This movie is seriously on acid. Probably one of the darkest works Dr. Seuss ever released. When I was a kid I was terrified of this - my mother only got me to sit through it after she explained that Dr. T (Hans Conried) was the same man who voiced Captain Hook and Boris Badenov.
A charmingly weird film from Dr. Seuss' mind, full of bizarre wordplay, musical numbers and a set design clearly influenced by 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari'. It's a slight film in some ways, but I wish more children's films where this sweet and strange.
The Neverending Story but written by Dr Seuss. A boy being forced to learn piano by his single mother dreams up a story of his escape from his evil teacher. Wonderfully quirky and dark in all the right ways with some just incredibly fun musical numbers even with all the cuts that were made. Hans Conried is delightful as the vile Dr Terwilliker who hates everything except the piano
Dr. Seuss' only feature-film script was for this strange fantasy about a boy tangling with his fascistic piano teacher. Unfortunately, the story is too thin for a feature film, and the expected Seussian surrealism only comes in patches; Roy Rowland's flat direction doesn't help. Still, Tommy Rettig makes an amiable hero, and Hans Conried is amusing as the mad Doctor. Interesting (if underfunded) production design, and good songs; the poignant "Little Kids" and the "Dungeon Song" stand out.
This movie should provide proof that not everything that is animated/drawn translates to live action. Perhaps Dr. Seuss' creations are wonderful in abstract form (especially when drawn by Chuck Jones as they were with 1964's The Grinch), but when his bizarre thoughts get acted out in an Orwellian dystopia such as this, the result is the stuff of nightmares. This is truly a train wreck of a movie and not one worth seeing through to the end as I forced myself to. Tune in for 5 minutes but no more.