As of Mar. 2, 2011, Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) would have been 107 years old. And while many fans will likely be honoring the writer and cartoonist by reading his children’s books or even catching an out-of-season airing of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” we’ll be celebrating with an encore viewing of “The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T.”
You may not know this, but Seuss is also responsible for a live action feature film. He wrote the story, screenplay and lyrics for “Dr. T,” a 1953 movie about a boy who falls asleep and becomes trapped in an absurd world where his demanding piano teacher holds his mother hostage and has outlawed every kind of musical instrument that isn’t a piano.
In it’s time, “Dr. T” wasn’t exactly well-received, and Seuss himself referred to it as a “debaculous fiasco,” forbidding any mention of it in his official biography. But over the years, it’s developed a certain cult status — and rightfully so, because it is one of the most awesome things you’ll ever see.
Far and away the greatest part of “Dr. T,” the dungeon ballet, you’ll have to watch over at Turner Classic Movies. It’s 6 minutes of dancers, covered in green paint, pantomiming with distinctly Seussian instruments over a dynamic score — which, by the way, earned the film an Oscar nomination.
Or, from the small sampling of clips on YouTube, you can check the hypnotic duel, where little Bart’s subconscious pits his family plumber in a hypnotic duel with Dr. T over his mother: