Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat Movie Poster Image
Classic Dr. Seuss story is mischievous fun for whole family.
  • NR
  • 2012
  • 25 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Kids will learn how to say "cat in the hat" in French, Spanish, German, "Eskimo," and Russian.

Positive Messages

The Cat in the Hat creates a great deal of chaos, but despite all of the mild domestic destruction, he does finally listen to Mr. Krinklebein the Fish and cleans up the mess he, Things One and Two, and the kids created. Some critics don't believe the story would be written today, since it's about a stranger who swoops in to help latchkey kids have fun while their mom is away.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Even though he's portrayed as the uptight rules-follower, Mr. Krinklebein is the only being in Sally and her brother's house who wants to listen to their mother and makes sure the kids aren't in danger, disobeying, or destroying the house. The Cat in the Hat is a mischievous force in the kids' lives, but he's ultimately a harmless catalyst for fun.

Violence & Scariness

Lots of mayhem/destruction during the cat's visit, but all is right in the end.

Sexy Stuff

The Cat teaches the kids how to say his name in different languages, including "Eskimo," which some consider to be a derogatory ethnic term.


Nothing in the movie itself, but Dr. Seuss' books and characters are visible as movies, TV specials, games, stuffed animals, etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat is a classic 1970s animated adaptation of the classic children's book. For decades, Theodor S. Geisel-aka-Dr. Seuss' six-foot-tall cat has delighted young children around the world with his silly songs, pals Thing One and Two, and general mischief making. There's nothing objectionable about the feature, although some parents and teachers might be put off by the idea of a stranger coming to the kids' house when parents are away. The Cat in the Hat is one of the most recognizable characters in children's literature, and this is the signature screen adaptation of his story.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byCommonSenseWafers October 14, 2020


curious fricken george ruined this film with his FRICKEN OATMEAL.
Kid, 12 years old June 11, 2021

Very good

This is a great movie because, it contains epic cat in the hat lore.
Teen, 17 years old Written byGalaxy03 July 21, 2020

Better than the movie.

This special is so much better than the infamous 2003 film. It's cute, has clever, charming, and funny songs, the animation is great, the humor is fun-hea... Continue reading

What's the story?

Based on Dr. Seuss' 1957 children's book, DR. SEUSS'S THE CAT IN THE HAT follows a young sister and brother who are home alone and bored to no end until in swoops a six-foot cat wearing a red-and-white stovepipe hat and a red bowtie. The Cat (voiced by Allan Sherman) immediately alarms the kids' pet fish, Mr. Krinklebein (Daws Butler), who insists the Cat immediately leave. But the Cat in the Hat returns, claiming the fish stole his moss-covered, three-handled family gradunza and enlisting the kids in a chaotic search for the family keepsake that nearly destroys the house. The chaos intensifies as the Cat invites Thing One and Thing Two along as well.

Is it any good?

This short-and-sweet adaptation of Theodor Geisel's iconic tale will prove nostalgic for many parents while still amusing the newest generation of Seuss devotees. There's something truly timeless about the Cat in the Hat and his mischievous antics, even if the animation and the musical numbers are a bit dated (the special first aired on CBS in 1971).

The songs are all catchy (there's even a sing-along version of the movie in the bonus features), but by far the most memorable is the titular "Cat in the Hat" song in which the Cat details how to say his name in various languages, from French to "Eskimo." Kids will likely keep singing "chat chapeau and gato sombrero" after the musical number is finished. At only 25 minutes, this feature is a fine way to entertain even the youngest Seuss fan.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Dr. Seuss' stories are so timeless. What is it about The Cat in the Hat that speaks to even the youngest readers and viewers? What is your favorite Dr. Seuss-based movie or show?

  • Do you think the Cat in the Hat is a role model? If not, why do you think he's still so popular?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love Dr. Seuss

Themes & Topics

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