The dear Dr. Seuss’ magic is lost in this big-screen, live-action translation of his popular book. Former production designer Bo Welch (Edward Scissorhands
) makes his directorial debut amid whimsical sets that look like gently pulled pastel taffy sculptures. The good news ends there. The story painfully evolves as The Cat (Mike Myers in full burlesque mode) pays a visit to the bratty son (Spencer Breslin) and precocious daughter (Dakota Fanning) of a businesswoman (Kelly Preston) who has a parenting approach that makes spanking detractor Dr. Spock look like Hitler. While the kids and cat cover the home in goo, their mom is badgered by her boss and courted by an oily neighbor (Alec Baldwin) who wants to send her spoiled son to military school. Myers bares his butt and makes lame jokes in a vexing voice as the cast futilely fusses and flounders.