NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. And welcome to another rendition of WTR, AKA Was That Real?
(It cuts to the title card of WTR, followed by clips of "Dumb and Dumber", "Dog City", the Star Wars Holiday Special, "Star Wars: Ewoks", "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective", and "Cowboys of Moo Mesa")
NC (vo): This is where we look at TV that was forgotten by some, but remembered by others for just how strange they were.
NC: With that said, we all love Dr. Seuss' timeless characters...
(Cut a clip of the original "Cat in the Hat" cartoon)
NC (vo): ...of the Cat in the Hat...
(Cut to a clip of the original "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" cartoon)
NC (vo): ...and the Grinch. So much so that people even watched (shows posters for the live-action film versions of both stories) this bullshit.
NC: But did you know there is a time when they actually did a crossover?
(Cut to a shot of a videotape case of the crossover special in question, entitled "The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat")
NC (vo): It's gone by a couple names over the years: "The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat"...
(Cut to a shot of a second videotape case of the same film, this one entitled "The Cat in the Hat Gets Grinched")
NC (vo): ..."The Cat in the Hat Gets Grinched"...
(Cut to clips of the special)
NC (vo): ...which both sound like children's intros to sexual harassment.
NC: But what everyone called when I was growing up was "The Grinch vs. the Cat in the Hat".
NC (vo): Because, really, that's what it is: it's two popular characters in the same universe finally meeting up and, well, surviving each other. This seems kinda strange for Dr. Seuss, who didn't really do crossover battles. That kind of stuff would usually be associated with, say, a Marvel production.
(Cut to a shot of the old Marvel Productions logo seen at the very end of the film)
NC (vo): Well, funny you should think that, because this actually was made by Marvel Productions!
NC: (grinning evilly) Yes! Soon...
(Cut to shots of, in order, Sam-I-Am, the Lorax, the Sneetches and the Whos (the last one taken from the original cartoon, while the rest are taken from the original books))
NC (vo): ...the Lorax and Sam-I-Am are gonna be fighting over the warring nations of the Sneetches and the Whos!
NC: With a cameo by (an image of Spider-Man wielding Captain America's shield from "Captain America: Civil War" appears in the corner) Spider-Man we've all been waiting for. (nods)
(Cut to still more clips of "The Grinch vs. the Cat in the Hat")
NC (vo): This was advertised everywhere when it came on TV, and to its credit, it's really not a bad idea. It's kinda like Batman vs. Superman... (a poster for "Batman v Superman" is shown) Yeah, you're funny. (a shot of World's Finest, the animated film featuring the two superheroes, is shown) There ya go! (continues) ...where there's two seemingly opposite protagonists who also seem to have a lot in common.
(Cut to alternating clips of the original cartoon versions of "The Cat in the Hat" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas")
NC (vo): Both are agents of anarchy: they like to disrupt the status quo and take people out of their comfort zones. The reasons, though, is what makes them enemies: one does it to lighten the mood and open up possibilities, while the other does it to ruin the mood and limit possibilities. Even the lessons have a different spin: with the Cat in the Hat, he's the one dispensing the moral; with the Grinch, he's the one learning the moral.
NC: So it seems like there was just enough in common and just enough different to make this really, really good, right?
NC (vo): Well, as much as I've praised Seuss in the past, even I have to admit, not everything was perfect. Nothing was awful, but some ideas were better as (a poster for "The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T" is briefly shown) just that: ideas. And for what it's worth, this does seem to have a lot of ideas, especially for kids. It just didn't seem to have a lot of focus.
(Cut to another clip of "The Cat in the Hat")
NC (vo): Again, a tough combination, as "Cat in the Hat" was a somewhat random and archaic story...
(Cut to another clip of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas")
NC (vo): ...where "Grinch" had a very solid beginning, middle and end.
(Cut to back to "The Grinch vs. the Cat in the Hat")
NC (vo): Which makes this a very tricky combination.
(Cut to clips of "Halloween is Grinch Night")
NC (vo): The Grinch, as well, was already used twice, with a Halloween special after the Christmas debut. It didn't exactly get the strongest reaction.
(Cut back to "The Grinch vs. the Cat in the Hat")
NC (vo): So it was tough to figure out if he could work in other tales outside of his first one.
NC: The story?
(Cut to the beginning of the film: the sun shines down into the Grinch's home and on his bed; he wakes up, yawning)
NC (vo): The Grinch wakes to the voice of the Smucker's Jelly guy [that would be Mason Adams, who also voices the Cat here], describing the morning.
(The Grinch is seen taking a shower and whistling, while his dog, Max, looks on)
Narrator: Never before had this nasty old guy left out of his bed with a smile in his eye and whistled "Hello!"
NC: (imitating narrator) I could kill kids with a pitchfork and you'd still love my voice.
(Back to the film: the Grinch is looking himself in the mirror and talking to it)
NC (vo): However, the Grinch goes back to his evil ways when his mirror yells at him.
Grinch's mirror reflection: I see nothing to whistle about!
NC: (looks around nervously) Yeah, like I said, kind of odd.
NC (vo): Mirror convinces him to go out and cause trouble. And this is where he literally bumps into the Cat in the Hat, who makes the apparent mistake of calling him "green face".
Cat: ...any inconvenience out of these that I may have caused you, Mr... Green Face.
Grinch: (enraged) Mr. Green Face!?
NC: (imitating the Grinch) That is our word!
NC (vo): So the Grinch decides to chase him down, create a machine that messes with reality, and... (awkward pause) just... kind of annoy him. It's... kind of a downgrade compared to his other adventures.
(Cut to a clip of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas")
NC (vo): First he wants to rob people of the joys of giving...
(Cut to a clip of "Halloween is Grinch Night")
NC (vo): ...then he wants to terrify the world with fear from hellish-looking monsters...
(Back to "The Grinch vs. the Cat in the Hat")
NC (vo): ...now he's just... kind of a troll. In fact, you could argue that he's literally the world's first Internet troll. Think about it: he uses his computer to hack your everyday life to mildly annoy you. And he's the only one that finds it funny at all. (the Grinch is seen wearing a Guy Fawkes Anonymous mask) Guess he's sort of a pioneer of obnoxiousness when you think about it.
Grinch: (singing) And that brings about (Max yelps and jumps backwards) the most horrible things!
NC (vo): I'll admit, it's a little odd to see the Cat in the Hat constantly duped and get more and more frustrated as it goes on. It's kinda like seeing (a shot of Groucho Marx appears) Groucho Marx get mad, (a shot of Radical Edward from "Cowboy Bebop" appears) or Radical Edward get mad, (a shot of the Road Runner appears) or the Road Runner get mad. There's just some creations you think are always gonna be comfortable and in control of their world, which makes it a little off-putting when you see they don't always have the smart answer. (chuckles) It really cracks me up when he straight up calls the Grinch a psychopath.
Cat: (angrily) That Grinch! That psychopathic Grinch!
NC: (amused) How funny is that? There's a Dr. Seuss story where somebody uses the word "psychopath"!
NC (vo): That's insane! Or... psychopathic, I guess. To be fair, though, only a psychopath would change the pronunciation of words to make it rhyme.
Grinch: (singing) The sounds that you make are the sounds of my choice. I can make you sound better or make you sound "woise"!
NC: (pointing to camera) CHEATER!
Grinch: Are you feeling pretty "goot", Mr. Cat in the "Hoot"?
NC: "Goot" and "hoo–" Why were you changing that? They already rhymed!
(In the film, the Grinch pulls a lever on his machine, triggering one hell of an acid trip for the Cat and the restaurant he is hiding out in – that's Dr. Seuss for you!)
NC (vo): This all comes to a head when the Grinch uses his machine to mess with a restaurant for really no reason than to give Seuss an excuse to say he took LSD for inspiration. (some unfitting and wild, almost insane, Dixieland music is heard during this trippy scene) Yep, this is another Dr. Seuss trip-out scene that doesn't connect to much, but... Who cares?! It's a Dr. Seuss trip-out scene!
NC: (shaking his finger) I will totally endorse getting (a shot of a drunken Dumbo) a minor drunk if it leads to (a shot of the "Pink Elephants" scene from "Dumbo") another "pink elephants" sequence. (slams his hand down on the desk) Screw priorities, (points to camera) I want a trip-out, man!
(In the special, the Cat is about to eat some eggs in the restaurant, but the Grinch uses his machine to cover the eggs in polka dots; the polka dots on the eggs flash pink and green, and the Cat, looking grossed out, puts them aside)
NC (vo): Look at this! He's going against the lesson of his own books! Green eggs are okay, but polka-dot eggs?! Chuck that shit!
NC: But to be fair, maybe the Cat in the Hat's frustration ties into the "kinda-sorta" message.
NC (vo): Yeah, even the moral is a little hard to grasp, but I still can't say it's really wrong in any way. Amongst his frustration, he finally realizes that the way to win is not killing by anger, but killing with kindness. He goes to the Grinch's house and reminds him of his mother.
(In the film, the Cat and the restaurant people, staff and customers alike, stand outside the Grinch's house, where the Cat leads the restaurant people in a song to the Grinch, much to the Grinch's ever-weakening disdain)
Cat and restaurant people: (singing) Even a Grinch had a mother, who taught him of love...
NC (vo): Thank God he happened to have a good relationship with her, because it eventually softens him up and makes him good again. He even has an inner monologue with her, which... the more I think about it, strangely happens a lot in this. Half of the special is technically just people talking to themselves.
NC: Everyone's a psychopath!
NC (vo): So I guess the message centers around... the power of motherhood? To always bring family into everything? That a person's weakness is in their heart? It's confusing. Nevertheless, it is still a kinda nice, albeit unfocused, scene leading to a relatively harmless ending.
NC: And that's really the best way I can define this special: nice, unfocused, but harmless.
NC (vo): It's certainly not Seuss' strongest work, and truth be told, it could have been a bit more interesting, but it's still neat seeing two of his most famous characters meet and interact off each other. While the story's not the best, it still feels like this is what the characters would do and say if they ever did run into one another. So it's kind of fun to watch, if only for that reason. Yeah, it's pointless, yeah, it doesn't make sense, but sometimes, it's okay. It's still creative, still strange, and still unmistakably Seuss. (a DVD of the special pops up) You can still get it on DVD and witness all of the goofiness – or psychotic tendencies – yourself. Give it a buy, and see one of the most surreal crossovers ever devised.
NC: I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. (gets up from his chair and leaves)
|The Nostalgia Critic Transcripts
||Transformers · Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue · Cloverfield Trailer Review · Power Rangers: A Look Back · Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Book Launch · Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movies · The Top 11 Scariest Nostalgic Moments · Super Mario Bros.: The Movie · Cloverfield Review · Street Fighter · Mortal Kombat · Space Jam · The Nerd Rant · The Nerd Rant Part 2 · Pokémon The First Movie · The Nerd Wizard Rant · The Wizard · The Top 11 Naughtiest Moments in Animaniacs · Batman & Robin · The Top 11 Catchiest Theme Songs · '90s Sports Montage · The Nerd Response…Response · The Top 11 Drug PSAs · The Battle of Epic Proportions · Captain Planet · Double Dare · 3 Ninjas · Top 11 Hottest Animated Women · Video Game Review · The Search for the Nostalgia Chick · He-Man and the Masters of the Universe · Follow That Bird · Saved By the Bell · Tom and Jerry: The Movie · Top 11 Saddest Moments · Nostalgia Chick Winner · Surf Ninjas · NC vs The Nerd Showdown · Top 11 Nostalgic Animated Shows · Kazaam · The Nerd vs. NC: The Final Battle · Off to Beat the Nerd · Drew Struzan Tribute · Halloween '08 Special · Double Dragon · Top 11 Underrated Nostalgic Classics · Howard the Duck · Mortal Kombat: Annihilation · Godzilla · Top 11 Disney Villains · The Super Mario Bros. Super Show · Top 12 Greatest Christmas Specials · Jingle All the Way
||Nicktoons · Nickcoms · SNICK · Good Burger · The Making of the Final Battle · Ferngully: The Last Rain Forest · A Kid in King Arthur's Court · The Good Son · The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog · Top 11 Nostalgic Mindfucks · Twister · Garbage Pail Kids · Rock-A-Doodle · Titanic - The Legend Goes On · The Pagemaster · The NeverEnding Story · Moonwalker · Top 11 Dumbest Superman Moments · TMNT · Red Sonja · TGWTG Team Brawl · Short Circuit 1 & 2 · Batman vs. The Dark Knight · Full House · North · Critic and Nerd: TMNT Making of Coming Out of Their Shells · Sidekicks · Gargoyles · Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen · Steel · Top 11 Cereal Mascots · Barb Wire · New vs Old - LOTR Animated vs Lord of the Rings · Last Action Hero · Captain N · We're Back: A Dinosaur's Story · Warriors of Virtue · Captain America · Top 11 F*ckups · Alone in the Dark · Blank Check · Old vs. New: Willy Wonka · Cool as Ice · Suburban Commando · Next Karate Kid · Casper · Superman IV · Congo · Siskel and Ebert Tribute · Judge Dredd · Tank Girl · Jack Frost · He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special · Next Best Christmas Specials · Star Wars Holiday Special · Ernest Saves Christmas
||Commando · Junior · Conan and Conan the Destroyer · End of Days · Battlefield Earth · Bebe's Kids · Lost in Space · Top 11 Villain Songs · Quest for Camelot · Old vs. New: Nutty Professor · Bio-Dome · NeverEnding Story II · Top 11 Most Awkward Christopher Walken Moments · Flubber · Home Alone 3 · Old vs. New: King Kong · Drop Dead Fred · The Care Bears Movie · Kickassia: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 · Jaws 3 · Free Willy · A Troll in Central Park · Theodore Rex · Top 11 Coolest Cliches · Hook · Independence Day · The Room · The Phantom · Zeus and Roxanne · Animaniacs Tribute · Flintstones Movie · Mr. Nanny · Rocky IV · Chairman of the Board · Next Top 11 NC Fuckups · Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw · Pebble and the Penguin · Ernest Scared Stupid · Top 11 Scariest Performances · IT · Leprechaun · My Pet Monster · Commercial Special · Old vs. New: 10 Commandments vs. Prince of Egypt · The Thief and the Cobbler · Waterworld · Little Monsters · Rover Dangerfield · You're a Rotten Dirty Bastard · The First Couple: TMNT
||NeverEnding Story III · Ferngully 2 · Secret of NIMH 2 · Care Bears 2 · Dungeons and Dragons · Top 11 Dumbest Spider-Man Moments · The Lost World: Jurassic Park · Return of the Nostalgic Commercials · Inspector Gadget · Old vs. New: The Karate Kid · The Langoliers · Airborne · Baby Geniuses · Raiders of the Story Arc: X-Men · The Magic Voyage · Double Team · Top 11 Dumbasses in Distress · Jaws: The Revenge · Gordy · The OTHER Animated Titanic Movie · Revenge of the Nostalgic Commercials · Once Upon a Forest · Little Nemo · Old vs. New: True Grit · Suburban Knights: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7 · Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon · Milk Money · Rad · Raiders of the Story Arc: Duck Tales · Care Bears in Wonderland · Cop and a Half · Top 11 Batman TAS Episodes · Alaska · Let's Play Bart's Nightmare · James and the Giant Peach · The Avengers · Simon Sez · The Tommyknockers · The Haunting · Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows · Exorcist 2 · Doug's 1st Movie · The Cell · Raiders of the Story Arc: Superman · Felix the Cat · Moulin Rouge · Babes in Toyland · How the Grinch Stole Christmas · Child's Play
||Santa Claus: The Movie · Star Trek: The Motion Picture · Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock · Star Trek 5: The Final Frontier · Star Trek 7: Generations · Star Trek 9: Insurrection · Patch Adams · Ponyo · Dunston Checks In · Thomas and the Magic Railroad · Top 11 Nostalgia Critic F*** Ups Part 3 · Richie Rich · Jungle 2 Jungle · Old vs. New: Manhunter vs. Red Dragon · Star Chaser · Transformers Cartoon · A Simple Wish · Alien Resurrection · Jack · Heavy Metal · Mr. Magoo · Top 11 Simpsons Episodes · Signs · Digimon: The Movie · Top 11 F*** YEAH Movie Themes · Baby Geniuses 2 · Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom · The Wiz · Total Recall (with Sci-Fi Guy) · Scooby-Doo · To Boldly Flee: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8 · NC's Top 11 Favorite Jokes · The WORST Movies Nostalgia Critic's Reviewed
||The Review Must Go On · The Odd Life of Timothy Green · Pearl Harbor · Son of the Mask · The King and I · Catwoman · The Cat in the Hat · Top 11 South Park Episodes · Jurassic Park · A.I. Artificial Intelligence · The Master of Disguise · Turbo - A Power Rangers Movie · Top 11 Dumbest Lord of the Rings Moments · Sailor Moon · Les Miserables · Top 11 Adult Jokes We Never Got as Kids · The Last Airbender · Bridge to Terabithia · The Shining Mini-Series · Sharknado · Devil · Dawn of the Commercials · Man of Steel · Top 12 Santa Clauses · Eight Crazy Nights · The Christmas Tree
||Face/Off · The Wicker Man · Ghost Rider · Top 11 Strangest Best Couples · Ghost Dad · Disney's Alice in Wonderland · Top 11 Moments You Never Noticed in Ghostbusters · Disney Afternoon · Foodfight · Swan Princess · The Lorax · Old vs. New: Spider-Man · Blues Brothers 2000 · Jurassic Park 3 · After Earth · Bloodrayne · The Purge · Top 11 Trailers · Small Soldiers · The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement · Ghost Rider 2 · Top 11 Worst Avatar Episodes · Top 11 Best Avatars (with Dante Basco) · Maximum Overdrive · Top 11 New Halloween Classics · Monster Squad · Rise of the Commercials · Forest Warrior · Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (NC) · Christmas Story 2 · Care Bears Nutcracker
||The Matrix · The Animatrix · The Matrix Reloaded · The Matrix Revolutions · AVGN Movie · Mamma Mia! · The Haunted Mansion · Daredevil · Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) · Demolition Man · Top 11 Animaniacs Episodes · Legend of Zorro · The Ewoks Cartoon - Was That Real? · Fantastic Four · Cowboys of Moo Mesa - Was That Real? · Sharkboy and Lavagirl · Small Wonder - Was That Real? · Jupiter Ascending · Jurassic World · Top 11 TV Show Intros · Planet of the Apes · Osmosis Jones · Garfield: The Movie · Pixels · The Smurfs · Hammerman - Was That Real? · Mad Max: Fury Road · Event Horizon · Children of the Corn · Hocus Pocus · Conquest of the Commercials · Dragon's Lair · We Wish You a Turtle Christmas · Christmas with the Kranks · Star Wars: The Force Awakens (NC)
||The Happening · Top 11 Funniest Shyamalan Moments · Lady in the Water · Labyrinth · Spawn · Cats & Dogs · The Phantom of the Opera · The Adventures of Pluto Nash · Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain - Was That Real? · Batman v Superman · Blade · Old vs. New: Cinderella · Spy Kids 3D: Game Over · Jem and the Holograms (2015) · The Grinch vs. The Cat in the Hat - Was That Real? · Scooby-Doo 2 · Alvin and the Chipmunks · Ghostbusters (2016) · Teddy Ruxpin Live Action Series - Was That Real? · Wild Wild West · The 3rd Animated Titanic Movie (Tentacolino) · The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle · Stephen King's Dreamcatcher · Freddy vs. Jason · Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows · Battle of the Commercials · Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas · Top 12 Christmas Commercials · I'll Be Home For Christmas · Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
||Top 11 Best Movie Sequels · Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel · Top 11 Worst Movie Sequels · The Smurfs 2 · Garfield 2: A Tail of Two Kitties · Cool World · Old vs. New: Evil Dead · Top 11 WTF Alternate Endings · Balto · Fant4stic · Clockstoppers · The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas · Suicide Squad Trailer · Suicide Squad · Alien vs. Predator · Transformers: The Last Knight NON-Review · Wonder Woman · Norm of the North · Hulk (2003) · Monkeybone · The Sorcerer's Apprentice · Eragon · Kangaroo Jack · Green Lantern · It (2017) · The Mummy · The Mummy (2017) · Dragonball Evolution · War of the Commercials · Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe in Santa · Home Alone 2: Lost in New York · Star Wars: The Last Jedi
||Lara Croft: Tomb Raider · Top 11 Good Adam Sandler Movies · Yogi Bear · Batman Forever · Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked · Alice Through the Looking Glass · Beauty and the Beast (2017) · Jack and Jill · Starship Troopers · Scooby-Doo: The Mystery Begins · The Spirit · Deadpool 2 · The Angry Birds Movie · Fox Kids · The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen · Mission: Impossible 2 · Doom · Ghostbusters 2 · Freddy Got Fingered · Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer · Sleepwalkers · Van Helsing · Rubber (2010) · Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom · Escape from the Commercials · A Christmas Story Live · The Nutcracker (2010)
||Max Payne · Robocop (2014) · The Black Cauldron (NC) · Top 11 Funniest Siskel and Ebert Reviews · The Country Bears · X-Men: The Animated Series · X-Men · X-Men: The Last Stand · Best F(r)iends · Hop · Toonami · Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within · Mary Poppins Returns · Alien 3 · Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief · Kim Possible · Blade II · That Darn Cat · Underworld · Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip · The Wall · Hannibal · It: Chapter Two · Venom · Justice League · Planet of the Commercials · The Grinch (2018) · The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
||Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker · Beverly Hills Chihuahua · Con Air · Supergirl · Spider-Man · Spider-Man 3 · The Amazing Spider-Man 2 · Dolittle · Independence Day: Resurgence · Critters · Avatar (2009) · Superman Returns · Elektra · Alita: Battle Angel · Battleship · The Lion King (2019) · The Animated Lord of the Rings · The Bill & Ted Movies · Playing with Fire · Pokémon Detective Pikachu · X-Men: Apocalypse · The Stand · Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark · Curse of the Commercials · Sucker Punch · The Muppet Christmas Carol · Batman Returns · Home Alone 4
||Shark Tale · The Mummy Returns · Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles · Strange Magic
||Turkish Rambo · Video Game Review 2: Blues Brothers (SNES) · Reefer Madness · Doomsday Machine · NC - Kickassia · NC - Suburban Knights · NC - To Boldly Flee · NC - Live Review of Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 · Paranoia · Cup of Idiocy (Doug's Old Home Movies) · Night of the Living Dead · The Cinema Snob Movie · The Review Must Go On Review
||NostalgiaWeen · Christmas · Annual Theme Month