Mike Myers is a legendary comedian, starring in all-time classics like Wayne’s World, Austin Powers, and Shrek. Dr. Seuss is the beloved author behind some of the most famous and enduring children’s books to ever be written. So when these two titans are combined, you expect great things. However, sometimes two rights can make something very wrong.
Modern streaming means that movies that got overlooked or hated during their initial release can return to the public eye, allowing everyone to see if they’re really as bad as they’re made out to be. And right now, one of the most hated Seuss adaptations (and one of Myers’ most loathed movies) is doing really well on Netflix.
According to Flixpatrol, 2003’s The Cat in the Hat was the ninth most popular film on Netflix yesterday. The film was the directorial debut for Bo Welch, and it had an all-star cast that included Myers, Alec Baldwin, Kelly Preston, and Dakota Fanning. However, what made the film stand out was that it was live-action, when most previous Seuss films had been animated.
The film was terribly reviewed when it came out, with many describing Myers’ prosthetics and costume as really creepy. Others said that the film lacked the charm of the previous Suess adaptation, and that the changes from the book totally ruined the narrative, especially trying to stretch a 1600-word book to a 90-minute movie.
A common complaint was that the film featured far too much adult humor, which would likely confuse the children watching, because the book’s target audience is pre-schoolers and very early grade schoolers. Because of this, it landed a 9% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes.
However, viewers were much friendlier. It made a respectable $134 million at the box office, and has a 54% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite the backlash, the film is most famous for its legacy. While a sequel was planned, Seuss’ widow Audrey Geisel hated the movie so much that she banned any future live-action versions of the author’s work.