The 5,000 Fingers of Dr T is the most gloriously garish display of musical absurdism and fantasy that Dr Suess (Theodore Geisel) has ever contrived. Released in the early 1950s, it was an utter failure with test audiences leaving after 15 minutes. While it was eventually released, it underwent extensive changes and Geisel would later drop the film from his own biography.
Every scene in this movie is so over the top with musical and dance extravaganzas that it would make Busby Berkeley burst with joy and envy. It is a both a confused dream and a strange fantasy about an evil music teacher who is enslaving children in a fiendish plot involving a gigantic piano. Watch it and it is easy to see why audiences left: the awfulness of the entirety of the film is overwhelming. The brilliance of this film, however, lies in the individual pieces and not in the whole.
In my effort to reimagine these scenes, I hope to bring them to their true level of surrealistic reverie. Remixing and re-layering the images and sounds back onto themselves brings out a more powerful sensation of the kaleidoscopic weirdness that is the musical academy of Dr Terwilliger.