Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat

  • Review Date: May 3, 2004
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 82 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Too mature for the kids who are reading the book.
  • Review Date: May 3, 2004
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 82 minutes

Age

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Dubious characterization of Asians and elderly folks. Surprisingly rude and crude humor for a PG, including double entendres and other bodily function jokes.

Positive role models

No positive role models here.

Violence

Animals treated poorly, the Cat gets kicked in the crotch, comic mayhem. Comic peril may freak out young children.

Sex

Double entendres will go over youngest kids' heads but not yours.

Language

Some naughty words and a "dirty hoe" pun. Spells out the s-word.

Consumerism

More tie-ins than a barrel of monkeys.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Joke reference to drinking and smoking, adult character gets beer.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie isn't for the kids who are reading the book -- in its quest for a commercially-rewarding PG rating it has aged itself out of the youngest audience. It's not right for your 5- or 6-year-old. There is surprisingly rude and crude humor including double entendres and almost-swearing, potty humor, and other bodily function jokes. The Cat picks up a muddy garden implement and refers to it as "a dirty hoe" and spells out the s-word. The Cat is hit in the crotch. There's a lot of comic peril that may be too intense for younger children. An adult character drinks beer.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Based on the classic Dr. Seuss story, this live-action film stars Mike Meyers as the mischievous Cat. Meyers' interpretation of the Cat seems to be a master of vaudevillian shtick with a few of the voices from The Wizard of Oz and a sort of demented Mary Poppins thrown in for what turns out to be very good measure. Here, the Cat is an \"I'm here to teach you a lesson,\" sort of guy to his two young friends. Conrad (Spencer Breslin) must learn to follow the rules and Sally (Dakota Fanning) has to learn to loosen up and not be so bossy. And they have to learn to appreciate one another. Also new to the film, a neighbor (Alec Baldwin) schemes to marry the kids' mother and have Conrad sent to a military boarding school. Meanwhile, the Cat creates absolute chaos and the kids react with a mixture of horror and delight in seeing things like that \"don't you touch anything\" living room covered in splotches of purple goo. Jellybean-colored sets (and Mom's just-dry-cleaned dress) are cheerfully destroyed along with, Mom's rules, some of the kids' ideas about themselves, and the laws of physics.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The great thing about the irrepressibly anarchic Cat in the Hat is that even Hollywood can't contain him. They can stretch out the story with filler that ranges from the superfluous to the distracting and once in a while reaches the level of oh-no-not-that-again. But every time the Cat takes over, it is entertaining. Meyers' energy and audacity -- and his astonishingly animated expressions under all that fur -- keep the movie on track. This is important because very little of what is added to the story is worth the effort.

The mom-neighbor subplot isn't very original or interesting, but fortunately it does not take too much time away from the real story, which is the undeniable pleasure of watching the Cat destroy and create chaos in the perfect house. That's what keeps this movie working. We get both the fun of imagining all of that and the satisfaction of a happy ending. And Meyers is simply a hoot to watch, with able support from the kids (especially Fanning) and the fish (voice of Sean Hayes).

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Sally had a hard time with her friends and why Conrad had a hard time following rules.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 21, 2003
DVD release date:March 16, 2004
Cast:Alec Baldwin, Dakota Fanning, Kelly Preston, Mike Myers
Director:Bo Welch
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Book characters
Run time:82 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:mild crude humor and some double-entendres

This review of Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Written byAnonymous February 5, 2013
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

Not for Kids PG-13 (Hard PG).

Sexual Content again and I saw this Movie when I was 16 Years Old. Not a PG Movie at all. I can't believe how much sex is put in this movie. A Lot of sex not for kids.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 4 and 6 year old Written byadpace December 29, 2009
AGE
6
QUALITY
 
I sat down to watch this movie with my 6 year old and my 4 year old thinking a Dr. Seuss-based movie had to be great for the kids. I was so terribly wrong! Most of the nasty stuff went over my kids' heads (thankfully), but I almost turned it off anyway. It has so much crude humor, sexual references and language references that I could hardly believe this would be movie marketed to kids! I will never assume a movie is appropriate for my kids again regardless of how appropriate it may seem by the appearance. Personally, I wouldn't allow my kids to watch it even if they are bit older because there is very little positive I can say about it. Too much gratuitous junk in it. When I turn on a kid's movie, I expect it to be appropriate for them. :(
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written byVix66 April 9, 2008
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Not for my five year old

This movie only proved that I need to not trust the PG rating where my six year old is concerned, and need to do some research before I take him to a movie. A group of kids beat the Cat in the Hat with bats. The Cat in the Hat says "son of a ....". The Cat in the Hat takes aim at one child's head with said bat. The cat picks up a garden hoe and says "dirty ho". Then, just to further drive the point home for those of us who might have missed it, he calls it, "baby." This made my son look at me with wide-eyes. This is a terrible movie for any age. It's not funny even at an adult's level, and it's completely inappropriate for anyone under the age of 12, yet it doesn't have enough smarts or humor to keep anyone older than 8 interested. FLOP. I bet it'll make a ton of money.
Educator and Parent Written byMommyLove4Ever May 13, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 
I HATE IT! I think Dr. Suess would roll over in his grave with this movie. It's a shame that a classic children's book has been made into garbage. Shame on Mike Myers for participating in this production! I thought my 7th grade students would like it, but it should not be shown in a 7th grade classroom. It promotes cursing, has a beer brand clearly shown, and has way too many perverted and sexual inuendos. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR KIDS OF ANY AGE!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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