Many people associate Marvel with the now successful MCU productions that have been hitting theaters since 2008. Ever since the release of Iron Man, Marvel has become a juggernaut at the box office, and has even started a trend in movies with universe building. However, Marvel was not always known as the great force to be reckoned with as it is now.
There was actually a time when it was still this obscure company that wrote comic books. Not only that, but the company also created weird projects in the past, including a made-for-TV Nick Fury movie starring David Hasselhoff, a live-action Spider-Man television show, and the well-known failure and Marvel's first major motion picture, Howard the Duck.
However, there was one interesting little experiment that #Marvel produced in 1982 with its old subsidiary company, Marvel Productions, collaborating with the popular children's book author Dr. Seuss. That project was called The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat, but it became more commonly known as The Cat in the Hat vs The Grinch.
What Was The Special About?
Well, this was a very odd special with a very odd premise. This was coming off of Dr. Seuss's other popular animated specials, The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and putting two of Seuss's most popular character together seemed like a good idea at the time. Also, it popularized the idea that all of #DrSeuss' stories exist within the same universe — you know, that trend Marvel would become famous for creating years later.
The story follows the Grinch following his special, having now become nice, cheerful and all-around pleasant. However, his cheery demeanor is shattered by his own reflection, which forces him to repeat the "Grinch Oath" and return to his grouchy and mean self.
He goes out to cause mischief for anyone who crosses his path. While on his rampage, he runs into the Cat in the Hat having a nice picnic in the park. All seems well until the Cat unintentionally insults him by calling him "Mr. Greenface," and he starts making the Cat's life fairly difficult.
The Grinch chases him down, messes with his voice using his invention, the Vacusound Sweeper, and spreads darkness throughout the land with his darkhouse, a lighthouse that spreads darkness instead of light. Yeah, the Grinch doesn't do anything all that harmful, he just sort of annoys him. But it gets even weirder than that.
To "defeat" the Grinch, the Cat in the Hat rallies a mob of people to confront him at his house. There, the Cat instructs everyone to sing a song to remind the Grinch of the love that he received from his mother. This actually works, as the Grinch breaks down crying. He then sees his mother's reflection in a puddle of tears and is convinced to turn off all his machines. The special ends with the Grinch returning to his happy state of mind and everyone lives happily ever after.
This Isn't The First Time Dr. Seuss Has Been Involved With Marvel, Kind Of
While there is no definitive evidence to show how this special came to life, it could be speculated that it was because Dr. Seuss and Stan Lee previously worked together back in World War II. According to Stan Lee's documentary With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story, it was revealed that Stan Lee served in the Army as a propaganda writer to write and illustrate about venereal diseases in pamphlets.
He did this with other popular playwrights, including: William Saroyan, Frank Capra and Theodore Geisel, who would later become known as Dr. Seuss. Whether or not the pair stayed in contact over the years to eventually work together on The Grinch vs The Cat in the Hat is unknown, but it is safe to assume that it was a piece of the puzzle.
While the special was odd piece of #animation, and a tad unfocused at times, it was massively successful when it premiered. It became so popular that it even got a DVD release and won two Emmys, including Outstanding Animated Program. So, while not Dr. Seuss's best work, it became popular enough to gain a cult status.
You can check out the entire special here:
What do you think about one of Marvel's most unusual projects?