The 5000 Fingers Of Dr T

Check out our review of The 5000 Fingers Of Dr T - is it any good and how suitable is it for kids?

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The 5000 Fingers Of Dr T

Starring: Peter Lind Hayes, Mary Healy. (U)

Release date: 1953

3 out of 5


An utterly bonkers musical based on a Dr Seuss story (he also wrote original songs for the film), this is the perfect choice if your little one hates his music lessons. For that is the problem that young Bart has – he detests piano lessons with Dr Terwilliker (Hans Conried, the voice of Captain Hook in Disney’s Peter Pan). But matters get much worse when Bart (Tommy Rettig) falls asleep at the piano and finds himself at the mercy of Dr T, who has set up a school for boys where they have to tinkle the keys all day, every day – if they try to escape, the boys find their way is blocked by an electric fence. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Bart’s mother has fallen under Dr T’s spell and is going to marry him!
With sets so bright you need sunglasses, this film is in no way subtle. It’s loud, brash, barmy and not to everyone’s taste, but many kids will love the impressive dancing on the drums, the 500-seat piano the boys are forced to play (using the 5000 fingers of the title, of course), and the sheer surrealness of it all. And they’ll never moan about those music lessons again, that’s for sure. 

Is The 5000 Fingers Of Dr T suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...

Dr T is pretty freaky, so this isn’t recommended for younger children as he may give them nightmares!

If you like this, why not try: The Grinch, Horton Hears A Who, The Phantom Tollbooth, Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, Darby O'Gill And The Little People,