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The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss
Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss.jpg
Created by Dr. Seuss (characters)
Based on The Works of Theodor Geisel
Directed by David Gumpel
Creative director(s) Ed Eyth
Presented by
  • Bruce Lanoil (1996-1997)
  • Martin P. Robinson (1998)
Starring
  • Anthony Asbury
  • Stephanie D'Abruzzo
  • John Kennedy
  • Kathryn Mullen
  • Leslie Carrara-Rudolph
  • Tim Lagasse
  • Pam Arciero
Narrated by
  • Bruce Lanoil (1996-1997)
  • Martin P. Robinson (1998)
Theme music composer Joe 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 origin United States
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 40
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Michael K. Frith
  • David Steven Cohen
  • Stephanie Simpson
  • Brian Henson
  • Jonathan C. Meath
Producer(s)
  • Jonathan C. Meath
  • David Gumpel
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Jim Henson Productions
Distributor The Jim Henson Company
Release
Original network
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

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

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.

Season Two

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 live.
  • 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 that 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.

Characters

Main

  • The Cat in the Hat – (performed by Bruce Lanoil in Season 1 and Martin P. Robinson in Season 2) – The main character and host of the series. He starts out as a trickster, then becomes a more nurturing host.
  • The Little Cats – They debuted in The Cat in the Hat Comes Back
    • Little Cat A (performed by Kathryn Mullen in Season 1 and Leslie Carrara-Rudolph in Season 2) – Seen as one of the Cat in the Hat's sidekicks.
    • Little Cat B (performed by Stephanie D'Abruzzo) – Seen as one of the Cat in the Hat's sidekicks.
    • Little Cat C (performed by John Kennedy) – Seen as one of the Cat in the Hat's sidekicks.
    • Little Cat F (performed by Pam Arciero) – Seen in Season 2 at the Cat in the Hat's playhouse.
    • Little Cat N (performed by Pam Arciero) – Seen in Season 2 at the Cat in the Hat's playhouse.
    • Little Cat P (performed by Tim Lagasse) – Seen in Season 2 at the Cat in the Hat's playhouse.
    • Little Cat S (performed by Stephanie D'Abruzzo) – Seen in Season 2 at the Cat in the Hat's playhouse.
    • Little Cat Z (performed by Anthony Asbury) – Seen in Season 2 at the Cat in the Hat's playhouse. He is the smallest of all.
    • Little Cat Fleep (performed by Kevin Clash) - An indifferent little cat who only speaks in fleeps.
  • Terrence McBird (performed by Anthony Asbury) – A bird that joins the main cast in Season 2.

Supporting

  • The Grinch (performed by Anthony Asbury) – He appeared in How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. He likes to dampen other people's fun and pleasure.
  • Max the Dog (performed by Kathryn Mullen in Season 1 and Stephanie D'Abruzzo in Season 2) – He appeared in How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. Max is the Grinch's long suffering dog.
  • Fox in Socks and Mr. Knox (performed by Bruce Lanoil in Season 1 and Tim Lagasse in Season 2 and John Kennedy respectively) – They came from Fox in Socks. Fox is lively and Knox is moody and easily annoyed. The only episode where Fox appeared without Knox is "The Sounds All Around."
  • Yertle the Turtle (performed by Anthony Asbury) – Yertle is a turtle who tries to be king of anything, and usually uses other characters to his advantage.
  • Horton the Elephant (performed by John Kennedy) – He appeared in Horton Hears a Who! and Horton Hatches the Egg. He is a steadfast, humble, and friendly animal who often receives ridicule for believing in things that no one else does.
  • Morton the Elephant-Bird (performed by Kathryn Mullen in Season 1 and Leslie Carrara-Rudolph in Season 2) – He is Horton's half-bird son who appeared in Horton Hatches the Egg.
  • Jane Kangaroo (performed by Stephanie D'Abruzzo) – She appeared in Horton Hears a Who!. She is a very strict and snobbish marsupial who is portrayed in this series in a more sympathetic light than her book counterpart..
  • Junior Kangaroo (performed by Kathryn Mullen in Season 1 and Tim Lagasse in Season 2) – He appeared in Horton Hears a Who! and is the son of Jane Kangaroo. By season 2, he and Morton have become friends.
  • Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose (performed by Anthony Asbury) – A moose who is very loving and sweet. 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 Wickersham Brothers (performed by John Kennedy, Anthony Asbury, and Bruce Lanoil) – A family of apes who come from Horton Hears a Who! and are often employed by Jane Kangaroo and/or Yertle the Turtle.
  • Sarah Hall Small (performed by Stephanie D'Abruzzo) – A girl who is a resident of Seussville. She debuted during the second season.
  • Sam-I-Am (performed by John Kennedy) – He appeared in 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.
  • Sue Snue (performed by Stephanie D'Abruzzo) – A girl who is a resident of Seussville and appeared in season 1.

Minor

  • Mayor Stovepipe ( performed by Kathryn Mullen) - The mayor of suessville who appeared in season 1.
  • Matthew Katroom (performed by Anthony Asbury) – A boy who is a resident of Seussville and is good friends with Sarah Hall Small.
  • The Birthday Bird (performed by John Kennedy) He appeared from Happy Birthday to You! He Lives in Katroo and loves birthdays.
  • Sally Spingel-Spungel-Sporn (performed by Camille Bonora in "The Muckster" and Stephanie D'Abruzzo in "Max the Hero" and "Horton Has a Hit") – She is a News reporter who came from The Cat in the Hat Song Book.
  • King Derwin (performed by Anthony Asbury) – The King of the Kingdom of Didd who came from The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.
  • Princess Tizz (performed by Leslie Carrara-Rudolph) – The daughter of King Derwin.
  • 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.
  • Milo (performed by John Kennedy) – A boy who resides in the Kingdom of Didd and serves as King Derwin's page.
  • The Yapper-Nap (performed by John Kennedy) – A monster likes to takes nap in Seussville.
  • Snark (performed by Fran Brill) – A pink bird that appears and lives in the Jungle of Nool. She is seen in Season 2. Snark is a recycled version of Shirley from The Muppet Show.
  • Sneels (performed by Kathryn Mullen, Heather Asch, Bruce Lanoil and Stephanie D'Abruzzo) – A race of 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."
  • Lester McBird (performed by Joey Mazzarino) - Terrence McBird's twin brother who is very sensitive towards things he doesn't like and speaks in an upper English accent.

Episodes

Series overview

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 20 October 13, 1996 (1996-10-13) August 17, 1997 (1997-08-17)
2 20 March 9, 1998 (1998-03-09) December 28, 1998 (1998-12-28)

Season 1 (1996–97)

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
code
1 1 "The Gink" David Gumpel Belinda Ward October 13, 1996 (1996-10-13) 105
2 2 "Who Are You, Sue Snue?" David Gumpel Annie Evans (s)
Will Ryan (t)
October 20, 1996 (1996-10-20) 106
3 3 "The King's Beard" David Gumpel Will Ryan October 27, 1996 (1996-10-27) 103
4 4 "The Song of the Zubble-Wump" David Gumpel David Steven Cohen November 3, 1996 (1996-11-03) 101
5 5 "The Guest" David Gumpel Carin Greenberg Baker (s) & Craig Shemin
Will Ryan (t)
November 10, 1996 (1996-11-10) 107
6 6 "The Simplifier" David Gumpel Lou Berger November 24, 1996 (1996-11-24) 102
7 7 "The Snoozer" John Leo David Cohen November 17, 1996 (1996-11-17) 108
8 8 "Mrs. Zabarelli's Holiday Baton" John Leo Craig Shemin December 15, 1996 (1996-12-15) 104
9 9 "The Mystery of Winna-Bango Falls" Scott Preston Alan Neuwirth & Gary Cooper January 5, 1997 (1997-01-05) 109
10 10 "Almost There" David Gumpel Craig Shemin February 2, 1997 (1997-02-02) 111
11 11 "Oh, The People You'll Meet" John Leo Will Ryan February 9, 1997 (1997-02-09) 110
12 12 "The Blag-Bludder Beast" David Gumpel Phil Lollar March 2, 1997 (1997-03-02) 112
13 13 "The Muckster" David Gumpel Bill Marsilli March 23, 1997 (1997-03-23) 113
14 14 "Norval the Great" David Gumpel Will Ryan March 30, 1997 (1997-03-30) 114
15 15 "Max the Hero" Scott Preston David Cohen July 13, 1997 (1997-07-13) 115
16 16 "The Road To Ka-Larry" John Leo Craig Shemin & Will Ryan July 20, 1997 (1997-07-20) 116
17 17 "Yertle the King" John Leo Phil Lollar July 27, 1997 (1997-07-27) 117
18 18 "Horton Has a Hit" David Gumpel Bill Marsilli August 3, 1997 (1997-08-03) 118
19 19 "The Birthday Moose" David Nebel Will Ryan & Craig Shemin August 10, 1997 (1997-08-10) 119
20 20 "The Grinch Meets His Max / Halfway Home to Malamaroo" David Gumpel Craig Shemin, Will Ryan & David Cohen August 17, 1997 (1997-08-17) 120

Season 2 (1998)

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
21 1 "The Cat in the Hat Takes a Nap" David Nebel Stephanie Simpson March 9, 1998 (1998-03-09)
22 2 "The Cat in the Hat Cleans Up His Act" David Gumpel Adam Felber March 10, 1998 (1998-03-10)
23 3 "The Cat in the Hat's Big Birthday Surprise" David Gumpel Stephanie Simpson March 10, 1998 (1998-03-10)
24 4 "The Sounds All Around" David Gumpel Adam Felber March 11, 1998 (1998-03-11)
25 5 "Make Yourself at Home" David Gumpel Stephanie Simpson March 11, 1998 (1998-03-11)
26 6 "The Cat in the Hat's Flower Power" Emily Squires & David Gumpel Stephanie Simpson March 21, 1998 (1998-03-21)
27 7 "The Feed You Need" David Gumpel Adam Felber March 28, 1998 (1998-03-28)
28 8 "The Cat in the Hat's First-First Day" David Gumpel Jay Martel April 5, 1998 (1998-04-05)
29 9 "The Cat in the Hat Gets a Package" David Gumpel Jay Martel April 12, 1998 (1998-04-12)
30 10 "The Cat in the Hat's Indoor Picnic" Emily Squires & Rick Velleu Mo Rocca April 19, 1998 (1998-04-19)
31 11 "A Bird's Guide to Health" David Gumpel Adam Felber April 26, 1998 (1998-04-26)
32 12 "The Cat in the Hat Builds a Door-a-Matic" David Gumpel Adam Febler May 2, 1998 (1998-05-02)
33 13 "A Bird's Best Friend" David Gumpel Adam Febler June 9, 1998 (1998-06-09)
34 14 "The Cat in the Hat's Art House" Emily Squires Mo Rocca July 16, 1998 (1998-07-16)
35 15 "Lester Leaps In" Emily Squires & Kathryn Mullen Adam Felber August 23, 1998 (1998-08-23)
36 16 "There Is Nothing to Fear in Here" Emily Squires & Kathryn Mullen Marcello Picone September 30, 1998 (1998-09-30)
37 17 "Talkin' with the Cat" Kathy Mullen & Emily Squires Mo Rocca October 7, 1998 (1998-10-07)
38 18 "Walkin' with the Cat" Kathy Mullen & Emily Squires Mo Rocca November 14, 1998 (1998-11-14)
39 19 "The Cat in the Hat Helps a Friend" Kathy Mullen & Emily Squires Mo Rocca November 21, 1998 (1998-11-21)
40 20 "Cat's Play" Stephanie Simpson Jerry Kupfer December 28, 1998 (1998-12-28)

Puppeteers

  • 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, The Wickershams, Zander, Zauber
  • 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, Goober the dog, Paul Hall Small, Friver McGee, Flying dog, Oven
  • 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 (in "The Cat In The Hats Indoor Picnic), 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, The Wickershams
  • Stephanie D'Abruzzo – Little Cat B, Little Cat S, Jane Kangaroo, Max the Dog (1998), 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, The Wickershams, Yapper-Nap
  • Kathryn Mullen – Little Cat A (1996–1997), Junior Kangaroo (1996–1997), Max the Dog (1996-1997), 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
  • Leslie Carrara-Rudolph – Little Cat A (1998), Morton the Elephant Bird (1998), Princess Tizz, Mrs. Hall Small, Grandma Hall Small, Grox, Sadie the dog
  • 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, Smooch Smooch the pooch, Weasel from Sleezeldoo, Mink, Dormouse
  • Pam Arciero – Little Cat F, Little Cat N, Lulu's Dog, Zubble-Wump, snake
  • Bill Barretta – Uncle Berklummer, Picnic bug
  • Joey Mazzarino – Elwood the Jester (in "The King's Beard"), Lester McBird (in "Lester Leaps In")
  • Vicki Eibner - Puffy the cat (in "Cats Play"), Snooty Bird
  • Heather Asch - Sneels, Ariana (in "Mrs. Zabarelli's Holiday Baton")
  • Nikki Tilroe - Civil Servant #7, Poochie the poodle
  • Brian Muehl - Binkham Tamino McDoyal the third
  • Camille Bonora – Sally Spingel-Spungel-Sporn (in "The Muckster")
  • Jim Kroupa – Annoying Greebles, Dad Jalloo, Doily-Cart, Mr. Wimpletwerp, Space Creature, Zippedy Quick
  • Jerry Nelson – Snoozer
  • John Tartaglia – Bird ( in "The Kings Beard"), Delivery Man
  • Kevin Clash – Little Cat Fleep
  • Fran Brill - Snark

Home video releases

The series was never systematically issued to home video on either VHS or DVD. Current DVD releases contain three episodes per disc 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

Nickelodeon aired the series from October 13, 1996, to 1998, with reruns airing until January 22, 2000. It also aired on Noggin from 1999 to 2002.

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

Later appearances

  • 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 from Episode 4154 of Sesame Street.
  • The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss is currently airing reruns on Semillitas and Starz Kids.
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