The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss

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The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss
Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss.jpg
The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss logo
Created by Dr. Seuss (characters)
Starring Anthony Asbury
Leslie Carrara-Rudolph
Stephanie D'Abruzzo
John Kennedy
Tim Lagasse
Bruce Lanoil
Kathryn Mullen
Martin P. Robinson
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 40 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Michael K. Frith (Season 1)
David Steven Cohen (Season 1)
Stephanie Simpson (Season 2)
Brian Henson
Jonathan Meath
Running time 30 Minutes
Production company(s) The Jim Henson Company
Distributor The Jim Henson Company
Broadcast
Original channel Nickelodeon
Audio format Dolby Surround
Original run October 13, 1996 – December 28, 1997

The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss is an American live-action/puppet television series based on characters created by Dr. Seuss, produced by Jim Henson Productions. It aired for two seasons (1996–1997) on the Nick Jr. Block on Nickelodeon (United States). For the first few episodes (including the series premiere), the show aired during Sunday night prime time, immediately before Nick News. It also aired on PBS from January 12, 1998 until May 25, 2002. 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's own works. It derives its name from wubble, a type of unicycle mentioned in the Dr. Seuss book I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew.

Format[edit]

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 One[edit]

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 Two[edit]

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, and Yertle the Turtle.
  • Kingdom of Didd - A Rennasiance-like kingdom which is ruled by King Derwin.
  • Mount Crumpitt - The Grinch lives here.

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 and nurturing. Although this revised format only lasted one season before the show ended, the format was recognizably carried over into Jim Henson Productions' next children's program, Bear in the Big Blue House, which was aired on the Disney Channel.

Characters[edit]

Main Characters[edit]

  • Terrence McBird (performed by Anthony Asbury) - A bird that joins the main cast in Season 2.
  • Little Cat N (voiced by Stephanie D'Abruzzo) - Little Cat N appeared from The Cat in the Hat Comes Back and is seen in Season 2 at the Cat in the Hat's playhouse. He/She appears in 'The Cat in the Hat Cleans Up His Act', ending his/her sentences with 'sir'.
  • Little Cat Z (voiced by Anthony Asbury) - Little Cat Z appeared from The Cat in the Hat Comes Back and is seen in Season 2 at the Cat in the Hat's playhouse. He is the smallest of all, and possesses a hipster quality, muttering "Zip zap" and the like.
  • Mr. Knox (performed by John Kennedy) - He is Fox in Sock's sidekick.
  • Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose (performed by Anthony Asbury) - A moose who is still big-hearted. In this show, Thidwick is also the uncle of Morton the Elephant-Bird as seen in "The Birthday Moose." Thidwick was later dropped from the show at the end of Season 1.
  • The Wickershams - A family of apes who come from Horton Hears a Who! They are often employed by Jane Kangaroo and/or Yertle the Turtle.
  • Norval the Fish (performed by John Kennedy) - Norval would appear in different roles in the show. Around Season 2, Norval would work as an advisor to the King Derwin of the Kingdom of Didd.
  • Sarah Hall Small (performed by Stephanie D'Abruzzo) - A girl who is a resident of Seussville.
  • Matthew Katroom (performed by Anthony Asbury) - A boy who is a resident of Seussville and is good friends with Sarah Hall Small.
  • Sam-I-Am (performed by John Kennedy) - He appeared from Green Eggs and Ham. He appeared in Season 2 where he would often lend a hand to the Cat in the Hat.
  • Pam-I-Am (performed by Stephanie D'Abruzzo) - A female counterpart of Sam-I-Am and expert repair girl. The Cat in the Hat often uses the Pam Phone to call on her.
  • Milo (performed by Anthony Asbury) - A boy who resides in the Kingdom of Didd and serves as King Derwin's page.

Other Characters[edit]

  • Youknow Bird (performed by Fran Brill) - A bird that appears and lives in the Jungle of Nool. She is seen in season 2. It was originally used in The Muppet Show.
  • Mick Maputo Bird (performed by Anthony Asbury) - An Elvis bird that lives in the Jungle of Nool, he is also seen in season 2. He sings "Out in the Jungle" in the episode "The Cat in the Hat's Indoor Picnic."
  • Whozits -

Episodes[edit]

Puppeteers[edit]

  • Anthony Asbury - Terrence McBird, Little Cat Z, Matthew Katroom, Milo, The Grinch, Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose, Yertle the Turtle, Dad Tidbiddle (in "The Simplifier"), Gink (in "The Gink"), Grandpa Jacob Kangaroo (in "Talkin' with the Cat"), Grandpa Mullally (in "The Song of the Zubble-Wump"), Mick Maputo Bird (in "The Cat in the Hat's Indoor Picnic"), Mrs. Zabarelli (in "Mrs. Zabarelli's Holiday Baton"), Uncle Bocks (in "Who Are You, Sue Snue?")
  • Leslie Carrara-Rudolph - Morton the Elephant Bird (1997-1998), Princess Tizz
  • Stephanie D'Abruzzo - Little Cat B, Little Cat F, Little Cat N, Little Cat S, Jane Kangaroo, Max the Dog, Pam-I-Am, Sarah Hall Small, Annie DeLoo (in "Mrs. Zabarelli's Holiday Baton"), Fiona Phish (in "The Birthday Moose"), Heather Tidbiddle (in "The Simplifier"), Megan Mullally (in "The Song of the Zubble-Wump"), Sue Snue (in "Who Are You, Sue Snue?" and "The Road to Ka-Larry")
  • John Kennedy - Little Cat C, Felix Finkledooper, Horton the Elephant, Mr. Knox, Norval the Fish, Sally Spingel-Spungel-Sporn (1997-1998), Sam-I-Am, Alvin (in "The Simplifier" and "Halfway Home to Malamaroo") Birthday Bird (in "The Birthday Moose"), Herbie Tidbiddle (in "The Simplifier"), Julian Jeremy Jaroo Jalloo (in "Oh, the People You'll Meet"), King Lindy of Lime (in "The King's Beard"), Uncle Docks (in "Who Are You, Sue Snue?"), Uncle Norton the Elephant (in "Horton Has a Hit"), Flitzpizzle (in "Max the Hero"), Money Whozit, Nervous Whozit
  • Tim Lagasse - Little Cat P, Fox in Socks (1997-1998), Junior Kangaroo (1997-1998), Sid Spider (in "A Bird's Guide to Health")
  • Bruce Lanoil - Cat in the Hat (1996-1997), Fox in Socks (1996-1997), King Noogle (in "The King's Beard") Larry Nooly (in "The Guest"), Uncle Dutter (in "Who Are You, Sue Snue?"), Big Nosed Whozit
  • Kathryn Mullen - Little Cat A, Junior Kangaroo (1996-1997), Max the Dog (in "The Guest"), Morton the Elephant Bird (1996-1997), Aunt Mertle (in "Yertle the King"), Eliza Zane (in "The Gink"), Mayor Stovepipe (in "Max the Hero" and "The Road to Ka-Larry"), Mom Tidbiddle (in "The Simplifier"), Princess Mindy (in "The King's Beard"), Down Whozit
  • Martin P. Robinson - Cat in the Hat (1997-1998)
  • Bob West - Little Cat G
  • Pam Arciero - Lulu's Dog (in "There is Nothing to Fear in Here")
  • Bill Barretta - Uncle Berklummer (in "Who Are You, Sue Snue?")
  • Camille Bonora - Sally Spingel-Spungel-Sporn (in "The Muckster")
  • Kevin Clash - Little Cat Fleep (in "Talkin' with the Cat")
  • Joey Mazzarino - Elwood the Jester (in "The King's Beard"), Lester McBird (in "Lester Leaps In")
  • Brian Muehl - Binkham Tamino McDoyal the Third (in "Norval the Great")
  • Jerry Nelson - Snoozer (in "The Snoozer")

Broadcast history[edit]

United States[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

Australia[edit]

Home Video Releases[edit]

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.

Later appearances[edit]

  • 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 41 of Sesame Street.

References[edit]

External links[edit]