Top Dr. Seuss adaptations

There’s so many ways to celebrate Christmas in July, and with Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical coming to the Center right before Christmas, we have one specific holiday villain on our minds! 

In 1957, Dr. Seuss published the story that became a holiday classic around the world, and since then, it has been adapted several times from tv specials to feature films to fully-staged musicals! In celebration of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas The Musical, we’re breaking down the top Seuss adaptations throughout the years and ranking all of our favorites.


How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! was the first film adaptation of this Dr. Seuss book, and this animated tv special might be the most recognizable Dr. Seuss adaptation. This particular film has gone on to become a staple of the holiday season, making its way onto every holiday movie marathon for the past several decades. With a wonderful soundtrack and an impressive 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a timeless classic that families across the globe enjoy time and time again. 

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)



Seussical The Musical

For all of our theater lovers, we have another musical on the list! Seussical the Musical is the perfect combination of many beloved Dr. Seuss stories brought together with imaginative sets, colorful costumes, and wonderful music by Ahrens & Flaherty. From Horton Hears a Who to The Cat in the Hat and Oh the Places You’ll Go!”, Seussical the Musical brings some of your favorite characters off the storybook pages and onto the stage for a whimsical, magical adventure.

Seussical The Musical Playbill cover



How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) 

Live-action Grinch is here! As one of only two live-action Seuss films made, How the Grinch Stole Christmas sprung to life in a new way with Jim Carrey playing the famous green creature. At the time, it became the second highest grossing holiday film of all time behind Home Alone, and Jim Carrey’s performance as the Grinch received wide critical acclaim. The special effects makeup, hair, and costuming in this movie are especially notable, and this movie is a must-watch around the holidays!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (2000)



The Lorax (2012)

This is the fourth feature film adaptation of a Dr. Seuss book, and The Lorax flawlessly carried Seuss’ original message about environmentalism and taking responsibility for preserving the earth. Featuring the voices of numerous celebrities like Taylor Swift, Danny DeVito, Betty White, Zac Efron, and more, The Lorax has a star-studded cast and immerses viewers into a campy story filled with truffula trees, thneeds, and a mysterious orange creature who guards the truffula forest.

The Lorax (2012)



The Grinch (2018)

This is the most recent adaptation of Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and this time, Benedict Cumberbatch is taking on the voice of the Grinch! Packed with a celebrity cast including Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, Pharell Williams, and Angela Lansbury (in her last voice acting role before she passed), The Grinch soared into box office success, becoming the highest grossing Christmas film of all time—and also the highest grossing Suess adaptation!

The Grinch (2018)



The Cat in the Hat (2003)

Following the success of How the Grinch Stole Christmas in 2000, The Cat in the Hat got its live-action adaptation three years later with Mike Myers in the starring role. This feature film dives into a fantasy comedy that goes through the story of the original book as well as numerous new sub plots, introducing new characters and adventures to the favorite children’s tale.

The Cat in the Hat (2003)



Horton Hears a Who (2008)

From the creators of Ice Age, Horton Hears a Who is packed with hilarious one-liners for both kids and adults, finding humorous moments for audiences of all ages in this heartwarming story about friendship, caring for others, and perseverance. This box office hit was the first Seuss adaptation to be fully animated using CGI, and it was clear that this style was a hit with moviegoers around the world.

Horton Hears a Who (2008)



Dr. Seuss on the Loose (1973)

This animated TV special introduces adaptations of The Zac, Green Eggs and Ham, and The Sneeches and creates three mini-specials of these Seuss stories! Dr. Seuss on the Loose is hosted by The Cat in the Hat—voiced by Allan Sherman, the original Cat in the Hat voice actor—and was Sherman’s final work before he passed. If you’re looking to dive into some of the nostalgic cartoons of Dr. Seuss, Dr. Seuss on the Loose is a great place to start!

Green Eggs and Ham (1973)



The Butter Battle Book (1989)

This animated television special first premiered in November 1989 and closely followed the book and its themes of competition and power. The Butter Battle Book is an anti-war story portrayed through an arms race between those who prefer their bread with the butter side up versus the butter side down, and the tv special has been named by Seuss as the most faithful adaptation of his work. It even keeps the book’s original cliffhanger at the end and the illustration of the “To Be Continued…” title card displayed on screen!

The Butter Battle Book (1989)



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