Dr. Seuss characters are beloved by children and adults all over the world. Dr. Seuss, a.k.a. Theodore Geisel, and his legacy of books are celebrated every year on March 2, the author's birthday. Favorite Dr. Seuss characters have leapt from the pages of their books to animated cartoons, starting in the 1960s. These five Dr. Seuss characters are stars of popular TV cartoons.
The Cat in the Hat is synonymous with the Dr. Seuss series. His red and white striped hat, lanky black and white body and smug grin make him so recognizable. Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat first aired on CBS in 1971. The half-hour cartoon tells the story of two children who are bored at home when The Cat visits and nearly destroys their whole house, with the help of Thing 1 and Thing 2. The songs are enchanting and the story sticks to the book.
2. The Grinch
Nearly as iconic as The Cat in the Hat is The Grinch. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a perennial favorite to watch during the Christmas season. The Grinch, with his reluctant pooch Max, steal all the Christmas presents and treats in an attempt to stop Christmas from coming. However, The Grinch's plot fails. The Whos in Whoville still join together to celebrate, and The Grinch realizes there is something more to this holiday than the materials things in his jam-packed sleigh. The cartoon special follows the text of the book almost exactly. Directed by Chuck Jones, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas first aired on December 18, 1966 on CBS.
Horton the elephant is the star of two of Dr. Seuss' stories: Horton Hatches the Egg and Horton Hears a Who. In both stories this gentle giant is fiercely loyal and protective. The cartoon Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who tells how Horton heard a tiny voice coming from a dust speck and vowed to keep it safe because "a person's a person, no matter how small." He, and all the Whos, are put to the test when the other animals want to destroy the dust speck to prove it is nothing important. Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who first aired premiered on March 19, 1970 on CBS as another Chuck Jones production.
4. The Lorax
The Lorax, seemingly cute and fluffy, is a bad ass. He was keeping it green long before Al Gore. In Dr. Seuss' The Lorax this small, orange fellow warns the Once-ler to stop chopping down truffula trees because there will be dire consequences to the animals who live in the forest, and eventually the Once-ler himself. The story is a lesson about industrialized societies. Strangely, this special premiered on Valentine's Day in 1972 on CBS.
Countless children have learned to read through the rhymes and repetition of Green Eggs and Ham. In the story, we meet a fellow carrying a sign that says, "I am Sam," then, "Sam I am." From there Sam tenaciously follows his victim until he tastes green eggs and ham. Turns out, it's a tasty dish. The cartoon Green Eggs and Ham is part of a collection on this DVD, which also includes The Sneetches, The Zax and Emmy-award winning Grinch Night.