For such a brilliant and beloved author, Dr. Seuss has had a rough go of things when it comes to cinema. More than a few of his works have been butchered by Hollywood, totally destroying the spirit of his work. But with material as wonderful as Dr. Seuss's, it's only right that a few people have come along who have managed to capture the spirit of his stories on the big screen. Forget all about the fetid "Cat in the Hat" movie and treat yourself to some prime Dr. Seuss with four Dr. Seuss movies that any child will love!
"Horton Hears A Who"
He said what he meant, and he meant what he said. So goes Horton's mantra in this charming story of an elephant who helps the Whos, creatures who live on a tiny speck. It sounds ludicrous, but in the world of Dr. Seuss it makes total sense. The original story was great, and the film adaptation did a fine job with its source material. Comedy heavyweights Jim Carrey and Steve Carrell lend their considerable talents to this movie, and the end result is a great movie for the whole family, and a film that every child will love.
"How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" (1966)
The big-budget Jim Carrey version of this story got too caught up with spectacle and Hollywood magic, but the classic animated Christmas special got the story exactly right. The old-style animation suits the Whoville universe perfectly, and Boris Karloff's performance as the Grinch, frowning high on Mt. Crumpet, is excellent. With great songs and a great sentiment, this movie is perfect holiday viewing. It's shown ad nauseam during the Christmas season, so there's no excuse for kids to miss out on this great Dr. Seuss movie.
"The Lorax" received the movie treatment years ago, but in 2012 Hollywood came knocking and decided that if "Horton Hears A Who" could be a success, so could "The Lorax". The movie plays on the current "Green Thinking" movement with themes of over-development and deforestation, but apart from that, the movie is wacky ride full of wonderful characters and funny jokes for kids and adults. Danny DeVito delivers a great performance as the title character, and the supporting cast keeps up with him step-for-step.
"The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T"
Released in 1953, this was the only live-action adaptation of a Dr. Seuss story for years until the 90s rolled around. Seuss himself wrote the screenplay and the lyrics for the songs contained in the movie. While the plot is little bit like other fantasy stories such as "The Wizard of Oz" and "Alice in Wonderland", what sets this film apart is Dr. Seuss' trademark settings and silly lingo. Centered around a giant piano that requires 500 kids to play it (hence 5,000 fingers), the movie is a fun flight of fancy about a boy who longs to be done with his piano lessons in real life. Any kid will identify with the boredom of having to spend time under the learning tree instead of running around and playing with their friends!