The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat

The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat (also known as The Grinch vs. The Cat in the Hat and The Cat in the Hat Gets Grinched in the working title) is a 1982 American Emmy Award-winning animated musical television special and crossover starring the two characters created by Dr. Seuss, who also wrote and produced the special: The Cat in the Hat and The Grinch from How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. It premiered on May 20, 1982 on ABC and would be DePatie and Freleng's final Dr. Seuss special.

The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat
Original VHS cover
Written byDr. Seuss
Directed byBill Perez
Voices ofBob Holt
Mason Adams
Frank Welker
Joe Eich
Narrated byMason Adams as the Cat
Music byJoe Raposo
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)David H. DePatie
Producer(s)Friz Freleng
Dr. Seuss
Running time25 minutes
Production company(s)Marvel Productions
DePatie–Freleng (In-name only)
Original networkABC
Audio formatMono
Original release
  • May 20, 1982 (1982-05-20)


The Grinch wakes up in a good mood one morning until his reflection in the mirror prompts him to repeat the "Grinch's Oath" and prove himself a Grinch. Meanwhile, the Cat in the Hat goes on a picnic. Their paths cross when the Grinch can't get his car around the Cat's, and things quickly escalate into a fierce car chase after the Cat unintentionally insults the Grinch by calling him "Mr. Greenface."

The Cat returns to the safety of his house, but the Grinch follows him there to demonstrate a device he has invented, a "Vacusound Sweeper" that scrambles all sounds within a 50-mile radius, including the Cat's voice. Back home, the Grinch decides to upgrade the sweeper into a "darkhouse", an anti-lighthouse that spreads beams of darkness.

The Cat becomes upset with the Grinch's hijinks and has a psychiatric session with him in a thought bubble to find out what makes him so mean-spirited. He gets nowhere with the imaginary Grinch (though he is briefly triggered by the memory of his deceased mother), so the Cat then decides to go over and have a talk with him. The Grinch makes it so dark that the Cat can't see where he's going, and he crashes his car when he passes a "Dead End" sign.

The Cat takes refuge in a nearby restaurant, where the Grinch fires a beam that makes everything pink, then literally and crazily come to life; his hijinks result in confusion all over the restaurant. The Cat is 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. He soon has an idea and rallies up everybody in the restaurant to follow him to the Grinch's house. There, he leads everyone in a song to remind the Grinch of all of the love he received from his mother and implore him to change his ways and be a better person. Before the Grinch can get to the darkhouse to scramble it, he collapses in grief of the memory of his mother (whose spirit comforts him) and dismantles the darkhouse.

The next morning, the Grinch is again happy. When the reflection tries to get him to recite the oath, Max reveals he left the vacusound sweeper intact and scrambles the reflection's words.

Voice cast

Musical numbers

  1. "A Beelzeberry Day" – The Cat
  2. "Relax-ification" – The Cat
  3. "Master of Everyone's Ears" – The Grinch
  4. "Most Horrible Things" – The Grinch
  5. "Psychiatry Song" – The Cat
  6. "Remember Your Mother" – The Cat / Chef / String Quintet / Waiters/ Male Quartet Singers


1982 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program.[2]

Production notes

Both the Grinch and the Cat in the Hat were recast with different voice actors than the ones used in previous specials, all 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 this special had 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.

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.

Home media

The special was first released on VHS in the mid-80s via CBS/Fox Video's Playhouse Video division, and reissued later in the decade. This release used its working title The Cat in the Hat Gets Grinched. The special retained its normal name on VHS re-releases (including Dr. Seuss Sing-Along Classics by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment with CBS Video and Fox Kids Video). It was also re-released on VHS in 2000 by Paramount Home Entertainment.

It was later released on DVD by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment/Universal Studios Family Productions. The special was released again on DVD by Warner Home Video on October 18th, 2011 as part of the Dr. Seuss's Holidays on the Loose! DVD set, along with How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and Halloween Is Grinch Night.


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