SEUSS’ MAGICAL DREAM COMES TO LIFE
It’s easy to see why The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T was chosen this year for Sled Island’s film lineup: the film is a playful pastiche of sorts, combining musical whimsy with carefully choreographed dance and eccentric art elements.
Bartholomew Collins is your average 10-year-old American boy who falls asleep at a piano lesson. In his dream, his mother and their plumber, August Zabladowski, are there (think Wizard of Oz) and are all embroiled in a situation involving Bart’s real life tyrannical piano instructor, Dr. Terwilliker. Dr. T. is an evil musical genius who plans to dominate the world through music by conducting 500 boys and their 5,000 fingers on a gigantic, double-tiered piano forever.
Though Roy Rowland directed the film, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T is most closely associated with Theodor Seuss Geisel, more commonly known as Dr. Seuss. Geisel wrote the lyrics to the songs, co-wrote the screenplay and his drawings inspired the sets and costumes for the film. The Seussian instruments used during the production were actually patented by Geisel and set designs were based on his sketches. At the time of its release in 1953, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T was a box office flop, but has since developed a cult following. The family-friendly film should draw out a wide array of audiences at the festival to appreciate another peculiar Seussian tale.
By Sheena Manabat