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The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss

The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss is an American live-action/puppet television series based on characters created by Dr. Seuss, produced by The Jim Henson Company. It aired from October 13, 1996, to December 28, 1998, on Nickelodeon. It is notable for its use of live puppets with digitally animated backgrounds, and in its first season, for refashioning characters and themes from the original Dr. Seuss books into new stories that often retained much of the flavor of Dr. Seuss' own works.

The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss
Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss.jpg
Created byDr. Seuss (characters)
Based onThe Works of Theodor Geisel
Directed byDavid Gumpel
Creative director(s)Ed Eyth
Presented by
Starring
Narrated by
Theme music composerJoe Caroll, Hal J. Cohen and David Steven Cohen
Opening theme
  • Wubbulous Feet (Season 1)
  • Come on Along (Season 2)
Ending theme
  • Wubbulous Feet (Season 1, instrumental)
  • Come on Along (Season 2, instrumental)
Composer(s)Joe Caroll, Mark Gray, Peter Thom, Steve Klapper, Hal J. Cohen, Zina Goldrich and David Steven Cohen
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes40 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Jonathan C. Meath
  • David Gumpel
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)Jim Henson Productions
DistributorThe Jim Henson Company
Release
Original networkNickelodeon
Audio formatDolby Surround
Original releaseOctober 13, 1996 (1996-10-13) –
December 28, 1998 (1998-12-28)

FormatEdit

In many respects seasons one and two of the program are very different shows. The two seasons have completely different intro and outro credit sequences and songs reflecting their differing orientations. The virtual settings seen in this show are created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

Season OneEdit

Each episode is a self-contained story based on Dr. Seuss characters such as Yertle the Turtle and Horton the Elephant. The unifying element is that the stories are introduced and commented on by The Cat in the Hat (performed by Bruce Lanoil) who serves as host of the show. Occasionally The Cat in the Hat himself appears in the episode, reprising his role as a bit of a trickster, as in his original eponymous books (ex. episode 1.6: "The Simplifier").

Season one is notable for hewing closely to many of the themes of the original Dr. Seuss stories which often had a strong moral overtone. As a result, some episodes have distinctly dark or sinister elements which, like some Dr. Seuss books, may not be appropriate for younger children.[1]

Season TwoEdit

For season two the show was reworked along the lines of a more traditional children's program. The Cat in the Hat (now voiced by a much less gravelly sounding Martin P. Robinson) lives in a playhouse with his Little Cats A through Z and the often flustered Terrence McBird (performed by Anthony Asbury). Aside from the residents of the house there are usually visitors based on Dr. Seuss characters. Each episode revolves around a theme (such as family, health, art) and features one or two songs about the theme. The action shifts between The Cat in the Hat and what is going on in his playhouse and shorter related story interludes, which he shows to the audience by means of his "Wubbuloscope." These story vignettes take place in various locations like:

  • Seussville - A contemporary city where Sarah Hall Small and her family lives.
  • Jungle of Nool - A jungle that is home to Horton the Elephant, Morton the Elephant-Bird, Jane Kangaroo, Junior Kangaroo, Yertle the Turtle, the Wickershams, and the Sneels.
  • Kingdom of Didd - A Renaissance-like kingdom which is ruled by King Derwin.
  • Mount Crumpitt - Home of the Grinch and his dog, Max.

The tone of season two is much lighter, no doubt the result of bringing in a number of comedic writers such as Adam Felber and Mo Rocca. The Cat in the Hat is no longer a trickster and instead has assumed the role of a friendly and enthusiastic host who is helpful, nurturing and sweet. Although this revised format only lasted one season before the show ended, the format was recognizably previously featured in Jim Henson Productions' next children's program Bear in the Big Blue House which was aired on Disney Channel.

CharactersEdit

Main charactersEdit

Other charactersEdit

  • Snark (performed by Fran Brill) - A pink bird that appears and lives in the Jungle of Nool. She is seen in Season 2. It is a recycled version of Youknow Bird from The Muppet Show.
  • Sneels (performed by Kathryn Mullen and Stephanie D'Abruzzo) - The Sneels are green and pink furry creatures that live in the Jungle of Nool. They were previously used as background cave creatures in Fraggle Rock, but had different eyes here.
  • Mick Maputo Bird (performed by Anthony Asbury) - An Elvis Presley-themed bird that lives in the Jungle of Nool who is also seen in season 2. He sings "Out in the Jungle" in the episode "The Cat in the Hat's Indoor Picnic."
  • Whozits - Smaller counterparts to the Whos.

EpisodesEdit

PuppeteersEdit

  • Anthony Asbury - Terrence McBird, Little Cat Z, The Grinch, Yertle the Turtle, Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose, Matthew Katroom, King Derwin, Mr. Hall Small, 8th Birthday Glurk, Bald Eagle with Toupee, Bullfrog, Charlie, Dad Tidbiddle, Footman, Gink, Grandpa Jacob Kangaroo, Little Guy in Machine, Mick Maputo Bird, Morris Nooly, Morton's Purple Friend, Mrs. Zabarelli, Onlooker #3, The Royal Herald, Singing Classmate in Play, Uncle Bocks, Uncle Schmeeze, Voice from Globe, Waldo F. Sterling
  • Leslie Carrara-Rudolph - Little Cat A (1998), Morton the Elephant Bird (1998), Princess Tizz, Mrs. Hall Small, Grandma Hall Small, Grox
  • Stephanie D'Abruzzo - Little Cat B, Little Cat S, Jane Kangaroo, Max the Dog, Pam-I-Am, Sarah Hall Small, Admiral Abigail Breeze, Annie DeLoo, Backup Singer, Bunny, The Cheese, Civil Servant #4, Daisy-Head Mayzie, Dolores Nooly, Dr. Gazeat, Elise, Eskimo Kid, Fiona Phish, Goofy Gargaloof, Green-Tufted Sneel, Happy Announcer, Heather Tidbiddle, Iguana from Xanadu, Lady Fretibula, Lady from "Up With Folks", Lulu, Ma Blozzit, Mandy, Megan Mullally, Mom Jalloo, Morton's Yellow Friend, Mrs. Dorfman, Nola Nicola Raphaella Miraldo, Poodle That Doodles, Sally Spingel-Spungel-Sporn (in "Max the Hero" and "Horton Has a Hit"), Space Creature, Sue Snue, Tallullah, The Travel Poohbah, Web-Footed Batula, White-Tuffted Floozle Bird
  • John E. Kennedy - Little Cat C, Horton the Elephant, Mr. Knox, Norval the Fish, Sam-I-Am, Felix Finkledooper, Milo, Alvin, Announcer, Armand, Backup Singer, The Birthday Bird, Celli, Delivery Bird, Downer Than Down Whozit, Earl, Flitzpizzle, The Grinch (assistant in "The Guest" and "There is Nothing to Fear in Here"), Hairy, Herbie Tidbiddle, Horace P. Riddley, Irish Setter, Julian Jeremy Jaroo Jalloo, King Lindy of Lime, Little Wimpy Guy (voice), Man from "Up With Folks", McZuff, Money Whozit, Mr. Dorfman, Muckster, Narrator, Nervous Whozit, Raffle Ticket-Selling Kid, Rock Singer, Royal Archer, Singing Lion, Spaceman, Thaddeus, Uncle Docks, Uncle Dutter (assistant), Uncle Norton the Elephant, Yapper-Nap
  • Tim Lagasse - Little Cat P, Fox in Socks (1998), Junior Kangaroo (1998), Annoying Greebles, Ben, Bunky Balaban, The Clam, Eskimo Kid, The Grinch's Right Hand Puppeteer (in "The Song Of the Zubble Wump"), Mr. Moriarty Seagoin Eccles, Old Man Time, Scotty, Sid Spider, The Speaker
  • Bruce Lanoil - The Cat in the Hat (1996–1997), Fox in Socks (1996–1997), Alonzo, Announcer, Aunt May, Barney Balaban, Big Nosed Whozit, Big-Bottomed Rumpit, Bob the King of the Wickershams, First Mate, Grandpa Mullally, Green-Tufted Sneel (in "Yertle the King"), The Grinch's Singing Voice (in "The Guest"), Haji, The Hum-Bleeper, King Noogle of Nug, Larry Nooly, Little Wimpy Guy (puppetry only), Mayor's Servant, Money Whozit, Morton's Pink Friend, Mr. Webley, Newsboy, Onlooker #2, Pa Blozzit, Ronald Q. Clark, Singing Classmate in Play, Subscription-Selling Whozit, Tiger, Uncle Dutter, Unhappy Man, Zander, Zauber
  • Kathryn Mullen - Little Cat A (1996–1997), Junior Kangaroo (1996–1997), Max the Dog (in "The Guest"), Morton the Elephant Bird (1996–1997), Aunt Mertle, Babs Balaban, Backup Singer, Civil Servant #3, Daisy's Mom, Disgusted Guest, Down Whozit, Eliza Jane Dorfman, Finnegan, Gertrude, Hopwood, Mayor Stovepipe, Molly Livingood, Mom Tidbiddle, Money Whozit, Mrs. Orissa Buttons, Onlooker #1, Number One, Phone Operator, Pink-Tufted Sneel, Princess Mindy, Queen Regina of Ka-Larry, The Sandwich, Singing Classmate in Play, Squirrel, The Teacher, Tubby Tarbaloot, Verma
  • Marty Robinson - The Cat in the Hat (1998), Civil Servant #1, Civil Servant #2, Civil Servant #5, Civil Servant #6, The Milk, The Old Man

Additional PuppeteersEdit

Home video releasesEdit

The series was never systematically issued to home video on either VHS or DVD. Current DVD releases contain three episodes per disk and are a mix of episodes from the first and second seasons.

In 2015, the whole series was released on DVD from Shock Entertainment in Australia.

SyndicationEdit

Nickelodeon aired the series from October 13, 1996, to 1998, with reruns airing as well.

Starz Kids & Family began carrying reruns of the series in 2018.

Later appearancesEdit

  • The puppet used for Annie DeLoo was later used for Billy in episode 17 of Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony and later used in Puppet Up! alongside the Flitzpizzle and another Whatnot from this show.
  • Each of the Whozits have appeared as different characters in Mopatop's Shop.
  • The puppet used for one of the Wickershams used for Nascount Greasemonkey in Season 35 of Sesame Street.
  • The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss is currently airing reruns on Semillitas and Starz Kids.
  • The puppets used for the Sneels will be appearing as different characters on various episodes in Season 50 of Sesame Street.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit