I didn't despise this film nearly as much as I expected, though considering the beauty of the material it is drawn from the film remains a definite disappointment.
There were two enormous negatives that slammed in the face during the early stages of this film-
1)Mike Myers is starting to run out of voices, and I'm getting tired of hearing voices from Austin Powers in his other films. Even the five-year-old child I was with during this film recognized voices during this film as previous characters from his Austin Powers' films (notably, a dead on imitation of the "Fat Bastard" character during a cooking sequence)
2) Myers spent an extraordinary amount of time during this film imitating the physical performance of Jim Carrey's "Grinch." Once again, even the children I was with noticed this fact throughout the film.
These two things were distractions throughout the film, and kept me from ever suspending belief long enough to really enjoy the film. Don't get me wrong...the performances were uniformly respectable. Yet, I often felt the characters were more caricatures than fully developed characters. Sure, this is somewhat consistent with the writings of Seuss...but, the film simply didn't have the charm and rhythm necessary to carry off this absence of character. Myers did a nice job here, however, I kept thinking to myself "Jim Carrey would have been so much better in this film."
Additionally, Myers was supported by Kelly Preston and Alec Baldwin. They offered adequate performances, generally outshined by the child stars Dakota Fanning and Spencer Breslin. Both children particular shined in the latter half of the film. I really wanted this film to capture the charm, innocence and wonder of Dr. Seuss. It simply didn't.
As directed by Bo Welch, this film was visually appealing yet devoid of any substance. Young children in the audience clearly enjoyed the film, and I think most of the off-color humor was beyond their comprehension. "The Cat in the Hat" is a reasonable choice for family viewing, however, it remains a disappointment to this critic as the final product clearly did not reach its potential.