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THE CAT IN THE HAT

About The Production
Originally published in 1957, The Cat in the Hat is one of the most beloved children's books ever written and remains one of the Top 10 best-selling hardcover children's books to this day. In an unusual business co-venture for the time, publishing houses Houghton Mifflin and Random House commissioned Theodor S. Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss) to create a primer for children using 220 new reader vocabulary words; Houghton Mifflin intended the book for classroom usage, with Random House aiming it at the home market. While school systems were reticent to adopt the book, The Cat in the Hat immediately took off with families, and Geisel's groundbreaking work firmly established him as one of the preeminent children's book author/illustrators in the business. 

The fantastical word of Dr. Seuss has become well-known the world over, thanks to countless re-printings and translations of his books, as well as the numerous television adaptations of his works. But during the holiday season of 2000, Seussian fans and audiences were treated to a never-before-seen motion picture adaptation of one of the author's most beloved stories—How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Universal Pictures release (produced by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Brian Grazer and directed by Oscar® winner Ron Howard under their Imagine Entertainment banner and starring Jim Carrey) became the Number One box office release for the year, signaling that moviegoers were eager to see their favorite Seuss creations on the big screen. 

Under Grazer's stewardship and Howard's direction, The Grinch's transition from page to screen was as inventive as it was seamless. Grazer's respectful handling of the Dr. Seuss Enterprises' property rendered him, in the estate's eyes, a proven caretaker of the author's work. So the decision to entrust the movie rights for The Cat in the Hat to the filmmaker—who had not only brought Seuss' verse and fully-realized world to the screen, but managed to enlarge the author's vision to fill the larger medium and create an international blockbuster in the process—was a simple one. 

Grazer, who recalled reading the book as a child, comments, "Because we grew up with these books, and because they have such universal themes and the illustrations ignite such fantasy in your mind as a child—the aggregation of all those feelings—it leaves an indelible, positive memory. And so when I realized I had a chance to convert first The Grinch and then, The Cat in the Hat, into movies, I was willing to do anything to bring them to the screen.” 

Mike Myers had a similarly nostalgic memory about the children's classic and recalls, "My earliest memories of Dr. Seuss are the book mobile in Toronto, this traveling library, where we would check out his books. My mother was an actress in England, and she would read the books to me and other kids, who came by to listen because she was so good at it. My earliest memory of Dr. Seuss is The Cat in the Hat, which I loved—it's my favorite book. I loved the illustrations, and my mom read it with a Liverpool accent. That may be why it's my favorite book of all time.” 

Myers notes that when Geisel wrote The Cat in the Hat in 1957, he was making a point about the proper way to have fun (responsibly!); upon review 45 years later, the book possibly has even more resonance today, with all of the high-tech distractions available to children in the 21st Century. For instance, it was one thing for a child of the 1950s to be grounded from watching television (with its limited choice of three networks), but if today's child were forbidden from using computers, cable, video games and the like… 

Grazer concurs and says, "The Cat basically comes along and shows these bored kids how to have fun without the usual distractions. He is there to show them the power is within you and you simply must appreciate it. And what he does is ignite excitement and joy wi

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