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Stray Cat

Culture | In addition to Disney's dismal Brother Bear, three "family" movies are currently clamoring for your children's attention in theaters.

Issue: "Gay marriage backlash," Dec. 6, 2003

In addition to Disney's dismal Brother Bear, three "family" movies are currently clamoring for your children's attention in theaters. One is horrible, one is mediocre (see right), and the last is not half bad (see below). All three received the same PG rating, but they're not all equally suitable for family viewing.

The worst of the three is probably also the most eagerly anticipated. Truly a pathetic movie, The Cat in the Hat will still no doubt rake in big bucks. But profits will likely be based on fond memories of the Dr. Seuss story it barely resembles and the film's omnipresent marketing campaign. Word of mouth is certainly not going to help this mess.

Unlike the book, The Cat in the Hat movie is chock full of the sort of clever comedy that relies most heavily on unpleasant bodily functions. Worse still, the movie contains a repellent number of adult sexual references. In one scene, the Cat (Mike Myers) picks up a framed photo of the kids' mom (Kelly Preston). Folds drop from the bottom of the frame, which the Cat stretches out and ogles as if viewing a magazine centerfold-which causes both his hat and tail to become erect. (Ms. Preston is also forced to wear a series of low-cut outfits throughout the movie because, hey, that's how Dr. Seuss drew her character, right?)

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The whole movie is one big creepy, unpleasant-and unexpectedly boring-experience. The filmmakers do attempt to tack on a moral lesson for the kids, but this doesn't come remotely close to making up for the rest of the film.

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