March 1 was “Read Across America Day”, and this year, the celebration honors the legendary Dr. Seuss. Theodore Geisel wrote 46 children’s books, many under the pseudonym of Dr. Seuss, and remains one of the most read children’s authors in history. His style of writing included rhyme and inventive characters and many have seen their way into children’s cartoons, and occasionally, a big screen theatrical release. In honor of Dr. Seuss, here is a look at the four movies to hit the big screen based on his work.
The most recent movie to hit theaters based on the work of Dr. Seuss was the animated film “The Lorax.” The story was created to teach children about the importance of environmental issues and protecting one’s environment. The story also touches upon corporate greed and how that can destroy nature and damage the quality of life in the long run. The movie stars the voice talent of Zac Efron as the young boy who sets out to find out if there are any trees left alive and learn what happened to the ones that used to exist. It is here that he learns the story of The Lorax, voiced by Danny Devito, a creature who speaks for the trees.
“Horton Hears a Who”
In 2008, another Dr. Seuss animated adaptation hit theaters with “Horton Hears a Who.” The film featured a comic all-star cast with names like Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Carol Burnett, Seth Rogen, Amy Poehler, and Will Arnett, and it was also the first to be animated in full CGI. Carrey stars as the elephant Horton, who saves a dust speck with the entire city of Whoville in it, including the mayor (Carell), his wife (Poehler), their 96 daughters and one son. Horton tries to find a safe place for the speck, but no one believes there is anyone alive on it, and the Sour Kangaroo sets out to destroy Horton’s reputation as well as the speck.
“The Cat in the Hat”
While both of the Dr. Seuss animated films were successful, the live-action ones were not. The worst of the two was Mike Myers’ starring in “The Cat in the Hat.” Released in 2003, the movie tells the story of an anthropomorphic cat who gets into trouble and turns two kid’s lives upside down. The movie received horrible reviews and the Dr. Seuss estate chose to never allow another live-action adaptation of their work to be made.
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
Before “The Cat in the Hat,” Jim Carrey starred as The Grinch in the live-action version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” While also critically derided, this movie had a lot to be admired, although it never compared to the classic Christmas television adaptation of the same story. The movie keeps most details the same, as The Grinch chose to ruin Christmas, until his heart grew and he came around in the end.