|“||Let's get this party started!||„|
|~ The Cat in the Hat|
Role in the Film
Sally and Conrad Walden live in the city of Anville with their single mother Joan Walden, who works for neat-freak Hank Humberfloob. One day, Mr. Humberfloob firmly warns Joan that she will be fired if her house is messy for the upcoming meet and greet party.
At the house, Conrad trashes the house, causing their dog Nevins to run down the street in fright. Joan punishes Conrad for a week while re-cleaning the house. Their next door neighbor, Larry Quinn, whom Joan is dating to Conrad's dismay, brings back Nevins, and Sally is grateful.
When Larry leaves, Joan is called back to the office again, leaving the kids with Mrs. Kwan, a lethargic babysitter, and making sure they are forbidden to enter the living room, which is being kept pristine for the upcoming party.
Larry is constantly on the lookout for any trouble that Conrad causes, as he wants nothing more than to send him away to military school, earning Conrad the reputation of "troublemaker", while his sister is characterized as "perfect and well-behaved".
Once their mother leaves, and Mrs. Kwan is falling asleep, Sally and Conrad discover a humanoid, oversized talking Cat in a Hat in their house. The Cat wants them to learn to have fun, though the children's pet Fish doesn't want the cat around while Joan is away.
In a series of antics, the Cat ruins Joan's best dress, jumps on the living room's couch, and bakes cupcakes that explode. In the process, he even releases two troublemaking Things from a crate that he explains is actually a portal from their world to his.
The Cat tells Conrad that he only has one rule: that he must never open the crate. The Cat tells the Things to fix Joan's dress; however, they end up wrecking the house instead, since they only do the opposite of what is said.
Despite the Cat's warning, Conrad picks the lock anyway. When the crate's lock attaches itself to the collar of the family dog, Nevins, which then escapes, the Cat and the kids go out to find it.
Meanwhile, Larry is revealed to be a disgusting and unemployed slob who has false teeth and is in financial ruin, showing off the impression as a successful businessman in the hopes of marrying Joan for her money and to mooch off of her.
Larry sees Nevins running across the street and sees that this is an opportunity for Joan to send Conrad to military school as punishment and allow him to move in.
They're almost discovered by some children from the nearby birthday party of Sally's former friend, Denise during which the Cat hides by pretending to be a piñata and is subsequently beaten.
While spying on Nevins, the cat and the kids see Larry arrive and take the dog. The Cat and the kids are witness to this and, using the Cat's super-powered car, they follow Larry into town but end up crashing the car to a pole.
Larry goes to see Joan, but the Cat (disguised as a hippie) intervenes and tricks Larry into handing over the dog and he and the kids escape.
They later see an anxious Larry driving home with Joan, but Conrad uses Things 1 and 2 to stall her by posing as police officers, giving them time to get back using Quinn's car.
While distracting them, Larry sees the group drive past and races back to the house, telling Joan to meet him there.
During this time, "the mother of all messes" has been emitted from the unlocked crate and enters the house. Quinn catches the kids out the front and pushes them into the house, where they find it surprisingly immaculate.
A hidden Cat then reveals himself to Larry, who stumbles back in fear sneezing (he is allergic to cats), tearing through a wall and falling off a bottomless cliff, revealing the Cat's world.
The trio navigate their way through the oversized house by riding Mrs. Kwan and find the crate sucking up things that disappears forever once gone through. Sally is nearly sucked up but Conrad manages to put the lock back on the crate to save her and the house.
The house returns to its normal proportions but immediately falls apart. The Cat then tells the kids that he had planned the whole day, including making not opening the crate his only rule, as he knew Conrad could not resist and also admits he never really lost his magic hat.
The kids angrily tell the Cat to leave the house for the destruction he has caused, and then brace themselves for their mother's arrival.
However, the Cat happily returns to clean up his mess with his invention the great cleaning contraption called "D.I.R.T." much to Conrad and Sally's surprise and delight.
Afterwards, when everything is restored to its original cleanliness, the Cat says goodbye to Conrad and Sally as they plead with him not to go but he departs just as Joan is coming in.
Quinn arrives, thinking he has busted the kids, but when Joan sees the clean house (and a really messy Larry), she disbelieves him, and dumps him. He cries, sneezes in his hands, disgusting Joan (it's possible that she has learned of his sloppiness).
He asks her to marry him, but she closes the door and Sally locks him out of the house. Conrad and Sally jump for joy as Mrs. Kwan falls asleep again.
When her party is successfully completed, Joan and her kids play in the living room by jumping on the couch and having fun (with the cat going out of town with Thing 1 and 2, completing the film as the credits roll).
- According to Mike Myers, less than a month before the film was released, the producers made plans for a sequel based on the book's sequel, The Cat in the Hat Comes Back. However, Audrey Geisel, Dr. Seuss' widow, was so appalled by this movie that she decided to reject any future live-action adaptations of her late husband's work. The sequel was eventually canceled.
- A lot of of the adult humor in this film was originally meant for How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), but director Ron Howard cut it out.
- Tim Allen was originally cast in the title role. He couldn't do it because he was filming The Santa Clause 2 (2002).
- In an interview for the AV Club's "Random Roles" feature, Amy Hill said that Mike Myers was terrible to work with, because he refused to talk to anyone on the production but the director Bo Welch and completely isolated himself from the cast and crew during breaks in the filming. Hill noted that the film ended up having long and pointless additional takes of scenes because Myers overruled Welch on whether they were good enough or not.
- The Cat costume was made of Angora and human hair and was fitted with a cooling system. To keep Myers cool during the outdoor shoots, a portable air conditioner was available that connected a hose to the suit between shots. The tail and ears were battery operated.
- While Myers' on set bad behaviour was widely reported, it was later revealed that he was contractually obligated to act in this movie. He disagreed with the script and the direction the movie was going to and tried to get out of his contract. He was however sued by Universal for $3.8 million but he countersued and finally, a settlement was reached where he agreed to make another film with the studio. The legal troubles would explain Myers' bad behaviour and how he reluctantly carried on making the movie even though he didn't want to. However, this movie and his next one, The Love Guru (2008), were so bad for him so much so that he only acted sporadically afterwards and has mostly done voice over work.
- The Cat has less than an hour of screen time.
- This is the second Dreamworks film adaptation of a children's book to star Mike Myers and feature two songs performed by Smash Mouth. Shrek (2001) was adapted from a picture book by William Steig, and featured "All Star" and "I'm a Believer".
- Mike Myers claimed that "The Cat in the Hat" was the first book he had ever read.
- Mike Myers was unaware that a piece of the house would fall behind him near the end of the film. His reaction was real.
- When the kids sign the contract and discover the Spay and Neuter certificate, the date of birth on the certificate is May 25, 1963, Mike Myers' own birthday.
- The scene where the Things "clean" the house, moving the spots from one area to another, was inspired by the book sequel, The Cat in the Hat Comes Back where the Cat moves cake stains from one spot to another.
- When the kids find out The Cat had his original hat all along, The Cat says, "How about a set of Canadian doubles?" Mike Myers is Canadian.