a strange idea among other Dr. Seuss concepts, but I think that its simple animation and music are very entertaining. Though this short film will rarely receive credit for being a masterpiece, it reflects the genius of Dr. Seuss and continues to impress me. I watch it on occasion, having owned it from a very young age, and I can say without hesitation that it is an important contribution to the Dr. Seuss collection. One thing about it that impresses me is how this is not a well known piece of work among the prolific productions of Dr. Seuss, and yet it shows a quality storyline and assembly of characters. I recommend it for young children, who are certain to be enchanted by its wonderful and quirky style.
This show is another triumph in Dr. Suess's attempts to open people's minds to ideas outside the box. It has been said this show lacked a plot or that the plot was "scattershot," not so. The show is not so much about the birth process, biology or mythology, but rather the concept of "Deliberate or Conscious Creation." The concept of Deliberate Creation is that when the time comes for our soul in inhabit our body, all lives are laid out before it and the soul knows which life is best for it. Dr Suess represented this with a baby who was next to be born or go down to earth via the Hoober-Bloob Highway. The child is shown a TV with several different possible lives, all of which the child refuses until the life best suited for him is shown. The show continues with Mr. Hoober Bloob continually showing excerpts of that life and confirming with the child this is the life he wants. Eventually the child follows down the HB highway to earth to be born, and the process begins again. Though most people may miss Dr Suess's point to the show, this is still a very entertaining show; my kids 2, 4, 7, & 8, all loved it. It is well written and directed. As with all Dr Suess works the content of the show is deep enough to open people's minds without pushing, and still light hearted enough to be enjoyed by the whole family. Don't let the idea of Deliberate Creation keep you from watching this show, because you'll be sorry you missed such a wonderful gem from Dr Suess.
Much of Dr Seuss' work were a large part of my childhood, and I imagine that is true for a number of people. The Hoober-Bloob Highway is not quite one of the classics among the animated TV specials(1966's How the Grinch Stole Christmas is still the jewel of the crown in this regard), but that is not knocking it in any way. The animation is very colourful and perfectly matches the offbeat nature of the story. The story itself is strange and quite oddball, but this is actually one of the cases where this strangeness can be classed in a good way, it is part of the charm of The Hoober-Bloob Highway and there are quite a few other Dr Seuss specials(Halloween is Grinch Night for example) that have a wonderful strangeness to them. The music has a delightful blend of whimsy and quirkiness, and the writing is simple and funny as well as thoughtful and well-intentioned. The characters engage throughout, and the voice acting is well and truly excellent. I particularly enjoyed Bob Holt's heartiness. All in all, as always with Dr Seuss thoroughly enjoyable and charmingly oddball. 9/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Dr. Seuss TV specials are by nature and design often extremely offbeat affairs, so it's really saying something to state that this particular program might be the most peculiar of them all. Kindly Mr. Hoober-Bloob (nicely voiced with hearty glee by Bob Holt) gives a male baby a preview of his life prior to sending the little fellow down to earth to live out his existence. The wildly idiosyncratic, yet thoughtful script by Dr. Seuss offers an oddball meditation on birth and reproduction while delivering a gloriously nutty celebration on the pros and cons of being human. Mr. Hoober-Bloob makes for a warm and likable protagonist. The neat array of amusingly catchy'n'quirky songs are a total treat to hear. Dean Elliott's funky, syncopated score hits the get-down groovy spot. The vivid and creative animation offers a wondrous wealth of strikingly surreal images, with the usual array of bizarre creatures and Hoober-Bloob's zealous humanoid lute assistant standing out as wonderfully kooky sights to behold. But it's the very jaw-dropping strangeness of this funny and entertaining take on the human condition which ultimately gives this show its extra infectiously wonky charm. A hugely enjoyable and original one-of-a-kind oddity.
This was at least superficially about the birth process--though it has nothing to do with biology and follows no other established mythology. Because of that, I don't really know what the author originally intended when he wrote it. Seuss stories tend either to have a clear message, such as the pro-environmental "The Lorax" or "Green Eggs and Ham," a plea for open-mindedness, or they are relatively simple exercises in creative language, like "Marvin K. Mooney, Would You Please Go Now?" This one, however, fits into neither model. The narrator and main character, Mr. Hoober-Bloob, is in charge of sending new babies down the Hoober-Bloob Highway, a long twisting ramp, to Earth to be born. A particularly reluctant subject needs to be coaxed; scenes shown from his life make up most of the action. I guess one could say this is a show about individuality, but the plot is really too scattershot even to pin it down that much. That said, this special is as well-drawn and voiced as any of the Seuss shows; in other words, this isn't an inferior knockoff like the sequels to "The Cat in the Hat" or "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." It's just difficult to characterize. It is, however, quite entertaining if one doesn't expect anything especially profound.
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