If your young children have already seen “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” 10 times, and you’re looking for something new (and age-appropriate) to add to their watchlist this weekend, “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Halloween!” premieres as part of a menu of Halloween-themed programming on PBS Kids, this Friday, October 28th (on-air and streaming; re-airs Oct. 29-Nov. 1; check local listings for time and date in your area).
A one-hour special based on the series “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!,” the Martin Short-voiced Cat takes main characters Nick and Sally, and pal Fish, on a crazy adventure (with Mom’s permission!) to find Halloween costumes. But what none of the promo material seems to mention is that the movie spends a lot of time tackling the subject of being scared.
During this time of year, when it’s nearly impossible to shield your children from creepy sights —like monsters, zombies and other gruesome creatures seen on billboards, as costumes and as decorations hanging from your neighbor’s homes —being scared often becomes a theme. “The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About Halloween!” approaches the subject of “spooky” in a light and gentle manner, as The Cat explains that “big frights which we’d find alarming on other nights, are – for Halloween – meant to be quite charming.”
But as the crew is faced with different frights throughout the trek – like getting lost and being in the dark – the three learn that everyone is scared of something, and there’s nothing wrong with that. As The Cat tells the kids, “Sometimes places and things seem scary for a good reason. Fear can be a dependable friend. It alerts us and helps keep us away from dangerous things so we don’t get hurt.” However, other things—like thunder and lightning and bats and moths—can seem scary because we don’t know enough about them. Once we learn more, we realize they’re not scary at all.
The kids also learn lessons like holding hands can be a great way to feel safe, and calling for help when you’re in trouble is always a smart thing to do. All of this information is delivered in vintage Dr. Seuss-style, with kookiness and fun. I have to say, I probably enjoyed watching it just as much as my kids did. This could become a Halloween classic in our house.
Click here to see a teaser.
Korbi is a former full-time TV blogger, writing for sites such as E! Online and Yahoo!. She is now a full-time mom of twin boys. In her free time, she moonlights as a Marriage, Family & Individual Therapist.
Image: Courtesy PBS/Portfolio Entertainment