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Your Thoughts: The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss

Discussion in 'Family Worlds' started by beakerboy12, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. beakerboy12

    beakerboy12 Well-Known Member

    In honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday today, I thought we should relive that wacky Henson production The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss. Now I've seen about 5 episodes of the show but I believe that it was a really fun show and captured the whimsical-ness of Dr. Seuss, as well as the mayhem of the Muppets. The puppets are very well done too and their respective performers make sure they are in character. What were and/or are your opinions of this show?
  2. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I'll basically say the exact same thing. I haven't seen that many episodes (though I have a bunch on DVD I have to watch), and I agree, it did a great job of representing Dr. Seuss and the Muppets. I really enjoyed the episodes I've seen.
  3. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    I've been watching some of the episodes on Netflix and I have issues with both seasons. I wish there was some sort of happy medium between the two, with one long story, but more involvement from the Cats. Most of the time, the Cat in the Hat only appears the beginning and after the break and that's it. I do prefer his characterization in the first season; he was witty, clever, mischievous and unpredictable, like in the book. In season 2, he's relegated to a Bear-like host with no personality. Not dissing Marty's performance though, but the Ernie and Bert (uptight and easy-going) thing they tried with Terrence and the Cat isn't very interesting. I can tell they were trying for something like him and the fish in his debut book, but it doesn't work the same way. I also wish there was some more speaking in rhyme, as per the books, but I understand that would be very hard to tell the kind of stories they want to tell like that.

    The puppets are gorgeous though and very Seuss-like. I still wonder why it took them 'til season 2 to put Sam-I-Am in the show.
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I've ONLY seen clips. That's it. From what I've seen, it's much more Seussian than the current PBS Cat in the Hat show. But then again, it is kind of a strange concept to have a series center around learning about real life animals and their habitats from the world of someone who created Barbaloots, Wockets, and Foo Foo the Snoo.

    I'd love to actually see one of these someday. Seuss is one of my favorite kid's book authors.
  5. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    Surprisingly, Wubbulous World DVDs seem to be pretty easy to find in stores, yet at the same time, hard. If I'm looking for them at regular stores that sell DVDs, I never find them, yet they show up at stores you'd never expect.
  6. a_Mickey_Muppet

    a_Mickey_Muppet Well-Known Member

    i remember seeing a few eps. when it was on Nick Jr., I own a vhs and a dvd (one I found this past halloween cause its a halloween themed disc) like someone else said Marty is a GREAT muppeteer and the puppets are cool to but after watching ONLY half of em I kinda remember why i never really cared for the show (got too pre-schooly for me!!)
  7. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    This is the only free full ep. I could find online for ya':

  8. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Thanks for searching for that one.

    That is a very solid kid's show. Pretty much one of the best things Nick Jr. had as far as original programming went, from the looks of things. Those are some of the most amazingly fanciful puppets Henson ever produced. It wall to wall looks like a Seussian show that holds the integrity of his kid's books. Liked the snide dig at record companies in that one.

    Much more entertaining than, like I said, the current PBS series. Seems like they were trying primitive CGI backdrops, not quite Big Big World, but considering this was the late 90's. Yertle kinda sounds like Crocker for some reason. Morton and Horton were very endearing. But I LOVED the look of that light purple camel/dog faced phoney friend of Morton's. That's a very manic puppet design.

    They kept popping up in Marshalls and places like that, then they just stopped popping up altogether. Looks like Lionsgate was going to release some more of them, and then they stopped altogether either. Too bad they just didn't keep making more DVD releases.
  9. basicallygood

    basicallygood Active Member

    I remember getting a few episodes on DVD for my birthday a long time ago and I'd watch it practically every day, but I only found out that the Jim Henson company was behind everything around a year ago when I found the Henson website. I loved the show so much, and it made me even happier to know it was made possible by my favorite puppeteers. :)
  10. vettech28

    vettech28 Well-Known Member

    I liked the show when I was a kid. Personally, I liked Marty Robinson's performance of the Cat in the Hat better than Bruce Lanoil's, but both are excellent performers. I found the Cat's interactions with Terrence funny most of the time. But for some reason, my favorite characters of the show were Fox in Socks and Mr. Knox, I'm not sure why though. I think they should've used some of the characters from the first season for the second season as well. The other characters from the other locations could have used more screen time for the second season just like they had in the first season. Overall, I thought it was a pretty good show for the Henson Company.
  11. CountFan1998

    CountFan1998 Well-Known Member

    I liked Marty's performance better as well. When I picture the Cat in the Hat, I'd probably hear Marty's voice. I don't know, it just sounds more Seuss-esque. Bruce's Cat had a raspy, edgy voice in my opinion...
    But still, there are several other characters they could've used like The Lorax, The Sneetches, etc.
  12. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    I loved the show personally. I remember it came out around the time of Muppets Tonight. I was quite a young Muppet fan plus a big fan of Nickelodeon in which the 90s were the best time to be a kid ever. I remember hearing about it and being very mad at first, thinking the Dr. Suess company was steeling Muppet ideas or something so I sat through the very first episode didn't think it was to bad then seeing Jim Henson Productions at the end and I was smiling finally realizing that Jim Henson Productions made it. But yeah the show was awesome, I watched it every Friday night or Saturday night, around 7 or 8pm from what I remember. Taped as many episodes as I could. I put my original VHS recordingsto DVD, still missing a few. This show is when I discovered Anthony Asbury. His performance as Yertle the Turtle was AMAZING. So creepy and the puppetry mouth movements were so techically amazing to make his lips move to certain words and expressions. Then I got into Spitting Image where Anthony got his big start as John Paul II. But yeah. Anthony is one of my all time favorite puppeteers ever. Plus Between the Lions where he used the Yertle voice for Linal Lion, good show, but Wubbulous was better in my opinion.

    Though I did not like Season 2. That's when Cat in The Cat was performed my Marty Robinson, replacing Bruce Lanoil (I really liked him as a performer. Plus he was one of the puppeteers in the DinoTV skits on Dinosaurs, super funny performer lol) but yeah the original Cat I liked much better. Plus the whole format went from a very CGI background story with a 20 minute plot, to a preschool show. That got me mad. Though the only good thing I liked about it was Yertle came on there from time to time and they made his eye lids move which I really liked, but he wasn't as evil and creepy which was disapointing. I know the Grinch creeped me out. (Another Anthony character) "GET OUT OF TOWN!" lol That music video cracked me up. lol Anthony was the bird in season 2 right?

    I really want the complete season 1 on DVD. I have a few of the offical dvds but it's mixed nuts. Some of season 1, some of season 2. I tried to look at the Muppet tape trade sites for a good shape complete set but couldn't find it. Ow well, I guess I just got to go through the ones I have and figure out which ones I need. lol

    If anyone has a complete set, give me a PM, I tape trade, I got a nice collection of rare Muppet footage :)
  13. Dizzyactress

    Dizzyactress Member

    I think it's good for the developing minds of young children. It's pretty cute to watch.
  14. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    I love what The Jim Henson Company was doing with chroma key effects for a full 20 minute show at the time. It went beyond typical sets. They had trees and buildings moving. Sure it wasn't the best CGI animation but it was at least ground breaking at it's time. I only liked season 1 because season 2 just turned into a pre-school show and not the G rated family show like it was in season 1. It went from a show aimed at everyone to an educational show for kids. How it came to that, no idea.
  15. CountFan1998

    CountFan1998 Well-Known Member

    I know the CGI was used well, but I kinda liked the Cat's Playhouse in Season 2. It gave the show a central location, rather than it being total anthology with no reccurring hub. I just wish we could've seen the outside of the playhouse...
  16. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    For me, I liked Season 1 much better personally. I like anthology stuff :) And I thought Season 1 was aimed more at families in general, very G rated. But Season 2 took the shift of the show becoming a pre-school show which I felt kind of ruined it for me because I was a loyal viewer when it came out. Plus Season 1 had more of a plot involving certain characters. Like Fox and Knots winning a free tropical vacation and the whole episode, the airport treats them with disrespect through out and they are trapped and Mr. Knots got feed up yelling "I want my vacation NOOOOW!" and it later goes into this really awesome 1970s rock musical number with the window personel and the papers are being thrown everywhere. lol And I just love Anthony Asbury's performance of Yertle the Turtle in this. Right before the commercial break, he's the P.E. coach that turns with this evil look "Hello, hahahahah" with his scary evil laugh. lol I love that about Anthony's Yertle. But it seemed like Yertle got toned down in Season 2. Though what I liked was The Muppet Workshop rebuilt him to make moving eye lids but what I missed was he wasn't as evil as he was in the early episodes. I think the Black Blottered Beast episode is when they changed his look around but still a great episode. I loved the Yertle the King episode where he wanted everything including the very little land where Cat in The Hat was reading a book. Then they made a trade and Yertle gets tricked crying with his body moving up and down as he cried. lol

    Also, I missed the original guy who performed Cat. Bruce Lanoil, His worked on Dinosaurs. I really like his work. He's a great performer and a lot of his Dinosaurs work with the show within a show stuff was hilarious. I still remember his character in the Smoo episode, where he had a character on this controversal talk show and they were arguing about Dasies and how Sue is now called Milley. lol
    Though I don't understand why he didn't continue Cat in the Hat and Marty Robinson took over Cat in the Hat. Marty is a great performer but the voice was different and wasn't like how Bruce performed him. Bruce's Cat was more laid back.

    You know another episode I liked was the Muckster episode. With Jane Kangeroo and Junior. That's Kathryn Mullan as Junior right? And Stephanie D'Abruzzo as Jane right? She's from Avenue Q as Kate Monster right? I've seen her when I went to see Avenue Q years ago. Great Show. lol But yeah, I loved this episode. And I think Camille Bonora was in it as the TV show host in that episode, correct me if I'm wrong. It was one of her last Muppet performances I think before she retired.

    I loved the episodes where they had this dramatic plot in the 2nd act of the show. And what's so amazing is that this is chroma key, CGI background and it just takes television puppetry to a whole new level. This sort of thing is easy in animation but with puppetry, it's very complicated but it looks so amazing when it's finished. I'm even amazed with a lot of the camera work on lots of the current sketches on Les Guignols De L'Info (French Spitting Image) where the camera isn't on a tripod and of course the puppets aren't anything the waste up but just how the camera would make these cinematic moving camera shots and still hide the puppeteers are amazing.
    Television puppetry and film puppetry is such an amazing artform which Jim developed from I believe what Bob Clampett was doing with Bennie and Cecle and taking it too a whole new level. It's amazing just how film can hide the puppeteers and it just makes the characters more believable. It's tricky, and it can be complicated behind the scenes but it comes out so amazingly good at the end. And I just love this kind of art. :)
  17. CountFan1998

    CountFan1998 Well-Known Member

    Well, I grew up with Season 2 (I'm not that old, you realize :) ), so it's more of a perfect fit for me. If I had seen Season 1 first, then maybe my opinion would be different.
  18. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    I see what you mean, I grew up around Season 1 myself. :) Around the same time when Muppets Tonight was around. Oh gee I must have been close to 8 or 10 around that time. :) Nickelodeon was really good back then. :)
  19. Bliffenstimmers

    Bliffenstimmers Well-Known Member

    Just a few nights I found in my DVD collection an old DVD of the show with 3 episodes. I remember watching it as a kid, but I don't really remember what the show was even like, so this was a good opportunity to find out.

    The Henson Co. did a great job at translating Dr. Seuss' unique art style to puppetry. The show pays homage to many of Seuss' characters and stories (even from "Bartholomew and his 500 Hats", a pretty rare choice) Of course, most of the dialogue is in rhyme, using Seussian vocabulary and all.

    Of course, accuracy to the original stories isn't everything. Is it done well? 2 of the episodes on the DVD seem to be from the first season, which definitely feels Seuss-y. The characters all have an entertaining personality, and pre-existing characters' personalities almost match those seen in the books and animated programs by DePatie-Freleng and Chuck Jones. However, it is a bit childish at times, but not as much so as season 2. The other episode on the DVD is from this season, and it looks even cheaper (scrapping actual sets for computer animated ones and certain characters) and is more of a kiddie show than it was in the previous season.

    All in all, it seems like an OK show... two of the best known timeless family properties, Dr. Seuss and the Muppets combined, a wonderful idea. It could have been done better, but it's good enough for me.
  20. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Just curious what you found childish in Season 1. And I believe it was Season 1 that was 100% CGI backgrounds, Season 2 mainly had a set and did the CGI stuff in short stories hat were seen in Cat's telescope.

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