CHARACTERS • MORE
The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss premiered on Nickelodeon on October 13, 1996. A revamped second season premiered on March 9, 1998. The show features puppet versions of the classic Dr. Seuss characters.
The entire series can currently be purchased and rented via the iTunes Store, and for a time was seen on Hulu and "Jim Henson Family TV" on YouTube. As of 2017, it can now also be seen on Starz and Amazon Prime.
Both seasons of the show are vastly different in terms of format and tone. The first season is presented in an anthology format, featuring different stories each week featuring at least one recognizable character from the Dr. Seuss library (such as the Grinch and Horton the Elephant). The Cat in the Hat and his Little Cats served as hosts of the series, bookending each story while occasionally interfering with the events.
The second season completely changed the format of the show. In addition to a new theme sequence, the Cat in the Hat and the Little Cats had an increased presence, with their sequences (taking place in the Cat's Playhouse, the only non-computer generated set in the show) taking up the majority of the show. Twice an episode, the Cat would consult the Wubbuloscope, where short stories feature other Dr. Seuss characters pertaining to the theme of the episode.
The series came about when Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the company handling Geisel's estate and legacy, began looking into creating a television series based on the Seuss books. Michael K. Frith, who previously worked on several Seuss books, acted as a liaison between the Jim Henson Company and the Seuss folk. A short pitch reel was created featuring a puppet version of Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose. Afterwards, the two companies collaborated on another pitch reel for Nickelodeon, which featured the Cat in the Hat (performed by Martin P. Robinson).
The first season was shot at Jim Henson's carriage house in New York City. The entire first season was shot entirely in front of blue and green screens and used mainly computer-generated backgrounds. The series was unique in that the CG backgrounds were animated in real-time, allowing for such things as the scenery moving as the characters moved and objects moved when interacted with.
- Bruce Lanoil as The Cat in the Hat (season 1), Fox in Socks (season 1)
- Martin P. Robinson as The Cat in the Hat (season 2)
- Anthony Asbury as The Grinch, Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose, Yertle the Turtle, Terrence McBird, Little Cat Z (season 2)
- John Kennedy as Horton the Elephant, Little Cat C, Mr. Knox, Sam-I-Am
- Kathryn Mullen as Morton the Elephant Bird (season 1), Little Cat A (season 1), Junior Kangaroo (season 1)
- Stephanie D'Abruzzo as Jane Kangaroo, Max, Little Cat B, Pam-I-Am, Sarah Hall-Small
- Leslie Carrara as Little Cat A (season 2), Morton the Elephant Bird (season 2)
- Tim Lagasse as Fox in Socks (season 2), Junior Kangaroo (season 2), Little Cat P (season 2)
Guest or background/assistant puppeteers included Pam Arciero, Heather Asch, Bill Barretta, Camille Bonora, Kevin Clash, Vicki Kenderes-Eibner, Jim Kroupa, Joey Mazzarino, Brian Muehl, Jerry Nelson, John Tartaglia, and Nikki Tilroe.
- The utility puppets used for the series, akin to the Anything Muppets and Whatnots, were referred to as "Whozits."
- Executive Producer: Michael K. Frith (season 1), David Steven Cohen (season 1), Brian Henson, Stephanie Simpson (season 2)
- Produced by: Lauren Gray (season 1), Bob Stein (season 1), Jerry Kupfer (season 2), David Gumpel
- Directors: David Gumpel, John Leo, Kathryn Mullen (season 2), David Nebel, Scott Preston, Emily Squires (season 2), Rick Velleu (season 2), Dean Gordon (season 2), Anthony Asbury (season 2), Steve Feldman (season 2)
- Writers: Carin Greenberg Baker, Lou Berger, David Steven Cohen, Gary Cooper, Annie Evans, Adam Felber (season 2), Phil Lollar, Bill Marsilii, Jay Martel (season 2), Allan Neuwirth, Will Ryan, Mo Rocca (season 2), Craig Shemin, Stephanie Simpson (season 2), Belinda Ward, Jonathan Greenberg (season 2)
- Consulting Producer: Will Ryan
- Production Designer: Ed Eyth
- Music: Bob Golden (season 2) Joe Carroll (season 1), Stephen Lawrence (season 2), Art Labriola (season 2), Peter Thom (season 1), Mark Gray (season 1), Glen Daum (season 1), John Lissauer (season 1)
- Theme Song: Bob Golden & Jack Feldman (season 2)
- Songs: Bob Golden, Jack Feldman, Rusty Magee, Joe Carroll, Mark Gray, Peter Thom, Russ Irwin, Bill Marsilii, Rich Mendoza, Steve Klapper, David Steven Cohen, Hal J. Cohen, Zina Goldrich, David Kinnoin, John Hoke, Bob Stillman, Will Ryan, Craig Shemin
- Puppet Captain: Kathryn Mullen (season 1), John E. Kennedy (season 2)
- Technical Director: Tom Guadarrama
- YouTube: Season 2 promo
- Craig Shemin and Stephanie D'Abruzzo on Defunctland podcast
- Jim Henson's Red Book: 4/2/1984 – ‘Bought 225 East 67th St.’
- ToughPigs interview with Kathy Mullen, part 3