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
Release
Original network Nickelodeon
Audio format Dolby Surround
Original release October 13, 1996 – December 28, 1998

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 (1996–1998) 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 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]

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.
  • Sneels (performed by Kathryn Mullen and Stephanie D'Abruzzo) - The sneels are green and pink 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 -

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 (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 (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 (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 (1998)
  • Bob West - Little Cat G, The Yapper-Nap (in "The Cat in the Hat Takes a Nap")

Additional puppeteers[edit]

  • 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")

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.

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

Later appearances[edit]

  • 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 41 of Sesame Street.

References[edit]

External links[edit]