The movie version of The Cat in the Hat remains faithful to the original Dr Seuss story, but padded out to fill an hour and a half of screen time. Myers as The Cat shows up at the home of Sally (Dakota Fanning) and Conrad (Spencer Breslin), two kids whove been given strict instructions to behave or else. When the funny feline appears, its to show the kids theres a way to have fun but you have to know how.
On casting Mike Myers as the infamous Cat, producer Brian Grazer explained, "The Cat is an icon in American 20th Century life and it takes the genius Mike possesses to inhabit that role in an honest way that I truly think Dr. Seuss would have approved of. Mike brings irreverence to the Cat, which comes from his brilliance in understanding how pop culture works, so the movie is not just a benign childrens tale. I suspect its probably what Geisel would have done if he had written the book today, given how irreverent he was."
Universal Studios in Hollywood hosted the World Premiere of director Bo Welchs The Cat in the Hat on Saturday, November 8, 2003. The requisite red carpet was adorned with red and white Seuss-style decorations, and even hard-nosed journalists gladly put on The Cat in the Hat scarves and/or signature Cat hats.
Minus his Cat make-up, Mike Myers answered a few questions from the press about his work on this family film:
MIKE MYERS (The Cat):
Were you a long-time fan of Dr. Seuss before making The Cat in the Hat?
Long-time, long-time. The Cat in the Hat is the first book I ever read and one of my best Christmas presents ever, I think around 8 [years old], I got the complete set of Dr. Seuss books so Im very honored to play The Cat.
What were you going for in the character? Theres obviously a lot of manic energy there.
Well, The Cat is an anarchist and what I was trying to go for is I tried to imagine who would you want to come into your house, turn it upside-down, and youd be happy about it. And I thought of my mother-in-law and I thought of Bruce Paltrow Gwyneths day, Bruce Paltrow. And so thats what I sort of based the character externals and all that sort of stuff on. The energy I based on was my mom who used to read me The Cat in the Hat and all the Dr. Seuss books to me up in Toronto. Thats the energy. If Austin Powers was more about my father, for me this movie was more about my mother.
What was it like being The Cat?
It was a lot of fun. I got to wear fur, I got to walk on the ceiling and I got to drive in a very cool car, and I got to hang out with two very cool kids.
Youre, of course, a Canadian and the movie includes a reference to Canadian Tennis Doubles. What exactly is Canadian Tennis Doubles?
I dont know what that is either I thought somebody would tell me (laughing).
That was in the actual script?
It was in the script (laughing). Usually I try and have one reference to Canada in everything that I do and there was already a reference to Canada. I kept asking around and I actually meant to go onto the Internet and look up Canadian Doubles so if anybody knows, come and tell me.
What was it like working with first-time director Bo Welch?
Hes hardly first time. Hes directed other things and he was so involved in all the other movies that he worked with that hes a natural, a star is born and hes Tim Burton, Stanley Kubrick and Mike Nichols all wrapped into one.