It’s Theodor “Dr Seuss” Geisel’s birthday, something for which the child in all of us should be thankful. We all share a love for the twisted books and animations produced under the DR Seuss moniker, but did you know about Geisel’s sole foray into feature film, The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T? Filmed in 1953, The 5000 Fingers of Dr T is an hallucinatory, wild ride of a musical. Taking place in the dream of Young Bart Collins, the story transposes the adults in Bart’s life into his surreal dreamscape, where hated piano teacher, Dr. Terwilliker, has become the de facto ruler, and imprisoned 500 boys in order to play his 5000 key piano. To try to describe the rest would be doing the film a disservice, as it really needs to be seen. Visually striking, it’s as close to the demented world of Dr. Seuss as can be imagined in a live action film, and remember, this is 1953 that we’re talking about, long before acid inspired visuals became a thing.
Anyway, check out some clips and the short documentary to whet your appetite…
and there’s a deluxe issue of the soundtrack, which was previously only available on a dodgy LP issue, that I believe to be from the early 80’s. Somehow I thrifted a sealed copy of that one many years ago.