Considering Dr. Seuss's books were among some of our childhood favorites, we were always excited whenever they announced a movie adaptation.
In 2000, the first live-action film of one of Dr. Seuss's most famous works, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, made it onto the silver screen. The film, narrated by Anthony Hopkins, starred Jim Carrey and Jeffrey Tambour, and was an instant box office hit. It is the second-highest grossing holiday film of all time, and even won an Academy Award.
Naturally, the success of the film inspired other filmmakers to try their hand at bringing another feature-length adaptation of a Dr. Seuss book to our screens. This time, their sights were set on "The Cat in the Hat."
In 2003, with the help of a star studded cast, featuring Mike Myers, Alec Baldwin, Kelly Preston, Dakota Fanning, and Spencer Breslin, The Cat in the Hat movie made its debut, but unlike the previous film, this adaptation was not a hit among critics.
"Cat, another over-blown Hollywood raid on Dr. Seuss, has a draw on Mike Myers, who inexplicably plays the Cat by mimicking Bert Lahr in The Wizard of Oz," wrote Peter Tavers of Rolling Stone.
In Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide, the film was dubbed as "an official insult." Maltin added that the "brightly colored adaptation of the beloved rhyming book for young children is a betrayal of everything Dr. Seuss ever stood for, injecting potty humor and adult (wink-wink) jokes into a mixture of heavy-handed slapstick and silliness. "
However, none of these critics had an impact as big as Dr. Seuss's widow, Audrey Geisel.
Before his death in 1991, Dr. Suess, whose actual name is Theodor Seuss Geisel, handed over his empire to his wife, Audrey.
"‘I’ve had a wonderful life,’" Audrey recalled the famous author saying. "‘I’ve done what I had to do. I lived where I wished to live. I had love. I had everything. 'But, now my work will be turned over to you. And you will have to deal with those consequences.’"
Since then, Audrey has been the president and CEO of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, and she works hard everyday to ensure no one takes advantage of her husband's iconic work.
She has also given her blessings for the first live-action movie, however after the release of The Cat in the Hat, she wasn't impressed with the film overall. She also did not approve of Mike Myers's role as The Cat.
Audrey decided to never allow any further live-action adaptation of Dr. Seuss's works. This is the reason why the planned sequel of The Cat in the Hat never came to fruition.
There have since been animated movies based on Dr. Seuss's books, such as The Lorax (2012), but you will probably not see another live-action version for a long time.