Hats Off! Meet the Star-Studded Cast of the New Cat in the Hat Netflix Movie


The Cat in the Hat is a children’s book written and illustrated by Theodor Geisel under the pen name Dr. Seuss, and was published in 1957. It centers on a tall anthropomorphic cat who wears a red and white-striped hat and a red bow tie. The Cat shows up at the house of Sally and her brother one rainy day when their mother is away. Despite the repeated objections of the children’s fish, the Cat shows the children a few of his tricks in an attempt to entertain them. In the process he and his companions, Thing One and Thing Two, wreck the house.

The book was an immediate success upon release and has since sold over 10 million copies. It is considered one of the most successful and influential children’s books ever written. In 2003, a live-action film adaptation was released. It starred Mike Myers as The Cat, Spencer Breslin as Conrad, Dakota Fanning as Sally, and Alec Baldwin as Larry Quinn. The film received mixed reviews, with criticism for deviating from the original story but praise for its visual effects and Myers’s performance.

Mike Myers as The Cat

Mike Myers, known for his comedic roles like Austin Powers, took on the challenge of playing the mischievous Cat in the Hat. According to https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/cat_in_the_hat, Myers brought his own unique spin to the beloved Dr. Seuss character. The actor is quoted as saying he wanted to portray the Cat as a “street cat” with a swagger. Reviews were mixed on Myers’ unconventional approach. While some found his wacky portrayal entertaining, others felt it was too crude and straying too far from the original source material.

“Myers plays the cat like you might imagine Alice Cooper would, if he ever got to play Willy Wonka,” wrote Roger Ebert in his review on https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/dr-seuss-the-cat-in-the-hat-2003. Clearly, Myers’ punk rock-inspired Cat was a departure from Seuss’ vision. But the actor stands by his creative choices, hoping to bring a contemporary edge to the decades-old tale.

Spencer Breslin as Conrad

Spencer Breslin was cast in the role of Conrad, the rule-following older brother of Sally. Breslin was already an established child actor known for films like The Kid and The Santa Clause 2 (IMDb). At only 10 years old, he had over 50 commercials and several major movie roles under his belt (Wikipedia). Breslin’s experience made him a natural fit for the fussy Conrad, who tries to maintain order amidst the chaos created by The Cat.

Breslin also had great on-screen chemistry with his co-star Dakota Fanning, who played his sister Sally. Their bickering sibling dynamic added humor and heart to the film. Though Conrad is obsessed with following rules, Sally helps pull him into the fun and imagination brought by The Cat. Breslin and Fanning played off each other wonderfully, creating an authentic and entertaining brother-sister relationship (IMDb).

Dakota Fanning as Sally

Dakota Fanning portrayed the well-behaved Sally in The Cat in the Hat. Already an acclaimed young actress at the time, Fanning played the perfect counterpoint to Mike Myers’ hyperactive Cat. In an interview in 2014, Fanning reflected on the experience of acting opposite Myers in the over-the-top adaptation saying, “It was really fun and Mike Myers is hilarious. He stayed in character the whole time. He was the Cat the whole time. It was fun being part of that crazy world” (https://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/movies/2014/09/03/we-interview-dakota-fanning-growing-up-screen/15040595/). Though the film received mixed reviews, Fanning’s performance was praised.

Alec Baldwin as Larry Quinn

Alec Baldwin plays the uptight next door neighbor Larry Quinn in The Cat in the Hat. Quinn acts as the foil to Myers’ wacky Cat, constantly annoyed by the Cat’s antics and trying to maintain order. Their dynamic provides some of the most memorable comedic moments as the rule-abiding Quinn clashes with the mischievous Cat.

Baldwin was already known for his acclaimed acting roles prior to The Cat in the Hat, including an Oscar nomination for his performance in The Cooler (cite: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000285/). He often played serious dramatic roles in films like The Hunt for Red October and Glengarry Glen Ross (cite: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alec_Baldwin_filmography), making his comedic turn in The Cat in the Hat a fun change of pace. Baldwin’s talent for both comedy and drama has made him one of the most prolific actors of his generation.

Kelly Preston as Joan Walden

Kelly Preston portrayed the mother, Joan Walden, in the 2003 film adaptation of The Cat in the Hat. As Conrad and Sally’s mother, Joan reacted with shock and dismay to the Cat’s chaotic antics after she left him in charge while away. Preston depicted Joan as a weary, controlling mother who returns home to find her house turned upside down by the mischievous cat.

Beyond her role in The Cat in the Hat, Kelly Preston had an extensive acting career spanning decades. Some of her most notable films included Jerry Maguire (1996), For Love of the Game (1999), Battlefield Earth (2000), and Old Dogs (2009). She was married to John Travolta and appeared alongside him in the film Gotti (2018). Preston died in July 2020 after a two-year battle with breast cancer.

Sean Hayes as Mr. Humberfloob

Sean Hayes portrayed the family’s pet fish Mr. Humberfloob in the film. He provided the voice acting for the animated character while also physically acting against a fake animated fish. This allowed him to realistically interact and converse with the fish character despite it being computer-generated.

Hayes was known at the time for his role as Jack McFarland on the sitcom Will & Grace. Bringing him onboard allowed the film to feature a recognizable comedic actor even though Mr. Humberfloob was an animated character.

In an interview, Hayes discussed the process of voicing the fish against a fake stand-in prop. He said, “I’m just kind of making it up and they’re animating the lips to move with what I’m saying” (source: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0312528/trivia/?item=tr5139600). This unique acting challenge let Hayes improvise and bring his comedic talents to the role.

Steven Anthony Lawrence as Dumb Schweitzer

Steven Anthony Lawrence played the memorable role of Dumb Schweitzer, the dim-witted sidekick to the bully Butch in The Cat in the Hat. Schweitzer utters funny lines like “I’m a vegetarian” when threatened to get his arms ripped off by The Cat. Though a relatively small role, Dumb Schweitzer stands out as a quirky and entertaining character.

Since his appearance in The Cat in the Hat, Lawrence has gone on to act in various television shows and movies. He is best known for his recurring role as Bernard “Beans” Aranguren in the Disney Channel series Even Stevens from 2001-2003 (https://tv.apple.com/us/person/steven-anthony-lawrence/umc.cpc.aleplg4dh2yy5k2iks1n7o2). He also appeared in films like Cheaper by the Dozen and television shows like ER, Still Standing, and Malcolm in the Middle. While less active in recent years, Lawrence made his mark with funny and offbeat roles like Dumb Schweitzer early in his career.

Reception and Legacy

The Cat in the Hat was met with mixed reviews upon its release, with many critics feeling it failed to capture the spirit and charm of Dr. Seuss’ original book. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a score of 46% based on 163 reviews, with an average rating of 5.2/10. The critical consensus states, “Filled with double entendres and potty humor, this Cat falls flat.”1 While some praised Mike Myers’ comedic performance as the titular Cat, many felt the raunchy, adult-oriented jokes went against the family friendly spirit of Seuss’ work.

Reviews from major critics were mixed. Roger Ebert called it “all color and flash and noise” but said it “deviates wildly from the simple charm of the original”. Claudia Puig of USA Today found the film “a vulgar bastardization” of the source material. On the positive side, Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter said it “shares the antic spirit of Chuck Jones’ animated Grinch Who Stole Christmas”.

Despite the poor critical reception, The Cat in the Hat was a box office success. The film opened at #1 its first weekend with $38.3 million, and ultimately grossed $134.2 million worldwide against a $109 million budget.2 While fans of Seuss’ book were disappointed, many children were entertained by the zany humor and slapstick comedy.

The Cat in the Hat has lived on through references and parodies in pop culture. The most notable is a Saturday Night Live skit featuring Mike Myers reprising his role, highlighting the absurdity of the adult-oriented take on the classic children’s story. While a controversial adaptation, it remains one of the most well-known Dr. Seuss films.


The Cat in the Hat brings the classic Dr. Seuss book to life with an all-star cast. Mike Myers leads the way as the mischievous Cat, creating an unforgettable performance full of energy and humor. Spencer Breslin and Dakota Fanning play the kids, Conrad and Sally, who get caught up in the Cat’s antics. Alec Baldwin provides an excellent counterpoint as the uptight neighbor Larry Quinn. Other standouts include Kelly Preston as the kids’ mom, Sean Hayes as their babysitter, and Steven Anthony Lawrence as Conrad’s best friend.

While critics had mixed reviews, audiences embraced the film and it has since become a modern family classic. There is no denying the infectious charm of Mike Myers and the colorful world created by this adaptation. The Cat in the Hat introduced Dr. Seuss to a new generation and remains a testament to the enduring popularity of the original storybook.

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