The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss

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The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss
Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss.jpg
Also known as e. e. cummings Bake McBride Wubba Wubba Wubba
Genre Area
Created by Dr. Seuss (characters)
Developed by

Robert Gagne Jr., Stephen Syarto, Blue Planet Studios John Avarese Zdeněk Fierlinger Joe Vecchione Bill Hinkson

Ray Messecar
Written by Jen Blicharz, Cat Marshall, DèLè Phone Hannah Bliss Amby and Dexter Telephone
Directed by David Gumpel
Creative director(s) Ed Eyth
Presented by Jeff Coffin, Jim Hoke, Raul Malo, Jack Sundrud, Rusty Young[disambiguation needed]
Starring
Judges Bruno Nasta, Bruce Nasta, Ralph Gordon, Pete Barenbregge
Voices of Kyle Vigus, Katy Shuttleworth, Carl Voger, Sandy Hong, David Mansfield
Narrated by Melissa R. Ellard, David Trexler, Steve Syarto
Theme music composer Jon Caroll, Ray Leoda (Yeah!), Jerry Dale McFadden
Opening theme Wubbulous Feet
Composer(s) Jon Caroll, Jerry Dale McFadden
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 40 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) The Jim Henson Company
Jim Henson Television
Release
Original network Nickelodeon
Audio format Dolby Surround
Original release October 13, 1996 (1996-10-13) – December 28, 1998 (1998-12-28)

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.

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, Yertle the Turtle and the Sneels.
  • 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, nurturing and sweet. 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]

  • 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.

Episodes[edit]

Puppeteers[edit]

  • Anthony Asbury - Terrence McBird, Little Cat Z, The Grinch, Yertle the Turtle, Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose, Matthew Katroom, King Derwin, Milo, Bald Eagle with Toupee, Bullfrog, Dad Tidbiddle, Footman, Gink, Grandpa Jacob Kangaroo, Little Guy in Machine, Morris Nooly, Morton's Purple Friend, Mick Maputo Bird, Mrs. Zabarelli, Onlooker #3, The Royal Herald, Singing Classmate in Play, Uncle Bocks, Uncle Schmeeze, Voice from Globe
  • Leslie Carrara-Rudolph - Little Cat A (1998), 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, Admiral Abigail Breeze, Annie DeLoo, Backup Singer, Bunny, The Cheese, Civil Servant #4, Daisy-Head Mayzie, Dolores Nooly, 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
  • John Kennedy - Little Cat C, Horton the Elephant, Mr. Knox, Norval the Fish, Sam-I-Am, Felix Finkledooper, Alvin, Announcer, Armand, Backup Singer, The Birthday Bird, Celli, Downer Than Down Whozit, Earl, Flitzpizzle, 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 Whozit, Rock Singer, Singing Lion, Spaceman, Uncle Docks, Uncle Dutter (assistant), Uncle Norton the Elephant
  • Tim Lagasse - Little Cat P, Fox in Socks (1998), Junior Kangaroo (1998), Annoying Greebles, Bunky Balaban, The Clam, Eskimo Kid, 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, First Mate, Grandpa Mullally, Green-Tufted Sneel (in "Yertle the King"), Haji, The Hum-Bleeper, King of the Wickershams, 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, Pink-Tufted Sneel, Princess Mindy, Queen Regina of Ka-Larry, The Sandwich, Singing Classmate in Play, Squirrel, The Teacher, Tubby Tarbaloot, Verma
  • Martin P. Robinson - The Cat in the Hat (1998), Civil Servant #1, Civil Servant #2, Civil Servant #5, Civil Servant #6, The Milk, The Old Man
  • Bob West - Little Cat G, The Yapper-Nap

Additional Puppeteers[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.

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

Syndication[edit]

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

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 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 on various episodes in Season 49 of Sesame Street.

References[edit]

External links[edit]