Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

Studio and Year: CBS/Warner - 1973
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 25 minutes
Genre: Animation/Family

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.37:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 1.0 Master Audio, English/Spanish Dolby Mono
Subtitles: English SDH, French
Starring: Voices of: Allan Sherman, Dawes Butler, Pamelyn Ferdin, Tony Frazier, Gloria Camacho
Directed by: Hawley Pratt
Music by: Dean Elliott
Written by: Dr. Seuss
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 7, 2012

"Invite him into your home"

Film Synopsis:

It's a rainy day at home and siblings Dick and Sally have nothing to do, but all of that changes when The Cat and his messy sidekicks, Thing One and Thing Two, burst onto the scene, bringing with them adventure and chaos much to the dismay of a worried pet goldfish.

My Take:

While their mother is out on a shopping errand, Dick and Sally are stuck indoors on a dull, rainy day, with nothing to do. Their dreary afternoon, however takes an unexpected turn when they’re paid a visit by a charismatic, six-foot tall, hat-wearing cat, who invites himself in to search for his misplaced “moss-covered, three-handled family gredunza.” Employing the “Calculatus Eliminatus” method, the children help the Cat in the Hat look for his missing keepsake but in the process, leave the house in a mess. Mr. Krinkelbein, the family’s wise pet goldfish, who in effort to look out for the kids’ best interest, protests the Cat in the Hat’s shenanigans and orders him to leave. The Cat in the Hat however, preoccupied with finding his missing “gredunza,” enlists the help of his best friends, Thing One and Thing Two, to help with the search but the pair only manage to bring the house into further disarray. Unfazed by the chaos that’s slowly unfolding around them, Dick and Sally are captivated by the Cat in the Hat and his madcap, whimsical ways. They pass the afternoon in sheer delight, singing happy songs and engaging in playful mayhem with their uninvited guest. Even the cynical Mr. Krinkelbein is won over by the Cat’s infectious charm. Everyone is having way too much fun to notice the house is a complete mess! That’s until Dick and Sally hear their mother coming home. How in the world will they clean up the enormous mess before she walks through the front door?

As a child I grew up reading Dr. Seuss and The Cat in the hat was among my favorites. When it came to TV we got a kick out of seeing the characters/story brought to life but somehow there is always a little something lost in the translation. There is just something special about reading the book. Of course we looked forward to watching it and enjoyed it just the same. Back then the only time we were able to see classics like this were when they came on annually. If you somehow missed it you were out of luck until next year. It was rarely a problem because there was always plenty of advanced notice. The advent of home video changed all of that. I don’t want to say that makes it less special but kids growing up in the age of home video don’t understand the excitement/anticipation of waiting each year to see The wizard of Oz, West Side Story, Rudolph the red nosed reindeer or The Cat in the hat. To those of us who grew up watching these wonderful TV specials taken directly from our favorite books they feel like a part of our culture. Seeing it now brings back warm nostalgic memories from my childhood. I am pleased that it has been released in high definition on Blu-ray Disc.

Parental Guide:

This is appropriate for all ages.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 68

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109942&d=1210373647

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

Video: 86

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 18 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 sound that has an average bitrate of 815 kbps.

This high definition presentation represents this made for TV special in a positive light and looks quite good. The print is decent shape with a noticeably grainy but unobtrusive aesthetic. Resolution is estimable as the video is rendered with discernible clarity and stable sharpness. The range of colors is reminiscent of those in the book. They don’t appear strikingly vivid but are pleasing. Blacks aren’t infinitely deep but look appreciably dark next to the lighter elements onscreen. I didn’t see any obvious signs of compression related noise or distracting video artifacts. I was very pleased with the overall quality of this video presentation.

The DTS-HD MA Mono track is decent and capably renders this soundtrack. I never had any trouble discerning any of the elements present in the recording. This was true of background sounds even during the running narration. Dialogue was prominent and clear with fair room penetration. Like the video quality I suspect that this is as good as we are going to hear this film and quite frankly I think it’s both appropriate and part of its charm.

Bonus Features:

  • The Cat in the hat sing-a-long mode

  • Daisy-head Mayzie – Full length animated feature of the Dr. Seuss Classic – 24 minutes

  • The Hoober-Bloob highway – Full length animated Dr. Seuss story – 24 minutes

  • Trailers – Tom & Jerry: Around the world, The Looney Tunes Show, More Scooby-Doo! Titles, Adventure time

  • Bonus DVD – Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat Deluxe Edition

Final Thoughts:

It is a treat to see this TV Special based on the beloved Dr. Seuss book brought to high definition Blu-ray. The inclusion of two full length animated features based on other popular Dr. Seuss works is a nice touch. The Cat in the Hat sing-a-long mode and bonus DVD complete this satisfying Blu-ray offering. If you like the book and enjoyed this classic TV special this Deluxe Edition Blu-ray release from Warner Home Video makes for a great way to revisit it looking and sounding its best. Enjoy!


Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

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