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The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat is an animated television special and crossover starring two of Dr. Seuss' famous characters, The Grinch and The Cat in the Hat. It premiered on May 20, 1982 on ABC and won two Emmys. This is to date, the last Dr. Seuss special from DePatie-Freleng. This was not only Marvel's lone Dr. Seuss special, this was also the only Marvel Productions cartoon that Friz Freleng was involved in.


Opening on a morning so beautiful that even the Grinch wakes up in a good mood. But his cheerfulness is soon changed when his reflection in the mirror (possibly an envisionment of his father) talks back to him and reminds him that he's a Grinch and therefore shouldn't be cheerful – by repeating the Grinch's Oath with him:

“A Grinch's unhelpful, unfriendly, unkind, with ungracious thoughts, in an unhealthy mind. A Grinch's uncheerful, uncouth, and unclean. Now say this together: I'M FRIGHTFULLY MEAN! My eyes are both shifty, my fingers are thrifty. My mouth won't smile, not half of an inch! I'm a Grinch! I'm a Grinch. I'M A GRINCH!”

Out to prove himself to his reflection,the Grinch goes out to cause misfortune. Meanwhile, the Cat in the Hat goes on a picnic and soon crosses paths with the Grinch when the Grinch crashes into his car. The Grinch demands that the Cat "get this crate out of my way", but when the Cat willingly and cheerfully agrees to his demands, the Grinch pursues him in a car chase for mistakenly calling him 'Mr. Green-Face'. Realizing he's upset this person, the Cat decides to go back to his house, but the Grinch tracks him there and messes with his voice using a device he has invented the Acoustical Anti Audio Bleeper ("AcousticaAntAudiBleepe"), otherwise known as the Vaccuum Sound Sweeper ("VaccuuSounSweepe"), a machine that sucks out of the air every noise; every sound, and garbles sound waves of noises and sounds of anything that gets sucked in it for 50 miles around. He's undeniably proud of his invention as he sabotages all other nearby sounds, proclaiming himself the 'The Puzzler and Master of Everyone's Ears'. Then the Grinch goes back to his house and builds a "Darkhouse" with which to mess with the Cat's sight, proclaiming, "That Cat's gonna suffer like never before! Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha...!"

The Cat becomes upset with the Grinch's pranks and has a psychiatry session with him in a thought bubble. Predictably he gets nowhere with the virtual Grinch, so he then decides to go over and have a talk with him, but in the process, the Grinch makes it so dark he can't see where he's going, and he crashes his car. The Cat attempts to hide from the Grinch in a nearby restaurant, but the Grinch's machine continues to mess with reality, and his tricks cause michief all over the restaurant. The Cat's now furious with the Grinch and ponders to himself how he can change the Grinch, eventually racing through a door and sending himself hurtling into the Grinch's Dimension. There, as he ponders, he has to endure visions of a floating Grinch head of laser lights, a spinning spiral, and getting split into 4 different-colored outlines - blue, green, red, and yellow, which join together to become a white outline, and he turns back into himself. He soon figures it out and rallies everybody in the restaurant to follow him to the Grinch's house. There, he sings a song about the love the Grinch received from his mother while using his umbrella as a conductor's baton. It's unknown what became of him after this.

The Grinch, having a soft spot for his mom, bursts into tears when he hears this, and is afterward told by the spirit of his mom that "everything's going to be all right." Touched, the Grinch disassembles his machines and goes through his change of heart again the next morning. But when his reflection tries to revert him back to a grouch, his dog Max shuts the mirror up with the Vaccuum Sound Sweeper.

Voice cast




  • Despite being a crossover featuring the Cat in the Hat and the Grinch, this is the last Dr. Seuss special to not be based on an actual Dr. Seuss book; as usual, some elements also bear some similarities to elements from a couple of books:
    • Notice in the selection the Grinch is singing "The Master of Everyone's Ears", the Cat in the Hat's house is similar to the Apartment 12-J in Whoville as seen in Horton Hears a Who! where you will see Jojo with a Yo-yo.
    • In the Grinch's lair on the 39th floor in his shop, the way the Grinch takes his Throm-dim-bu-lator apart is similar to how Herbie Hart takes his Throm-dim-bu-lator apart from the book Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?.
  • This is one of the few Dr. Seuss specials whose style slightly differs from that of a usual Dr. Seuss book. In this special, the backgrounds have much more painting detail in color and the line cross-hatching detail is rare in this special.
  • On the 1992 VHS released by Playhouse Video, the special was retitled "The Cat in the Hat Gets Grinched" and the opening credits are edited to include said title. A shot of the Grinch waking up out of the bed starts zooming in just as the title appears, and a different scene of the Cat in the Hat in his car is used.
  • The Grinch reforms under different circumstances than in How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. This suggests the two specials do not take place in the same continuity, unless it is assumed that the post-Christmas reformed Grinch temporarily reverted to his antisocial ways before being set right by the Cat.
  • This is the last Dr. Seuss special to have a Sing-Along release.
  • This special along with Halloween Is Grinch Night were not included as bonus cartoons on the Hats Off to Dr. Seuss: Collector's Edition 2013 DVD set while How the Grinch Stole Christmas! was, as they were already included on the Dr. Seuss's Holidays On the Loose! 2012 DVD.
  • This special along with Halloween Is Grinch Night re-used their 2003 Universal remasters when included on the Dr. Seuss's Holidays On the Loose! 2012 DVD, as none of the Dr. Seuss specials that were not a book adaption were not remastered in high definition at the time. Both specials were finally remastered in high definition when included on the How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: The Ultimate Edition 2018 Blu-Ray disc.

Production notes

  • This is the last Dr. Seuss special to be aired on ABC.
  • This is the last Dr. Seuss special to be produced by De-Patie Freleng Productions overall, and is also the only Dr. Seuss special to be produced by Marvel Productions.
  • Both the Grinch and the Cat in the Hat were recast with different voice actors, replacing all those (from previous specials) of whom had died. Bob Holt voiced the Grinch (Hans Conried, who voiced the Grinch in Halloween Is Grinch Night, died a few months before The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat aired; Boris Karloff, the original voice of the Grinch, had died in 1969), while Mason Adams took over voicing the Cat in the Hat from the late Allan Sherman, who died in 1973 one month after Dr. Seuss on the Loose aired.
  • Since Friz Freleng was absent from production on The Pink Panther special Pink at First Sight due to his departure from DePatie–Freleng Enterprises to return to Warner Bros. Animation, this was the only other fully animated DFE production to be made by Marvel Productions and one of the last DFE cartoons Freleng was involved in.
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